synapse

04/16/2014 - 13:06

For a long time, researchers thought that the star-shaped astrocytes (the name comes from the Greek word for star) were simply support cells for the neurons. It turns out that these cells have a number of important jobs, including providing nutrients and signaling molecules to neurons, regulating blood flow, and removing brain chemicals called neurotransmitters from the synapse. The synapse is the point of information transfer between two neurons. At this connection point, neurotransmitters are released from one neuron to affect the electrical properties of the other. Long arms of astrocytes are located next to synapses, where they can keep tabs on the conversations going on between neurons.

 

04/16/2014 - 11:38

Synapses are the points of contact at which information is transmitted between neurons. Without them, we would not be able to form thoughts or remember things. For memories to endure, synapses sometimes have to remain stable for very long periods. But how can a synapse last if its components have to be replaced regularly?

 

09/20/2013 - 09:08

When we’re born, our brains aren’t very organized. Every brain cell talks to lots of other nearby cells, sending and receiving signals across connections called synapses. Two neighboring brain cells "talk" to one another by sending signals across a gap called a synapse. The more active the synapse during development, U-M researchers found, the more a protein called SIRP is cut loose from one cell, travels to the other, and helps stabilize the synapse for the future.

 

04/18/2013 - 12:10

Using spinning disk microscopy on barely day-old zebra fish embryos, University of Oregon scientists have gained a new window on how synapse-building components move to worksites in the central nervous system.

 

06/05/2012 - 17:48

The brain receives information from the ear in a surprisingly orderly fashion, according to a University at Buffalo study scheduled to appear June 6 in the Journal of Neuroscience. The research focuses on a section of the brain called the cochlear nucleus, the first way-station in the brain for information coming from the ear. In particular, the study examined tiny biological structures called synapses that transmit signals from the auditory nerve to the cochlear nucleus.

10/09/2011 - 16:20

Researchers have found that short-term sleep restriction in adolescent mice prevented the balanced growth and depletion of brain synapses, connections between nerve cells where communication occurs.