Related topics: brain · nerve cells · neurons · protein · memory

New polymers could enable better wearable devices

Certain electronics that integrate with the human body—a smartwatch that samples your sweat, for instance—work by converting the ion-based signals of biological tissue into the electron-based signals used in transistors. ...

How a gene mutation leads to higher intelligence

When genes mutate, this can lead to severe diseases of the human nervous system. Researchers at Leipzig University and the University of Würzburg have now used fruit flies to demonstrate how, apart from the negative effect, ...

A bio-inspired mechano-photonic artificial synapse

Multifunctional and diverse artificial neural systems can incorporate multimodal plasticity, memory and supervised learning functions to assist neuromorphic computation. In a new report, Jinran Yu and a research team in nanoenergy, ...

Graphene nanoparticles and their influence on neurons

Effective, specific, with a reversible and non-harmful action: the identikit of the perfect biomaterial seems to correspond to graphene flakes, the subject of a new study carried out by SISSA—International School for Advanced ...

The evolution of the synapse

Among the most easily recognizable features of any nervous system is the synapse. While the question of how synapses evolved has been a longstanding mystery, it can now largely be solved. In a nutshell, it appears that the ...

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Chemical synapse

Chemical synapses are specialized junctions through which neurons signal to each other and to non-neuronal cells such as those in muscles or glands. Chemical synapses allow neurons to form circuits within the central nervous system. They are crucial to the biological computations that underlie perception and thought. They allow the nervous system to connect to and control other systems of the body.

The adult human brain is estimated to contain from 1014 to 5 × 1014 (100-500 trillion) synapses.[citation needed] Each mm3 of cerebral cortex contains roughly a billion of them.

The word "synapse" comes from "synaptein", which Sir Charles Scott Sherrington and colleagues coined from the Greek "syn-" ("together") and "haptein" ("to clasp"). Chemical synapses are not the only type of biological synapse: electrical and immunological synapses also exist. Without a qualifier, however, "synapse" commonly means chemical synapse.

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