“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ― Carl Sagan Current Biology

27th May 2013

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Scientists discover the origin of a giant synapse

Humans and most mammals can determine the spatial origin of sounds with remarkable acuity. We use this ability all the time — crossing the street; locating an invisible ringing cell phone in a cluttered bedroom. To accomplish this small daily miracle, the brain has developed a circuit that’s rapid enough to detect the tiny lag that occurs between the moment the auditory information reaches one of our ears, and the moment it reaches the other. The mastermind of this circuit is the “Calyx of Held,” the largest known synapse in the brain. EPFL scientists have revealed the role that a certain protein plays in initiating the growth of these giant synapses. The discovery, published in Nature Neuroscience, could also help shed light on a number of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Scientists discover the origin of a giant synapse

Humans and most mammals can determine the spatial origin of sounds with remarkable acuity. We use this ability all the time — crossing the street; locating an invisible ringing cell phone in a cluttered bedroom. To accomplish this small daily miracle, the brain has developed a circuit that’s rapid enough to detect the tiny lag that occurs between the moment the auditory information reaches one of our ears, and the moment it reaches the other. The mastermind of this circuit is the “Calyx of Held,” the largest known synapse in the brain. EPFL scientists have revealed the role that a certain protein plays in initiating the growth of these giant synapses. The discovery, published in Nature Neuroscience, could also help shed light on a number of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Tagged: NeuronSynapseCurrent BiologyBiologyScience

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    I just love science! I wish I could read the report for this research. It’d be pretty cool to make sense of it all by...
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