Our brains contain trillions of synapses, each of them capable of converting an electrical signal into a chemical one, and vice-versa. But while that might sound simple, the mechanics behind this process is anything but — as this spectacular new 3D visualization so beautifully illustrates.
Without synapses, your neurons wouldn't be able to communicate and your brain would be little more than a ball of meat. Exactly what synapses look like has been a mystery until now, and it turns out that even though their job is simple, they're complicated as hell.
A recent breakthrough in the development of an artificial synapse suggests that assistive devices and other prostheses won't be limited to just missing joints and failing organs. Researchers in Japan have shown that it's possible to mimic synaptic function with nanotechnology, a breakthrough that could result in not…
One of humanity's most incredible abilities is being able to remember things that happened many years, perhaps even many decades ago. But it's only now that neuroscience is able to really explain how we can form such long-lasting memories.
Just how complex is your noggin? Pretty damn complex, according to researchers at Stanford. Their new imaging technique discovered that synapses are actually more like individual microprocessors than simple on/off switches, and your brain has hundreds of trillions of them.