Need help on synapses.

Tzusheng tzusheng at cs.utk.edu
Thu Dec 14 00:52:24 EST 1995


My training is largely in computer science, and I know little about
neuroscience.  My questions might be easy (or just commonsense) for 
you neuroscientist.  Please take a few minutes to help me with the 
following questions.

Suppose that we have two neurons with synapses in between the two neurons.
We feed an electric pulse into the presynaptic side of a synapse, and we get 
a pulse from the postsynaptic side. 

I need to know if all the synapses in between the two neurons have the same, 
similar, or quite different response (postsynaptic pulse) with the same input 
pulse at presynaptic side. 

If we take out different pairs of neurons from a part of the brain, such as
hippocampal neurons from a rat, I need to know if synapses from different
pair of neurons are different. 

So the question can be reduced to: Are the synapses in the same functional 
region of the brain homogeneous ?  If not, how different are they ?  It seems 
to me that if they are quite the same, they don't process information much. 
I might be wrong.  Thanks.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

--T. Pei



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