[Neuroscience] long-term changes in electrical synapses demonstrated in mammals

Allen L. Barker alb at datafilter.com
Sun Dec 18 19:10:17 EST 2005

What Can Change In The Brain? Electrical Synapses, Research Shows
Source: Brown University
Date: 2005-12-16

The brain's ability to reorganize itself - strengthening or weakening
connections between neurons or adding or subtracting those connections
- allows it to form memories, make transitions between sleep and
waking, and focus attention on objects of interest.

This phenomenon is a form of neural plasticity. Chemical synapses,
junctions where neurons communicate using chemical substances, have
long been implicated in plasticity. Now, for the first time, Brown
University scientists have demonstrated that electrical synapses are
also subject to long-term changes in the brains of mammals. Their
work appears in the journal Science.


While previous studies have shown a related effect in the electrical
synapses of goldfish, Lan-disman and Connors are the first to show
that it also occurs in mammals.



Electrical Synapses

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