Recent findings on synapses in the human brain
Scientific team develops 3D model
Synapses are neural connections that enable the transmission of signals from one nerve cell to another. The human brain is well networked by approximately 100 trillion of these tiny connections. So far, a large part of the knowledge about synapses in the human brain has been based on investigations in animal models; it is questionable to what extent these can actually be transmitted. Now a team around JARA-BRAIN member Prof. Joachim Lübke has published the first quantifiable 3D model of human synapses in the cerebral cortex. The model opens up completely new possibilities and insights.
Small structures, high diversity
Synapses are very small structures that can only be studied with the aid of electron microscopes. In addition, the tiny junctions are highly diverse, as they are not only perfectly adapted to the species and network surrounding them, but also to the task at hand. Prof. Joachim Lübke, JARA Institut Brain structure function relationships: Decoding the human brain at systemic levels, has already been working for eight years on the development of a robust 3D model of human synapses. The recently published first model of synapses of the human cerebral cortex already shows significant differences from the animal models used so far.
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