Do Neurons Learn By Growing Thorns? Emergence Of Dendritic Spines Is Associated With Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Munich/Germany have discovered that long-term potentiation (a strengthening of synaptic connections that is thought to be the cellular basis for learning and memory) in a hippocampal neuron goes along with morphological changes in specialized microscopic structures, the so-called dendritic spines (Nature, May-6th, 1999). Most neurobiologists believe that memories are encoded in the changing strength of synaptic connections in the brain, that is, in the effectiveness with which one neuron in the brain communicates with another. As the human cerebral cortex contains about 1014 (100 trillion) synapses, a lot of information could be stored.

Understanding how memory works is one of the fundamental problems in neurobiology. Naturally, then, many neurobiologists are concerned with how synaptic strengths are regulated to store information. One problem in particular has been to answer the question whether the functional changes in the strength of synaptic transmission are also correlated with structural changes in neurons as this could "engrave" the information in the brain in a more durable and permanent way than a mere physiological change. An especially attractive candidate for such structural changes is the postsynaptic spine, a tiny protrusion of the dendritic tree that is distinguished by several features: it is the almost exclusive carrier of the postsynaptic sites of excitatory synapses, it covers a neuron in numbers far greater than a thousand and it has so far managed to dodge the efforts of neuroscience to elucidate its function quite effectively.

Florian Engert and Tobias Bonhoeffer at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Munich have now shown that indeed -- as has long been speculated -- spines do change their morphology when synapses are functionally strengthened.

This advance has been possible through the combination of two new techniques, two-photon laser scanning microscopy

Contact: Tobias Bonhoeffer

Page: 1 2 3

Related medicine news :

1. Neurons so excited that they just cant hide it
2. Neurons that play truth or consequences
3. The mysteries of the emotions: The Good, Bad, and the Learned
4. Learning to cover up reduces risk of skin cancer
5. Learning skills greatly limits stress for family caregivers, says Stanford study
6. Learn and Serve announcement and call for proposals
7. Learning with a digital brain
8. Intensive Program Can Help Premature Babies Learn At the Start
9. UNC-CH Researchers Learning Ways To Help Black Women Cope With HIV
10. Scientists To Prepare Advisory Report On Whats Been Learned About The Possible Adverse Health Effects of Electric Fields
11. Rats Receiving Ginkgo Biloba Learn Quicker, Live 20 Percent Longer Than Controls, UB Study Finds

Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/10/2019)... ... October 10, 2019 , ... In attendance ... was excited to hear the significant results of an independent study presented by ... Nitrosigine®. The clinical study poster entitled “The Acute Effects of Citrulline Malate and ...
(Date:10/8/2019)... ... October 08, 2019 , ... In ... interest in Advanced Fertility Care (AFC), an advanced reproductive services (RE) facility operating ... the availability of RE services to expectant families throughout Arizona and the greater ...
(Date:10/8/2019)... ... October 08, 2019 , ... As a world-renowned expert using ... professor with the University of Maryland Department of Veterinary Medicine, continues to make ... Shi and his lab have discovered a new pathway by which liver macrophages ...
(Date:10/8/2019)... ... ... METAvivor Research and Support Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for ... The campaign will commence with two days of action and education on October 10 ... march, a Die-In (hosted by partner MET-UP), and visits with Congressional offices. The day ...
(Date:10/8/2019)... YORK (PRWEB) , ... October 08, 2019 , ... ... specializing in biomimetic dentistry techniques, has recently attended an advanced Level III training ... emerging area of dentistry. The training took place September 16-19, 2019 at the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2019)... NEW YORK (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2019 , ... Five New York fitness studios ... where participants will have the opportunity to tour and sample a variety of the top ... from 1pm - 4pm and produced by Club Pilates on W. 57th St., the Hell’s ...
(Date:10/11/2019)... ... ... Based on data for the first eight months of the year, 2019 is ... Through August 31, 7,786 deceased donors have provided 23,797 organs for transplant according to ... the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) projects 2019 could see an additional 1,000 ...
(Date:10/11/2019)... INDIANAPOLIS (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2019 , ... MindShare ... to improve outcomes at the 2019 Alliance for Strong Families and Communities National Conference. ... on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. , Povolny’s presentation ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: