Image of the Week

Checks and Balances

  • Published7 Mar 2016
  • Reviewed7 Mar 2016
  • Author Alexis Wnuk
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN

This image of brain neurons cultured from a mouse shows this interaction: the “inhibitory” neuron (blue) sends signals that can prevent the “excitatory” neuron (red) from firing.
Wierda et al. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2014.

Brain activity is a balancing act — some brain cells are tasked with keeping others in check. This image of brain neurons cultured from a mouse shows this interaction: the “inhibitory” neuron (blue) sends signals that can prevent the “excitatory” neuron (red) from firing. Studying these inhibitory neurons in a dish could reveal important clues about how they regulate the activity of more complex brain circuits.

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