Cells & Circuits

Your selections: Cells and Circuits
Dragonflies hover smoothly in part thanks to information collected by their eyes. Knowing these insects' retinal circuitry helps scientists understand how neurons process spatial data.
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The giant sea slug Apylsia has a simple nervous system that makes them a useful model for neuroscience research. They also have rows of tiny sharp teeth, which cover a tongue-like structure.
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Computer models of proteins involved in metabolism, the chemical reactions that sustain life, help researchers understand how disease affects their function.
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Star-shaped glial cells, sensibly named astrocytes, are found throughout the central nervous system. Scientists can use luminescence to make the cells actually glow as they communicate.
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How does the brain track smells? Scientists use the olfactory system in insects to study how the brain responds to and processes different odors.
Neurons in the eye turn light into electrical signals. How and where signals travel between these cells is thought to affect vision.
Synesthesia is a condition in which stimulation of one sense automatically evokes a perception in an unstimulated sense.
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Researchers throughout the world are pursuing a variety of new ways to repair or replace neurons and other cells in the brain. For the most part, these experimental approaches are still being worked out in animals and cannot be considered therapies for humans at this time.
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Plasticity itself is not unique to humans, but the degree to which our brains are able to adapt is.
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Neuron formation begins in the earliest stages of human development. Signaling molecules “turn on” certain genes and “turn off” others, beginning nerve cell induction.
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Genes and the environment converge powerfully during early sensitive windows of brain development to form the neural circuits underlying behavior. Although most neuronal cell death occurs in the embryo, the paring down of connections occurs in large part during critical periods in early postnatal life.
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Once the neurons reach their final location, they must make the proper connections so that a particular function, such as vision or hearing, can emerge.
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3D Brain

An interactive brain map that you can rotate in a three-dimensional space.