Brain Anatomy and Function

Image of neurons in synapse locations
Bacterial infections can make their way to the brain, where they can linger undetected.
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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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In response to signals from a brain region called the hypothalamus, the adrenal glands secrete glucocorticoids, hormones that produce an array of effects in response to stress.
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A stressful situation activates three major communication systems in the brain, all of which regulate bodily functions.
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From the stands at sports events, we marvel at the actions of athletes. But in fact, each of us in our daily activities performs a host of complex, skilled movements that are just as remarkable.
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Networks of spinal neurons also participate in controlling the alternating action of the legs during normal walking, maintaining posture, and, to a large degree, in all movements.
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A major breakthrough in understanding how the brain accomplishes learning and memory began with the study of a person known by his initials, H.M.
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How exactly are memories stored in brain cells? After years of study, much evidence supports the idea that memory involves a persistent change in synapses, the connections between neurons.
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From remembering a friend's face to figuring out where you left your keys, the act of memory has many dimensions.
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The brain uses a variety of chemicals called neurotransmitters to communicate between brain cells.
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The brain uses some unconventional means to communicate.
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Once the neural induction has occurred, the next step for new neurons is a journey to the proper position in the brain. This process is called migration, and it begins three to four weeks after a human baby is conceived.
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3D Brain

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