A typical day for a fly might involve searching for food, courting mates, and evading predators — all tasks that require learning about signals in the environment. Synapsin is a protein in synapses — the connections between neurons — that is vital for this kind of learning. The image above shows a front-view of a fly brain (top) and part of the spinal cord (bottom), with synapsin-containing synapses (green) and neuron cell bodies (magenta). Since humans and other mammals also have synapsin proteins, studying this protein in flies could help scientists better understand our own learning and memory processes.
Alexis is the science writer and editor for BrainFacts.org. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 with degrees in neuroscience and English.
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