The Synapse and how it helps in Cognitive functions
06 May 2019
The gap between two neurons is called a synapse. Scientists have found a possible connection of the synapse and its plasticity with learning and memory. Synaptic plasticity involves strengthening and weakening of the synapse. When there is electrical activity in both the neurons before and after the synapse, there is a spike. When both spikes occur simultaneously, synapses strengthen up to four times. This surge in strength helps in retention of weak information as well. This learning, which is done through synaptic clefts is called STPD or spike timing dependent plasticity. STPD is very helpful when it comes to basic cognitive functions such as decision making and object identification. Based on this new information, researchers can further understand the functioning of the brain and in turn, it’s implications in causing diseases such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and depression.