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Chemical synapse. Chemical synapses are specialized junctions through which cells of the nervous system signal to one another and to non-neuronal cells such as muscles or glands. A chemical synapse between a motor neuron and a muscle cell is called a neuromuscular junction. Chemical synapses allow the neurons of the central nervous system to form interconnected neural circuits.

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from Teaching: Leading Learning

What I know now about how the brain works

What I know now about how the brain works. Cognitive science – how the brain works – is quite important to teaching and learning. So why is it that it’s only been in the last three years of my career (which started in 1996) that I’ve learned anything about it? I am certainly not an expert. My science qualifications go up to GCSE level. You would think that a postgraduate certificate in education would include something on the functioning of the organ that the job is primarily concerned…

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Lecture 3 Slide 8 This is the final version of my animation, entitled Chemical Synapses. Enjoy! This animation was created using 3DS Max, ZBrush, CrazyBump, Adobe After Effect...

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The word synapse comes from synaptein which Sir Charles Scott Sherrington and colleagues coined from the Greek syn- (together) and haptein (to clasp). In the nervous system a synapse is a structure that permits a neuron to pass an electrical or chemical signal to another cell (neural or otherwise). Synapses are essential to neuronal function: neurons are cells that are specialized to pass signals to individual target cells and synapses are the means by which they do so. There are two…