Speed of Brain Signals Clocked

New Studies Illuminate Brain’s Complex Neurotransmission Machinery

Two studies featuring research from Weill Cornell Medical College have uncovered surprising details about the complex process that leads to the flow of neurotransmitters between brain neurons — a dance of chemical messages so delicate that missteps often lead to neurological dysfunction.

A recent Nature Neuroscience study led by Dr. Timothy Ryan, professor of biochemistry at Weill Cornell Medical College, demonstrates that individual neurons somehow control the speed by which they recycle synaptic vesicles that store neurotransmitters before they are released. No one had expected that neurons would have such a powerful "gas pedal," says Dr. Ryan.

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Artist’s rendering of neurons. Researchers have uncovered surprising details about the complex process that leads to the flow of neurotransmitters between brain neurons — a dance of chemical messages so delicate that missteps often lead to neurological dysfunction. (Credit: © nobeastsofierce / Fotolia)

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