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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…


Memories May Not Live in Neurons’ Synapses | The finding could mean recollections are more enduring than expected and disrupt plans for PTSD treatments [Neuroscience: Neuroscience Books:]


Synapse in Brain Deep inside the brain, a neuron prepares to transmit a signal to its target. To capture that expectant, fleeting moment with painstaking detail, science illustrator Graham Johnson based his elegant, highly accurate drawing on ultra-thin micrographs of sequential brain slices. The brain contains billions of neurons, whose network of chemical messages form the basis of all thought, movement and behavior. Johnson's illustration tells the story of one such millisecond signal.


Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers secreted by neurons that activate an adjacent cell. Neurotransmitters are secreted into a synaptic cleft, rather than into the bloodstream.


Morphology of a chemical synapse. (A) The presynaptic terminal and postsynaptic neuron are separated by a fluid-filled synaptic cleft. Note that the presynaptic terminal contains synaptic vesicles, which contain neurotransmitter and active zones. Receptors for the transmitter are located on the postsynaptic membrane. Different types of central nervous system synapses include (B) axodendritic synapse, (C) axosomatic synapse, and (D) axoaxonic synapse. (E) In a symmetrical synapse, the…