Learn about the basic physiology and functions of the brain
Cells of the nervous system
The brain and nervous system are made of nerve cells called neurons. Neurons send electrochemical signals to one another, forming the basis of the brain’s complex, essential functions: to form memories and thoughts, to produce actions, and to interpret the world around us. The brain contains approximately 86 billion neurons. But neurons don’t work alone. In fact, there are as many non-neuronal cells, called glia, in the brain as there are neurons, if not more.
The brain is a remarkably adaptive organ. Neurons and the connections between them are continually changing, which allow us to acquire new skills, retain memories, and recover from brain injury. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain and nervous system’s ability to re-model in response to new information. Being plastic, the brain can change as a result of behaviour, emotions, external stimuli and injury.
- What is synaptic plasticity?
- Long-term synaptic plasticity
- How do scientists study synaptic plasticity and learning?
Memory is what makes us who we are—it is the process by which we store and recall experiences, facts, and information. How does memory work? How does the brain store memories, and where is the information stored? Learn more about the neuroscience behind memory.