When cells go quiet

Inside the brain, communication breakdown is a nervous breakdown

9:22am, June 23, 2008

For a nerve cell, it’s all about making connections and dropping the duds. Harvard neuroscientist Jeff Lichtman has been keeping an eye on nerve networking by observing how one neuron reacts when another grows silent. In a phone interview, he described the situation by analogy: “It’s like if I’m talking to you and you stop talking back to me. After a while I’ll hang up and walk away.”

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