Luz Benito
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neurons in the brain

Neurons in the brain Credit: Dr Jonathan Clarke. Pyramidal neurons forming a network in the brain. These are nerve cells from the cerebral cortex that have one large apical dendrite and several basal dendrites.

What do memories look like? USC scientists have developed a way to see where & how our memory is written. They engineered microscopic probes that light up synapses in a living neuron in real time by attaching fluorescent markers onto synaptic proteins — all without affecting the neuron’s ability to function. The fluorescent markers allow scientists to see live excitatory and inhibitory synapses for the first time and, importantly, how they change as new memories are formed.

This image shows a living neuron in culture: green dots indicate excitatory synapses; red dots indicate inhibitory synapses (Don Arnold)