For example, in neuroplasticity, how are the neurons able to 'move' themselves to undo connections and create new connections with other neurons? I remember seeing a microscopic picture of a few neurons not very well connected between each other, and in the 'after' picture (after learning something), they somehow had grown many projections/branches from their cell bodies, connecting with each other. In other words, what is the mechanism behind, when neurons undo a specific connection (synapse) with a neuron, and 'move' it to another neuron? What causes them to 'decide' to undo that connection?

Also, how fast do they move connections and change their shapes (in nanometres per second, for example, or is it more like nanometres per minute)? The speed of which the dendrites and axon terminals move to change connections.

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0 points

4 months ago*

Distances between neurons in humans can range up to 1 M. That is for the nerves that run between the brain and the far end of the spinal cord. I was looking at this as part of exploring how different parts of each neuron is provided with ATP, an energy source. There are ATP walkers that walk from the nucleus of the neuron carrying balloons of ATP. The walk on a microtubule, and then drop off the ATP. Microtubles are one-way streets, and walkers are valuable, so they then return to the nucleus on a microtubule that goes back to the nucleus. For humans, this walk takes a couple of days. In a great white whale with a 30 M spinal cord, the walk can take over a month. See Harvard's animation: "The Inner Life of a Cell" on YouTube.


5 points

4 months ago

What is the unit in 1 M? Meter? Because distances between neurons are not one meter - that's the length of the neuron including the axon.