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Neural circuits are defined by the structure of axons and dendrites and the synapses that connect them.
 

Summary: Neural circuits are defined by the structure of axons
and dendrites and the synapses that connect them.
Axons route a neuron's output to diverse target regions,
which can span most of the brain. Individual dendrites
integrate inputs from several sources over hundreds of
micrometers. In the adult brain, circuit changes medi-
ated by structural plasticity, accompanied by synapse
formation and elimination, are thought to underlie
aspects of long-term memory formation1
. Given that in
most areas of the brain, including the cerebral cortex,
neurons are sparsely connected, structural plasticity
could provide a substantial boost in the memory stor-
age capacity, compared with plasticity due to changes
in synaptic strength alone2
. Structural rearrangements
over long distances allows more variability and there-
fore a larger number of potential circuits to be gener-
ated, implying a larger memory capacity per synapse.
Structural plasticity might also be involved in recovery

  

Source: Alford, Simon - Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine