What Are The Benefits Of Synapses?


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Kath Senior Profile
Kath Senior answered
Nerve cells are long, but they are not continuous. Different nerve cells meet at gaps called synapses. The electrical signals are transferred between nerve cells at synapses by chemicals that diffuse across the gap. This type of chemical transfer of the signal is much slower but synapses are something that we really cannot do without.

One benefit of having synapses is that we can respond to the same stimulus in more than one way – our responses can be moderated rather than being fixed. For example, when you are out riding your bike, you may go over rough ground and be about to fall onto the pavement. If you take one action, you will fall, if you take another and swerve the bike, you may stay on the bike but the car behind you may hit you. Either choice is difficult, but your brain decides that it is better to just fall off the bike than be run over, so you fall off.

Synapses allow this sort of decision making and the billions of synapses in the brain are what makes it possible for human behaviour and reasoning to be so complex.

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