Trillions of stringy neurons meet up in our brains, passing signals through junctions called synapses. Sometimes, though, these signals need fine-tuning. Inhibitory neurons (highlighted as red, green and blue dots in this mouse brain) connect to synapses to block certain signals, vital to controlling information passing into and out from the brain. Here a technique called qBrain reveals three different types of inhibitory neurons are not spread evenly – the green cells, for example, occur more densely in sensory-motor areas of the brain, which control how we respond to the world. Other qBrain scans reveal that, although females generally have smaller brains, specific areas contain more inhibitory neurons, suggesting more sensitive control of signals associated with reproductive, social and parenting behaviours.
Written by John Ankers
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