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Synapse molecular complexity and the plasticity-behaviour problem

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https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2398212818810685
Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain and Neuroscience Advances
Early online date15 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Nov 2018

Abstract

Synapses are the hallmark of brain complexity and have long been thought of as simple connectors between neurons. We are now in an era in which we
know the full complement of synapse proteins and this has created an existential crisis because the molecular complexity far exceeds the requirements
of most simple models of synaptic function. Studies of the organisation of proteome complexity and its evolution provide surprising new insights
that challenge existing dogma and promote the development of new theories about the origins and role of synapses in behaviour. The postsynaptic
proteome of excitatory synapses is a structure with high molecular complexity and sophisticated computational properties that is disrupted in over
130 brain diseases. A key goal of 21st-century neuroscience is to develop comprehensive molecular datasets on the brain and develop theories that
explain the molecular basis of behaviour.

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