In the mammalian brain, each neuron may receive and extend 10,000 or more synapses, transmitting information that allows an individual to see, move, think, and remember. These structures and how they work are the topic of a new book edited by Morgan Sheng, Bernardo Sabatini, and Thomas Südhof called The Synapse.

“This book tries to capture in a single volume the recent progress and excitement across the breadth of synapse biology,” write the editors. “We have gathered numerous leaders in the study of synapses to write chapters that are both educational and cutting edge.”

Focusing on chemical synapses, the contributors describe the structures of the pre- and post-synaptic regions, trafficking mechanisms that transport vesicles, neurotransmitters and their receptors, and the formation and plasticity of synapses. They also discuss synaptic dysfunction in disorders such as autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Synapse will be valuable for neurobiologists, cell and developmental biologists, and anyone wishing to understand how the basic building blocks of the brain are put together and communicate. For more information about the book, click here.