There are about 100 billion nerve cells in the human brain. On average each of these cells communicates directly with 1000 others using special molecules called neurotransmitters. There are at least 300 known neurotransmitters which are released at nerve endings (synapses) and travel short distances to attach themselves to other neurons at specific receiving sites called receptors. There are hundreds of different types of receptors, and more are being discovered each day. Once neurotransmitter attaches itself to a receptor on another neuron, it induces that cell to make a response. Many sets of communicating neurons make up our neural circuitry.
The Human Brain Project evolved from the concept of a National Neural Circuitry Database and is now entering it's second decade. In the long term, the Human Brain Project will provide more than just a sophisticated array of information technologies to help scientists understand how various aspects of brain function fit together. It will also make available to researchers powerful models of neural functions, and facilitate the development of highly targeted treatments for each individuals needs.
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