A Brain Chemical Helps Neurons Know When to Start a Movement

By washing through the brain, neuromodulators “allow you to govern the excitability of a large region of the brain more or less in the same way or at the same time,” said Eve Marder, a neuroscientist at Brandeis University widely recognized for her pioneering studies on neuromodulators in the late 1980s. “You’re basically creating either a local brain wash or more extended brain wash that is changing the state of a lot of networks simultaneously.”

The powerful effects of neuromodulators mean that abnormal levels of these chemicals can lead to numerous human diseases and

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