Never Mind The Neurological Elephant In the Corner…

By Carl Zimmer | August 19, 2009 11:21 am

From time to time, I’ve asked around for a good estimate of how many neurons are in the human brain. Ten billion–100 billion–something like that, is the typical answer I get. But there are actually a trillion other cells in the brain. They’re known as glia, which is Latin for glue–which gives you an idea of how little scientists have thought of them. But without glia, our brains would be useless. Scientists don’t yet really understand all the things that glia do for us, but it looks as if they do a lot–perhaps even processing information in their own mysterious way.

In my brain column in the September issue of Discover, I consider the long-neglected neurological elephant in the corner. Check it out.

[Image from Neurophysiology for the Audiologist]

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Brains, Writing Elsewhere
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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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