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Peer Review Vs. Popular Press Article: Synapses In The Brain<Tab/> Includes References

1140 words - 5 pages

This paper will compare and contrast two articles that discuss synapses in the brain. The first article I will summarize is from a popular press that briefly describes synaptic organizing molecules that could eventually yield to new brain therapies. The second is from a peer review that will detail the synapse and their function. Additionally, I will examine each article and state the methods used, research conducted, and conclusions reached.The first article is from a popular press. Popular press articles are about a scientific topic that summarizes a journal article about specific scientific experiments that was written by the scientists that performed the experiments. The article is easy to read and with less technical language which is typically used in journal articles.The popular press article summarized pertains to researchers that have found a family of molecules that play a key role in the formation of synapses, the connection that links brain cells, called neurons, to each other. The molecules initiate the development of these connections, forming the circuitry of the nervous system. Therefore, synapses are the key connections between cells in the brain. According to Dr. Nora Volkow, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director, "We know that drugs alter these connections, and that the developing brain is vulnerable to addictive drugs and the disruption of normal communication". The elements that direct synapse formation may offer a therapeutic option for people fighting drug addiction or other neurological conditions (Pearson, 2005).The second article is from a peer review. The difference in the peer review from the popular press is that the author's peers read a paper submitted for publication that a number of recognized researchers in the field would evaluate the manuscript and recommend, revise or reject the publication. Therefore, articles accepted for publication through a peer review process meet certain standards of expertise.The peer review article details the synapse interactions between two cells that result in a transfer of information between a neuron and its target. Synapses which are specialized sites, communicate between neurons and their targets. The communication involves the processing of information of behavior and thought. During the development and remodeling of the synapses there involves a complex signaling between the neuron and its target (Montanaro and Carbonetto, 2001, p.1).The peer review article also highlights the importance of our environment in shaping the wiring of our brain. Focusing on the importance of visual and mechanical stimulation and its connection to the central nervous system (CNS); however, there is evidence of other sensory stimuli such as smell, as well as of sex-related hormones. More importantly, the article stresses the many parallels that exist between synapse elimination and synapse remodeling during learning and memory (Montanaro and Carbonetto, 2001, p. 10).While comparing and...

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