The brain receives information from the ear in a surprisingly orderly fashion, according to a University at Buffalo study scheduled to appear June 6 in the Journal of Neuroscience. The research focuses on a section of the brain called the cochlear nucleus, the first way-station in the brain for information coming from the ear. In particular, the study examined tiny biological structures called synapses that transmit signals from the auditory nerve to the cochlear nucleus.

The major finding: The synapses in question are not grouped randomly. Instead, like orchestra musicians sitting in their own sections, the synapses are bundled together by a key trait: plasticity. Read and learn more by following the link to this interesting article.