Diagram of Synapse Maturation Process (image) University of Michigan Health System Caption Two neighboring brain cells "talk" to one another by sending signals across a gap called a synapse. The more active the synapse during development, U-M researchers found, the more a protein called SIRP-alpha is cut loose from one cell, travels to the other, and helps stabilize the synapse for the future. Credit Umemori Lab, University of Michigan Usage Restrictions None Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.