Synapses mediate the communication between nerve cells in brain and are impaired in cognitive diseases, such as autism and schizophrenia. Synapses are formed by cell-adhesion molecules including neurexins, which in recent studies have been implicated in schizophrenia and autism. In the present project, the researchers continue their long-term investigation of how neurexins function at synapses and how impairments of their function lead to cognitive diseases. The research aims utilize a combination of mouse genetics, electrophysiology, biophysics, and protein chemistry to determine the general functions of different neurexin isoforms. Results from this project will not only provide insight into how neurons communicate, but also promote our understanding of how such communication becomes dysfunctional in autism and schizophrenia.