Nerve cells communicate via chemical neurotransmitters stored in small containers, termed synaptic vesicles. Some of these cells are more ‘articulate’ than others as they can send more than one type of messenger. By which mechanism such multilingual communication takes place, however, remained a puzzle. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Multidisciplinary Sciences in Göttingen (Germany) have now determined the brain’s capacity to release distinct messengers at the same time. They showed that about a third of all vesicles in rodent brains can store and release distinct messengers.