- How brain messages are sent using neurons
- STEP 1: An electrical impulse is triggered from the cell of one neuron then travels down the axon to the end. The impulse is called action potential.
- STEP 2: When the impulse gets to the end of the axon, it releases a chemical (a neurotransmitter) that is found in the terminal buttons at the end of the axon.
- STEP 3: The neurotransmitter has to cross a gap (called a synapse or synaptic gap) to get to the dendrites of the next neuron to continue the message.
- STEP 4: The neurotransmitter released by the impulse, goes into the gap - where it could be taken up by the dendrites or lost.
- STEP 5: If the receptors at the dendrites of the next neuron are 'suitable' to receive the neurotransmitter that is in the gap, then the chemical gets picked up.
- STEP 6: The neurotransmitter sets off an electrical signal (by changing the chemical balance at the end of the receptor) and then it drops back into the synaptic gap where it can be taken back up again to be used.
- STEP 7: The change in chemical balance (from the receptors) triggers an electrical impulse from the cell body, which then travels down to the end of the axon.. (return to step 1)
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