Neurons and synaptic transmission

  • Created by: __Jess
  • Created on: 02-12-22 15:17
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  • Neurons and synaptic transmission
    • Types of neurons
      • Motor neurons
        • Connects the CNS to effectors like muscles and glands.
      • Sensory neurons
        • Carry messages from the PNS to the CNS.
        • They have long dendrites and short axons
      • Relay neurons
        • Connect the sensory neurons to motor neurons or other relay neurons
        • They have short dendrites and short axons
    • Structure of a neuron
      • Cell body
        • Includes a nucleus, which contains the genetic material of the cell
        • Dendrites carry nerve impulses from neighbouring neurons to the cell body
        • Axon carries impulses away from the cell body down the length of the neuron
          • Covered by the myelin sheath which protects the axon and speeds up electrical transmission
            • Segmented by the nodes of ranvier, which speed up transmission by forcing the impulse to jump across gaps
          • Terminal buttons are at the end of the axon and communicate with the next neuron in the chain across the synapse
    • Process of synaptic transmission
      • Impulse travels down the axon of the presynaptic neuron
        • This causes vesicles to release neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft
          • Neurotransmitters diffuse across the synaptic cleft
            • The neurotransmitters bind with the receptor sites on the post-synaptic neuron
      • Summation
        • Some neurotransmitters make the postsynaptic neuron more likely to fire, some less likely
        • If the net effect is excitatory, neuron is more likely to fire. If inhibitory, neuron is less likely to fire.


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