10.6 - Structure and function of synapses

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A synapse is the point where the axon of one neurone connects with the dendrite of another/with the effector.


Functions of Synapses

Synapses transmit nerve impulses from one neurone to another. In doing so, they act as junctions, allowing:

  • a single impulse along a neurone to be transmitted to a number of different neurones at a synapse. This allows a single stimulus to create a number of simultaneous responses.
  • a number of different impulses combined at a synapse. This allows stimuli from different receptors to interact in order to produce a single response.

Features of synapses

  • The neurotransmitter is created only in the presynaptic neurone and not in the postsynaptic neurone.
  • The neurotransmitter is stored in synaptic vesicles and released into the synapse…


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