> synapse: spaces between neurons, or between neurons and effectors

> vesicles containing chemical neurotransmitters are located at the end of neuron axons

Electrical Signals:

> electrical impulses moving along the axon stimulate the release of neurotransmitters

Chemical Signals:

> neurotransmitters are released from the presynaptic neuron and diffuse across the synaptic cleft

> neurotransmitters reaching the postsynaptic neuron depolarize it’s dendrites

Acetyolcholine and Cholinesterase:


> is an excitatory neurotransmitter -> causes depolarization on the postsynaptic neuron by opening Na+ ion channels


> destroys acetylcholine free floating and bound to receptors in a synapse

> causes Na+ ion channels to close and repolarization to occur -> neuron can be depolarized again

> not all neurotransmitters may be excitatory, some may be inhibitory -> preventing depolarization

> inhibitory neurotransmitters open more K+ gates, making the inside of the neuron even more negative; hyperpolarized


> the effect produced by the accumulation of neurotransmitters from two or more neurons

Excitatory and Inhibitory Neurotransmitters:

> both are used by your body to coordinate complex bodily functions

Example: throwing a ball

> excitatory neurotransmitters contract your triceps and inhibitory neurotransmitters relax your bicep, this prevents both muscles from pull against each another

Example: listening to a biology lecture

> excitatory neurotransmitters focus the lecture skills (listening, writing, eye movement, etc)

> inhibitory neurotransmitters suppress non essential information (temperature, pressure from clothes, etc)

> both types of neurotransmitters allow your CNS to prioritize information

author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment