Psyc 4, Ch 4
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Steps in neronal Communication
1. Action Potential (Electrical) - generated with the cell body at the axon hillock
2. Chemical - the action potential ruptures the synaptic vesicles at the axon terminal and neurotransmitters spill out, cross the synaptic gap, and bind with receptors
3. Electrical - after neurons are locking into receptors, there is a flurry of activity in the post synaptic neuron; a week new electrical signal may be generated via ions
Most important: sodium, potasium, calcium, chloride
Polarized - in a resting state a neuron's interior has a slightly negative charge; outside the neuron has a slightly positive charge
Depolarized - ions flow in and out of neurons through inon gates, which are unlocked by receptors; when the firing threshold (critical number of positive ions) is reached, a new action potential is generated
Hyperpolarized - inhibitory neurons bind with receptors to stop the neuron from firing; negative ion flow in and positive ions flow out
When a neurotransmitter's work is done, it is released and returns to the synpatic gap; it must then be inactivated to prevent it from continuing its work
There are four methods...
Neurotransmitter drifts out of the gap where it can not longer activate neurons
Astrocytes mop-up the neurotrasmitters from the gap
The neurotransmitter is transported back to the axon terminal and:
- a. repackaged
- b. degraded by enzymes into its basic parts
- c. used to make new neurotrasmitters
Enzymes in the synpatic gap degrade the neurotrasmitter so it is no longer recognized by the receptor
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