The synapse

Diffusion of Neurotransmitters Across the Synaptic Cleft The neurotransmitter molecules then diffuse across the synaptic cleft where they can bind with receptor sites on the postsynaptic ending to influence the electrical response in the postsynaptic neuron.

Neurotransmitters may excite the neuron they bind to or inhibit it. The membrane of a postsynaptic fibre has many different kinds of receptors, and some presynaptic terminals release more than one type of neurotransmitter.

The synapse, with its neurotransmitter, acts as a physiological valve, directing the conduction of nerve impulses in regular circuits and preventing random or chaotic stimulation of nerves.

Dendrites bring information to the cell body and axons take information away from the cell body.

synaptic transmission

Thank you,for signing up. These vesicles will then bind to the membrane of the presynaptic cell, releasing the neurotransmitters into the synapse. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. The chemical binding action alters the shape of the receptors, initiating a series of reactions that open channel-shaped protein molecules.

Where chemical synapses can be excitatory or inhibitory, electrical synapses are excitatory only. These receptors act much like a lock, while the neurotransmitters function much like keys.

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Neurotransmission