The function of a neuron is to communicate or relay information to another cell by way of an electrical impulse. A synapse is the site at which the impulse is transmitted from one cell to the next. A neuron may terminate on a muscle cell, glandular cell, or another neuron. The discussion in this chapter will focus on neuron-to-neuron transmission. At these types of synapses, the presynaptic neuron transmits the impulse toward the synapse and the postsyn-aptic neuron transmits the impulse away from the synapse. Specifically, it is the axon terminal of the presynaptic neuron that comes into contact with the cell body or the dendrites of the postsynaptic neuron. Most neurons, particularly in the CNS, receive thousands of inputs. As will become evident, the transmission of the impulse at the synapse is unidirectional and the presynaptic neuron influences activity of the postsynaptic neuron only.

Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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