Daily Archives: February 20, 2010

Front-loading and the Nervous System

A neuron is a very fascinating cell. It is a cell that is specialized to detect changes in the environment, translate that environmental information into the language of membrane potential changes (electrical signals), and engage in long-distance communication by transmitting such electric signals to distant targets in a body. The key to this transmission is the synapse, where the axon of one neuron uses exocytosis to release neurotransmitters that can diffuse and bind to receptors on the dendrite of an adjacent neuron.

In essence, the synapse is a ‘decision point’ for determining whether or not the signal will proceed. It is the synapse which confers immense plasticity and potential for control to the whole circuit.

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