Introduction to Neuron Communication

Explain the way neurons communicate

All functions performed by the nervous system—from a simple motor reflex to more advanced functions like making a memory or a decision—require neurons to communicate with one another. While humans use words and body language to communicate, neurons use electrical and chemical signals. Just like a person in a committee, one neuron usually receives and synthesizes messages from multiple other neurons before “making the decision” to send the message on to other neurons.

What You’ll Learn to Do

  • Describe the basis of the resting membrane potential
  • Explain the stages of an action potential and how action potentials are propagated
  • Explain the similarities and differences between chemical and electrical synapses
  • Describe the process of signal summation
  • Discuss the processes involved in synaptic plasticity

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include the following:

  • Resting Membrane Potential
  • Action Potential
  • Chemical and Electrical Synapses
  • Signal Summation
  • Synaptic Plasticity
  • Self Check: Neuron Communication


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