Our neurons are surrounded by a membrane that allows some ions to pass through and blocks the passage of other ions, such as a gate to a pool. This type of membrane is called semi-permeable or selectively permeable.
When a neuron is inactive, hanging out in our bodies not sending signals, it is called resting potential . There is a slightly negative charge inside the neuron, during resting potential because at rest, there are relatively more sodium ions outside the neuron and more potassium ions inside that neuron. We call this polarization.
When a neuron decides to communicate and go to work, it is called action potential (the process by which a neuron fires). During action potential, an electrical signal passes along the axon and causes a release of neurotransmitters (chemicals) that transmit signals to other neurons. A depolarizing current creates this explosion of electrical activity. This means that a stimulus caused the resting potential to fire an action potential. This is what we call threshold. If the neuron does not reach threshold, then no action potential will fire.
In addition, when the threshold level is reached, an action potential will always fire. There are no large or small action potentials in a neuron – all action potentials are the same size. Therefore, the neuron either fires an action potential or does not. This is the “all-or-none principle”.
Action potentials are caused by an exchange of ions across the neuron membrane. A stimulus first causes the sodium channels to open. Since there are many more sodium ions on the outside, sodium ions rush into the neuron. Remember, sodium has a positive charge, so the neuron becomes more positive for this brief moment and becomes depolarized. As this occurs, potassium channels open, and potassium rushes out of the cell, reversing the depolarization.
When the neuron fires, the depolarization of the cell membrane moves along the axon like a wave at a concert. When the next gates along the axon open, allowing positive sodium ions in, the previous gates close and begin to pump the positively charged sodium ions out of the axon and potassium ions back inside. As each section of the axon is depolarizing, the preceding section is going through the process of repolarization. This step is called the refractory periodand the axon cannot fire again until it returns to resting potential.
The entire process is like falling dominoes all the way down the axon except these dominoes can set themselves back up as soon as they fall over.
https://bluessay.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/logonew.png00developerhttps://bluessay.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/logonew.pngdeveloper2020-11-01 16:53:252020-11-01 16:53:25How do neurons communicate to one another?
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