Neurons_Neural_comm - Neural Communication I MAIN POINTS 1....

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Neural Communication I MAIN POINTS 1. Neurons send electrical signals down their axons. 2. Propagation of these signals involves the flow of ions across the membrane. Overview of Neural Communication 1. Neurons receive signals either in a chemical (i.e. neurotransmitter, or odor molecule) or physical form (e.g., touch on the skin, light entering the eye). 2. These signals initiate changes in membrane of the neuron that make electrical currents flow in and around the neuron. 3. The electrical currents act as signals within the neuron, affecting the membrane at sites far from the synapse. 4. The current flow is mediated by ionic currents carried by electrically charged atoms (ions) within the fluid inside and outside of neurons. 5. Long-distance signals (action potentials) can be generated in a region of the neuron that integrates the current coming in from many synapses (the axon hillock). 6. The action potential travels down the axon to its terminals causing the release of neurotransmitters at synapses. Electrical functioning of neurons The Actors Negatively charged ions Large negative ions (P-) Chlorine (Cl- as in sodium chloride) Positively charged ions Potassium (K+) Sodium (Na+) The Resting Potential RECORDING WITH ELECTRODES Record from axon -- record membrane potential = voltage What causes the negative resting potential? 1. Selective permeability of membrane: Allows K+ to move freely 2. Concentration gradient: Causes K+ to move out of cell 3. Electrical gradient: K+ stops moving when opposed by electric gradient 4. Active transport: Na+/K+ pump opposes leaks Balance between concentration and electrical gradient = -60 to -70 mV resting potential Forces Acting on the Membrane
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Neurons_Neural_comm - Neural Communication I MAIN POINTS 1....

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