The Synapse - The Synapse Asynapse,orsynapticcleft,isthegap

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The Synapse synapse,  or synaptic cleft, is the gap  that separates adjacent neurons or a  neuron and a muscle. Transmission of  an impulse across a synapse, from  presynaptic cell to postsynaptic cell, is  chemical. In chemical synapses, action  potentials are transferred across the  synapse by the diffusion of chemicals,  as follows: 1. Calcium (Ca 2+ ) gates open.  When an action potential  reaches the end of an axon, the  depolarization of the membrane 
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causes gated channels to open  that allow Ca 2+  to enter. 2. Synaptic vesicles release a  neurotransmitter. The influx of  Ca 2+  into the terminal end of the  axon causes synaptic vesicles to  merge with the presynaptic  membrane, releasing a  neurotransmitter into the synaptic  cleft. 3. The neurotransmitter binds  with postsynaptic receptors. The  neurotransmitter diffuses across  the synaptic cleft and binds with  specialized protein receptors on 
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the postsynaptic membrane. 
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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The Synapse - The Synapse Asynapse,orsynapticcleft,isthegap

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