Animal Behavior: Instinct Neuroethology Neural Mechanisms Figure %: Generalized Nerve Cell Animals receive information from their environment via networks of neurons or nerve cells, which transmit information to each other. The general structure of these cells is shown in . A chemical signal is picked up by receptors on the dendrites and passed through the cell body and down the axon as an electrical signal. When the signal reaches an axon terminal, it must pass over the space, called a synapse, between the axon terminal and the next neuron's dendrites. The axon terminal releases a neurotransmitter chemical which travels across the synapse and delivers the signals to the next set of dendrites to trigger the next neuron, a process commonly called "firing". Individual neurons can communicate only a limited amount of information because each cell can only fire or not fire, much like a light switch can only be on or off. But a group of neurons may
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