03-19_conduct_transmit - BIOLOGY 325H Conduction and...

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BIOLOGY 325H Conduction and transmission of neural signals March 19, 2008 The nervous system of animals is an information-processing system. It acquires information about the surrounding environment through sensory systems, analyzes that sensory information to select an appropriate behavioral response, and both activates and coordinates the effector cells - typically muscles, both sometimes gland cells, pigment cells, etc . - that carry out the behavior. To perform this job effectively, the nervous system must have two basic features. First it must conduct information rapidly, and it does so by means of an electrical signal - the action potential - that can move through the body much faster than a chemical carried by blood flow. Second, it must be able to integrate different types of information and make decisions. This second feature depends upon the synapse, the specialized cell contact that allow neurons to communicate with one another or with their effector cells. Postsynaptic neurons simultaneously receive signals from numerous presynaptic cells, and whether or not they will convert those synaptic signals into their own action potential is the fundamental cellular decision that underlies the functioning of your brain. Learning goals 1. What defines a neuron as a sensory neuron? A motor neuron? An interneuron? What is the role of the Lateral Giant Interneurons in the crayfish's tail flip escape response? 2. Learn Sadava Fig. 44.10 in detail. What are the different phases of the action potential? What is the status (open vs. closed) of the following 3 types of ion channel during each phase: voltage-gated Na-channels, voltage-gated K-channels, and leak K-channels? 3. How does an action potential propagate itself along an axon? You should appreciate that
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03-19_conduct_transmit - BIOLOGY 325H Conduction and...

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