PRE-synaptic neuron
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PRE-synaptic neuron. synapse (the “gap”). POST-synaptic neuron. pre-synaptic neuron. vesicle (bubble). neurotransmitter. axon terminal. synapse. receptor. post-synaptic neuron. 1. electrical signal moves down axon to axon terminal 2. vesicles move toward pre-synaptic membrane.

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synapse (the “gap”)

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PRE-synaptic neuron

synapse

(the “gap”)

POST-synaptic neuron


pre-synaptic neuron

vesicle (bubble)

neurotransmitter

axon terminal

synapse

receptor

post-synaptic neuron


1. electrical signal moves down axon to axon terminal

2. vesicles move toward pre-synaptic membrane


3. vesicle fuses with presynaptic membrane


this releases neurotransmitter molecules (purple balls) into the synapse


neurotransmitters cross the synapse

if they fall into a matching receptor, the postsynaptic neuron may fire


there can be different KINDS of neurotransmitters

acetylcholine

(uh-SEE-tul-KOL-een)

dopamine

(DOPE-uh-meen)

and different kinds of RECEPTORS


  • note there are receptors for both purple and orange neurotransmitters on the postsynaptic neuron

  • in reality there are about 60 different neurotransmitters and receptors

  • a neurotransmitter must fall into the proper receptor or else no signal will be sent

  • different parts of the brain have different concentrations of receptors and neurotransmitters


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