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Neural Communication: The Neural Impulse. Module 7: Neural and Hormonal Systems. Action Potential. A brief electrical charge that travels down the axon of the neuron. A neural impulse Considered an “on” condition of the neuron. Refractory Period.

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neural communication the neural impulse

Neural Communication: The Neural Impulse

Module 7: Neural and Hormonal Systems

action potential
Action Potential
  • A brief electrical charge that travels down the axon of the neuron.
  • A neural impulse
  • Considered an “on” condition of the neuron
refractory period
Refractory Period
  • The “recharging phase” when a neuron, after firing, cannot generate another action potential
  • Once the refractory period is complete the neuron can fire again
resting potential
Resting Potential
  • The state of a neuron when it is at rest and capable of generating an action potential
  • The neuron is set and ready to fire
all or none principle
All-or-None Principle
  • The principle that if a neuron fires it will always fire at the same intensity
  • All action potentials are of the same strength.
  • A neuron does NOT fire at 30%, 45% or 90% but at 100% each time it fires.
communication between neurons

Communication Between Neurons

Module 7: Neural and Hormonal Systems

synapse
Synapse
  • The tiny, fluid filled gap between the axon terminal of one neuron and the dendrite of another neuron
  • The action potential cannot jump the gap
neurotransmitters
Neurotransmitters
  • A chemical messenger that travels across the synapse from one neuron to the next
  • Can influence whether the second neuron will generate an action potential or not
receptor cells
Receptor Cells
  • Specialized cells in the sensory systems of the body that can turn other kinds of energy into action potentials that the nervous system can process
  • Receptor cells in the eye turn light into a neural impulse the brain understands.
excitatory effect
Excitatory Effect
  • A neurotransmitter effect that makes it more likely that the receiving neuron will generate an action potential (impulse)
  • The second neuron is more likely to fire.
inhibitory effect
Inhibitory Effect
  • A neurotransmitter effect that makes it less likely that the receiving neuron will generate an action potential (impulse)
  • The second neuron is less likely to fire.