Neuron

Topics: Neuron, Action potential, Nervous system Pages: 3 (1119 words) Published: September 15, 2013
#1. Explain how an impulse travels down a neuron. How does that impulse get from one neuron to another? Describe how caffeine affects neurotransmitters.  A nerve cell or a neuron is the core component of the nervous system. They send and receive messages and impulses throughout the body. These messages allow us to remember, learn, move, and perceive our surroundings. Impulses travel down a neuron and then from one neuron to another all throughout the body. In order for an impulse to make it to other regions of the body, the signal has to be timed properly and strong enough in order to be turned into action potentials. A stimulus is what generates a nerve signal and can be caused by a chemical signal from another neuron, sound, touching a hot surface, ext. These signals are received at the flared end of the neuron called a dendrite. Here, the neuron processes chemical signals from other nerve cells. Once processed as strong enough to be action potentials they move to the axon (cell body) and continue on through the neuron. It then travels through the neurons supporting cells, the myelin sheath. Finally the impulse ends at the synaptic terminals, the little branches at the end of an axon that allow the impulse to be sent to their destination.

Once the impulse arrives at the end of one neuron it needs to be moved to the receiving cell whether that is another neuron or an effector cell. First the action potential arrives at the end of the neuron at the synapse. The impulse opens pores in the axon terminal to allow CA ions to enter. This causes small pockets of neurotransmitter chemicals to move to the cell membrane and fuse to it. This releases the contents (the neurotransmitter into the synaptic cleft, and allows it to attach to the dendrite of the next neuron.

Many drugs affect neurotransmitters and their actions. Nicotine, Tranquilizers, cocaine, and even caffeine can affect their behavior. Caffeine is fat soluble is it passes easily through all cell...
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