The Brain, Neurons and Brain Chemistry
Chemical changes along the length of a neuron's cell membrane cause an electrical charge to move in one direction along the length of the cell's axon. Once the signal reaches the end of the axon, it is passed to the next nerve cell either electrically or by a chemical messenger that crosses the synaptic cleft between nerve cells.
Once the signal reaches the end of the axon (or axon terminal) of a neuron, it must move through the synaptic cleft to the next neuron. At the most common type of synapse, known as a chemical synapse, the impulse triggers the release of chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, from special pockets known as vesicles.
Keywords: axon | brain | cell membrane | chemical messenger | dendrite | neuron | neuron circuits | synapse | synaptic gap
- From the Brain Chemistry Teacher’s Guide activity, “Neural Network Signals.” Brain Chemistry Teacher’s Guide © Baylor College of Medicine (ISBN: 978-1-888997-45-3) was supported, in part, by funds from the National Institutes of Health, Science Education Partnership Award grant number R25RR13454, and the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Science Education Award, National Institute on Drug Abuse and NIH Office of the Director, grant number 5R25DA033006.
- Scanning electroni microscope image of a neural network. SEM courtesy of Paul De Koninck, PhD, Laval University.
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Funded by the following grant(s)
NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Science Education Award, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and NIH Office of the Director
The Learning Brain: Interactive Inquiry for Teachers and Students
Grant Number: 5R25DA033006
Filling the Gaps: K-6 Science/Health Education
Grant Number: 5R25RR013454