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Foundations of Neuroscience

Casey Henley,2021464


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The Neuron

Page 13-27

Neurons have dendrites that receive signals from other cells, a cell body (soma) containing organelles responsible for cellular functions, an axon transmitting electrical signals called action potentials to communicate with other cells, and myelin sheaths that increase signal speed. The length of an axon varies depending on its function, with sensory neurons having long axons and spinal interneurons having short ones. Axon diameter affects signal propagation speed, with larger diameters allowing faster transmission. Axons terminate at presynaptic terminals, where neurotransmitters are released to communicate with other cells through synapses.

Neurons consist of a cell body, dendrites, and an axon, with variations in structure depending on their location and function. Neurons can be unipolar, bipolar, or multipolar, each with different branching characteristics. Despite these variations, all neurons share the common features of the cell body, dendrites, and axon. The neuron's structure can vary based on its location and function. Ion movement is crucial for neuron function, with the phospholipid bilayer forming a barrier that prevents ion movement into and out of the neuron.

Ion Movement

Page 27-32

Ion movement in neurons is facilitated by ion channels embedded in the cell membrane. These channels open in various ways, such as spontaneously, in response to voltage changes, or upon chemical binding. Different channels can be specific to certain ions or allow the passage of multiple ions. Ion movement is driven by concentration and electrical gradients, with ions moving from areas of high concentration to low concentration. When these gradients balance, ions reach equilibrium, with no net movement across the membrane. The phospholipid bilayer restricts ion movement, while ion channels enable it. At equilibrium, ions continue to move through open channels without a net flow.