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Category: Biology Homework

Little Nero is a lost neurotransmitter who just found himself atop a receptor of the receiving dendrite and needs to get his charge to the neighboring neuron…i need detailed instructions to Little Nero so he is able to reach a successful action potential??

Saturday, July 24th, 2010


First some definitions:

A neuron is an electrically excitable cell that processes and transmits information by electrochemical signaling. On one end of the neuron are the dendrites (receiving end) and the other end is the transmitting end (axon terminal).

Synapse: One neuron connects to another neuron when the dendrite of one is connected to the axon terminal of the other. This connection is called a synapse.

Dendrites are the branched projections of a neuron that act to conduct the electrochemical stimulation received from other neural cells to the main part of the neuron from which the dendrites project. Dendrites form the main receiving part of neurons. Dendrites collect and funnel these signals to the soma and axon.

A neurotransmitter is a chemical that is released from a neuron.

Synaptic Cleft: The tiny space between two nerve cells across which the neurotransmitter diffuses

Receptor: Neurotransmitters cross the synapse where they may be accepted by the next neuron at a specialized site on a dendrite called a receptor.

Here are the detailed instructions for the “lost” neurotransmitter:

  • You are currently on the receptor of a dendrite
  • To get to the next neuron in the chain, you must travel the length of the neuron you are current on
  • Travel across the dendrite
  • Travel across the soma
  • Travel down the entire length of the axon
  • Travel across the axon terminal
  • At the synaptic cleft, bind with receptor sites on the neighboring neuron’s dendrite