Communication Between Nerve Cells

Silvia Helena Cardoso, PhD

De repente, a parte superior da massa cinzenta, que há momentos jazia perfeitamente inerte, começa a ser iluminada por pequenos pontos de luz que produzem pulsos viajando em todas as direções.

Charles Sherriton, neurobiologist, "Man on His Nature"---, 1951

Estar surpreso, maravilhar-se, é começar a entender
José Ortega Y. Gaccet, spanish philosopher

The Neuron The Neurotransmitters The Receptors

All stimuli of our environment causing sensations such as pain and hot, all feelings, thoughts, programming of motor and emotional responses, neural bases of learning and memory, actions of psychoactive drugs, causes of mental disorders, and any other action or sensation of the human being cannot be understanding without the knowledge of the fascinating process of communication between neurons.

Neurons differ from other cells in that they are able to produce a nerve impulse or action potential. A nerve impulse is the transmission of a coded signal from a given stimulus, along the membrane of the neuron from the point that it was stimulated. A neuron is activated by other in a continuous fashion, and transmitts information to other neurons or muscles. Two types of phenomena are involved in processing of nerve impulse: electrical and chemical. Electrical events propagate a signal within a neuron, and chemical processes transmit the signal from one neuron to another neuron or to a muscle cell. On its journey to the brain, a nerve impulse must pass from one neuron to the next by crossing a contact point known as a synapse.

In the next pages, are going to understanding the two phenomena involved in the communication between nerve cells:

Electrical Transmission

Chemical Transmission

See also:

The Basic Propierties of the Neuron

What Are Neurotransmitters