Neurons, Synapses, Action Potentials, and Neurotransmission
Robert Stufflebeam: Author, Artist & Animator
This module is an introduction to the structure and function of neurons, how they generate action potentials, and how they "communicate" with other neurons (neurotransmission) via synapses. This module includes flash animations illustrating the difference between electric synapses and chemical synapses, conduction, electrical neurotransmission, and "classic" chemical neurotransmission.
An introduction to the structure and function of neurons, as well as how neurons communicate both electrically and chemically.
An animation illustrating how an action potential is generated.
An animation illustrating the difference between electrical and chemical synapses.
An animation illustrating intercellular communication (or synaptic transmission) between two neurons via gap junctions.
An animation illustrating intercellular communication (or synaptic transmission) between two neurons at chemical synapses.
ADDITIONAL FLASH RESOURCES
An animation illustrating the difference between chemical neurotransmission and electrical neurotransmission.
Long-Term Potentiation (LTP) is the long-lasting enhancement in communication between two neurons that results from stimulating them simultaneously or in quick succession. This flash animation illustrates how the release of the neurotransmitter glutamate causes LTP in AMPA channels.
Neural synchrony is the simultaneous / synchronous oscillations of membrane potentials in a network of neurons connected with electrical synapses (gap junctions). It is considered by some theorists to be the neural correlate of consciousness.
This module was supported by National Science Foundation Grants #9981217 and #0127561.