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Neurotransmitters and Synapses

Neurotransmitters and Synapses

Author: Barbara Ludins

This lesson will define neurotransmitter, synapse, and receptor sites and explain their functions in neural impulses and types of neurotransmitters,

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Terms to Know

The most common neurotransmitter, which is used in movement in the peripheral nervous system and related to attention and memory in the brain.

Action Potential

The state in which a neuron reaches its Threshold of Excitation and fires, or sends an electrical impulse down the axon.


A special class of neurotransmitters that regulate the activity of neurons and systems in the brain.


Chemical messengers that allow neurons to communicate with other neurons across the synapse.

Receptor Sites

Areas on neurons that connect and respond to neurotransmitters.

Resting Potential

The state in which a neuron is not firing or sending a neural impulse and when there is a negative electrical charge inside the neuron.


The small space between the axon terminal of one neuron and the dendrites of other neurons.

Threshold of Excitation

The level or point at which a neuron fires, or a neural impulse is triggered.