An electrical nerve impulse travels along the first axon.
When the nerve impulse reaches the dendrites at the end of the axon, chemical messengers called neurotransmitters are released.
These chemicals diffuse across the synapse (the gap between the two neurons).
How do neurotransmitters work as chemical messengers?
Neurotransmitters are endogenous chemicals that enable neurotransmission. They are a type of chemical messenger which transmits signals across a chemical synapse from one neuron (nerve cell) to another ‘target’ neuron, muscle cell, or gland cell.
Why are neurotransmitters referred to as chemical messengers?
Neurotransmitters are often referred to as the body’s chemical messengers. They are the molecules used by the nervous system to transmit messages between neurons, or from neurons to muscles. Whether a neurotransmitter is excitatory or inhibitory depends on the receptor it binds to.
How do messages travel across the gaps between neurons?
Messages travel along a single neuron as electrical impulses, but messages between neurons travel differently. The transfer of information from neuron to neuron takes place through the release of chemical substances into the space between the axon and the dendrites. Receptors receive and process the message.
What is the process called where the sending neuron takes in neurotransmitters?
neurotransmitters in the synapse are reabsorbed into the sending neurons through the process of reuptake. This process applies to the brakes on neurotransmitter action. The sending neuron normally reabsorbs excess neurotransmitter molecules, a process called reuptake.