Shepherd, Gordon M. Yale University Medical School, New Haven, Connecticut.
Hanson, Phyllis I. Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.
- Electrical synapses
- Chemical synapses
- Neuromuscular junction
- Molecular mechanisms
- Central synapses
- Activity-dependent changes
- Drug actions
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The physiologic mechanisms by which one nerve cell (neuron) influences the activity of an anatomically adjacent neuron with which it is functionally coupled. Brain function depends on interactions of nerve cells with each other and with the gland cells and muscle cells they innervate. The interactions take place at specific sites of contact between cells known as synapses. The synapse is the smallest and most fundamental information-processing unit in the nervous system. By means of different patterns of synaptic connections between neurons, synaptic circuits are constructed during development to carry out the different functional operations of the nervous system. In order to understand nervous function, it is first necessary to understand the mechanism of transmission at a single synapse, and then the varieties of synapses out of which synaptic circuits are formed. See also: Neuron
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information