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How does a nerve impulse travel along a neuron?

Answer

The dendrites, or "tentacles," of a neuron pick up an electrical nerve impulse and conduct it toward the soma, or cell body. The nerve impulse travels through the soma and is then conducted down a threadlike fiber called the axon. At the end of the axon, the impulse travels over a gap called a synapse to reach the dendrites of the next cell.

When a neuron is at rest, it is in a state of polarization. There is an excess of sodium (Na+) ions outside of the cell membrane that create a positive charge. Similarly, there is an excess of potassium (K+) ions inside the cell along with negatively charged molecules that produce a negative charge inside the cell membrane.

When a neuron is stimulated, either from direct sensory input or another neuron, ion channels in the cell membrane open, and sodium ions rush in. The inside of the cell becomes positively charged, the cell depolarizes and an action potential is created that transmits the stimulus down the axon.

At the end of the axon, the nerve impulse reaches the synapse. Neurotransmitters are then released to carry the nerve impulse across the synapse to the dendrites of the next neuron.

Q&A Related to "How does a nerve impulse travel along a neuron..."
At the end of an axon of a neuron (the long part of the nerve going to a dendrite of another neuron), there is a small gap between the axon and the dendrite. This gap is called a
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How+Neurons+Travel
The cell membrane is negative just inside the cell. The cell is said to be polarized. The membrane stores energy by holding these opposite charges apart. Positive outside and negative
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=201012...
partly depends if it is myelinated or not... what did you have in mind?
http://www.biology-online.org/biology-forum/about1...
The long, cylindrical section of the neurone along which the impulse passes is known as the axon . This membrane of the axon does not conduct electricity and is normally impervious
http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/atropine/pharmac.ht...
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In order for a nerve impulse to cross a nerve synapse, chemicals known as neurotransmitters carry it between the neurones. These chemicals are made by the cell ...
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