Section I

Neurons and Nerve Impulses

• Neurons are specialized cells that rapidly transmit information as electrical signals throughout the body.

• In a neuron at rest, the inside of the cell has a negative charge relative to the outside.

Vocabulary nervous system (p. 1005) neuron (p. 1005) dendrite (p. 1005)

action potential (p. 1005)

axon terminal (p. 1005)

• During an action potential, the polarity of the membrane is reversed briefly as Na+ ions diffuse into the neuron through voltage-gated channels.

• When an action potential reaches the presynaptic membrane, neurotransmitters are released into the synapse.

myelin sheath (p. 1005) synapse (p. 1005) neurotransmitter (p. 1005)

membrane potential (p. 1006) resting potential (p. 1007) refractory period (p. 1008)

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