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NeuroDynamix IIConcepts of Neurophysiology Illustrated by Computer Simulations$
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W. Otto Friesen and Jonathon Friesen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195371833

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371833.001.0001

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Electrophysiology of Neuronal Interactions

Electrophysiology of Neuronal Interactions

(p.104) I.6 Electrophysiology of Neuronal Interactions
NeuroDynamix II

W. Otto Friesen

Jonathon A. Friesen

Oxford University Press

Two aspects of electrophysiology are critical for the functioning of the nervous system — the properties of individual neurons and the properties of synaptic interactions. The cell doctrine, that animal tissues are constructed from individual cells, applies fully to neurons as well. Each neuron is an individual unit, separated from other neurons, but linked to them by special points of contact, the synapses, a term coined by Sherrington near the turn of the twentieth century. This chapter presents an introduction to the electrophysiology of neuronal interactions, including both chemical synapses and electrical junctions. The former are sites where unidirectional flow of information occurs, from the pre- to the postsynaptic neuron. Electrical junctions invariably lack amplification, but act as very fast, often bidirectional connections.

Keywords:   chemical synapse, electrical synapse, excitation, inhibition, summation, chemotonic interactions

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