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2 35-2 The Nervous System The nervous system controls and coordinates functions throughout the body and responds to internal and external stimuli. 2 of 38

3 Neurons Neurons The messages carried by the nervous system are electrical signals called impulses. The cells that transmit these impulses are called neurons. 3 of 38

4 Neurons Neurons are classified according to the direction in which an impulse travels. Sensory neurons carry impulses from the sense organs to the spinal cord and brain. Motor neurons carry impulses from the brain and spinal cord to muscles and glands. Interneurons connect sensory and motor neurons and carry impulses between them. 4 of 38

5 Neurons Structures of a Neuron Axon terminals Cell body Nucleus Dendrites Myelin sheath Nodes Axon 5 of 38

6 Neurons The largest part of a typical neuron is the cell body. It contains the nucleus and much of the cytoplasm. Cell body 6 of 38

7 Neurons Dendrites extend from the cell body and carry impulses from the environment toward the cell body. Dendrites 7 of 38

8 Neurons The axon is the long fiber that carries impulses away from the cell body. Axon terminals Axon 8 of 38

9 Neurons The axon ends in axon terminals. Axon terminals Axon 9 of 38

10 Neurons The axon is sometimes surrounded by an insulating membrane called the myelin sheath. There are gaps in the myelin sheath, called nodes, where the membrane is exposed. Impulses jump from one node to the next. Myelin sheath Nodes 10 of 38

11 The Nerve Impulse The Nerve Impulse The Resting Neuron When resting, the outside of the neuron has a net positive charge. The inside of the neuron has a net negative charge. The cell membrane is electrically charged because there is a difference in electrical charge between its outer and inner surfaces. 11 of 38

12 The Nerve Impulse The sodium-potassium pump in the nerve cell membrane pumps sodium (Na + ) ions out of the cell and potassium (K + ) ions into the cell by means of active transport. As a result, the inside of the cell contains more K + ions and fewer Na + ions than the outside. 12 of 38

13 The Nerve Impulse Sodium-Potassium Pump 13 of 38

14 The Nerve Impulse More K + ions leak across the membrane than Na + ions. This produces a negative charge on the inside and a positive charge on the outside. The electrical charge across the cell membrane of a neuron at rest is known as the resting potential. 14 of 38

15 The Nerve Impulse The Moving Impulse An impulse begins when a neuron is stimulated by another neuron or by the environment. 15 of 38

16 The Nerve Impulse At the leading edge of the impulse, gates in the sodium channels open allowing positively charged Na + ions to flow inside the cell membrane. 16 of 38

17 The Nerve Impulse The inside of the membrane temporarily becomes more positive than the outside, reversing the resting potential. 17 of 38

18 The Nerve Impulse This reversal of charges is called a nerve impulse, or an action potential. 18 of 38

19 The Nerve Impulse As the action potential passes, gates in the potassium channels open, allowing K + ions to flow out restoring the negative potential inside the axon. 19 of 38

20 The Nerve Impulse The impulse continues to move along the axon. An impulse at any point of the membrane causes an impulse at the next point along the membrane. 20 of 38

21 The Nerve Impulse Threshold A stimulus must be of adequate strength to cause a neuron to transmit an impulse. The minimum level of a stimulus that is required to activate a neuron is called the threshold. 21 of 38

22 The Nerve Impulse A stimulus that is stronger than the threshold produces an impulse. A stimulus that is weaker than the threshold produces no impulse. 22 of 38

23 The Synapse The Synapse At the end of the neuron, the impulse reaches an axon terminal. Usually the neuron makes contact with another cell at this site. The neuron may pass the impulse along to the second cell. The location at which a neuron can transfer an impulse to another cell is called a synapse. 23 of 38

24 The Synapse A Synapse 24 of 38

25 The Synapse The synaptic cleft separates the axon terminal from the dendrites of the adjacent cell. Synaptic cleft 25 of 38

26 The Synapse Terminals contain vesicles filled with neurotransmitters. Vesicle Neurotransmitters are chemicals used by a neuron to transmit an impulse across a synapse to another cell. Neurotransmitter 26 of 38

27 The Synapse As an impulse reaches a terminal, vesicles send neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft. These diffuse across the cleft and attach to membrane receptors on the next cell. Receptor 27 of 38

28 The Synapse Sodium ions then rush across the membrane, stimulating the next cell. If the stimulation exceeds the cell s threshold, a new impulse begins. 28 of 38

29 The Synapse Moments after binding to receptors, neurotransmitters are released from the cell surface. The neurotransmitters may then be broken down by enzymes, or taken up and recycled by the axon terminal. 29 of 38

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