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The word synapse comes from synaptein which Sir Charles Scott Sherrington and colleagues coined from the Greek syn- (together) and haptein (to clasp). In the nervous system a synapse is a structure that permits a neuron to pass an electrical or chemical signal to another cell (neural or otherwise). Synapses are essential to neuronal function: neurons are cells that are specialized to pass signals to individual target cells and synapses are the means by which they do so. There are two…

Chemical synapse. Chemical synapses are specialized junctions through which cells of the nervous system signal to one another and to non-neuronal cells such as muscles or glands. A chemical synapse between a motor neuron and a muscle cell is called a neuromuscular junction. Chemical synapses allow the neurons of the central nervous system to form interconnected neural circuits.

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Electrical Synapses Are Critical for Chemical Synapse Function - "New research greatly complicates plans to map the brain... The very significant inhibitory neurons, critical for cognition, are prominent users of electrical synapses. But, even more important is that it now appears that both types of synapses are necessary for the function of either." Gap Junction - Electrical Synapse

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Lecture 3 Slide 8 This is the final version of my animation, entitled Chemical Synapses. Enjoy! This animation was created using 3DS Max, ZBrush, CrazyBump, Adobe After Effect...

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