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General Overview of Nervous System parts and How Signals Are Transmitted

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McGill University
Biology (Sci)
BIOL 111
Andrew Hendry

Specialization of Neurons • Bushy dendrites collect info from many other cells (cerebellum: Purjinke cell) • Neurons with fewer dendrites process few inputs (retina: bipolar cells) • Cerebral cortex (pyramidal cell): loooong axon for communication and branch over large area Parts of Nervous System • Neurons: generate + transmit electrical signals • Glial cells (more numerous): – Blood brain barrier: astrocytes – Fight infections – Insulation – Provide nutrients and O2 – Regulate extracell enviro – Modulate info transmission • Glial cells in PNS: Schwann cells produce myelin • Faster transmission b/c signals jump from nodes of ranviers Neurons work ELECTROCHEMICALLY • Animal cells: more K+ inside and Na+ extracell • Individually, cell inside and outside neutral • MEMBRANE POTENTIAL: electrical charge diff b/c K+ leak channel makes extracell relatively +ve, inside -ve until chem + electric balance  resting potential • Maintaining Concentration Gradients • ion transporters + channels produce membrane pots • Na+/K+ pump: use ATP to move 3 Na+ out for 2 K+ in – Maintain concentration grads (more K+ in, Na+ out) • Ion selecti
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