PSYA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Myelin, Saltatory Conduction, Functional Electrical Stimulation

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12 Aug 2016
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The resting and action potential neurons have a natural electric charge called a resting potential. Electric
stimulation causes an action potential.
The myelin sheath, which is made up of glial cells that coat and insulate the axon, facilitates the
transmission of the action potential
Myelin doesn’t cover the entire axon; rather, it clumps around the axon with little break points
between clumps, looking kind of like sausage links. These breakpoints are called the nodes of
Ranvier, after French pathologist Louis-Antoine Ranvier, who discovered them
When an electric current passes down the length of a myelinated axon, the charge seems to
“jump” from node to node rather than having to traverse the entire axon. This process is
called saltatory conduction, and it helps speed the flow of information down the axon.
Myelin is formed by a type of glial cell, and it wraps around a neuron’s axon to speed the transmission of
the action potential along the length of the axon. Breaks in the myelin sheath are called the nodes of
Ranvier. The electric impulse jumps from node to node, thereby speeding the conduction of information
down the axon.
Chemical signalling – transmission between neurons
Terminal buttons knoblike structures that branch out from an axon
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