Essay: Synaptic Communication This Report Will Cover

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Synaptic Communication

This report will cover the principles of synaptic communication of neurons throughout one's life and how that communication governs and influences communications with people and leads to certain behaviors. About four sources will be used to cover these topics. Some will cover neurons specifically while others will cover behavior.

Synapse Communication & Development

One major building block that neurons need to function and develop occurs during the initial formation of neurons. One such building block is the NMDA receptor, as referred to and studied by McAllister in 2007. The majority of mature glutamatergic synapses are in the neurons of the cortex on dendritic spines. The development and changes of these synapses occur both in utero and in vivo, with the latter referring to the time spent in the womb of the mother before birth (NIH, 2013).

For experiences and daily events to shape the form and function of synapses, there must be a processing of thousands of synaptic inputs and they must be translated into the appropriate changes in function. In short, if an impetus for change if fleeting dn by no means permanent, the chances that real and lasting change will result with the neurons and synapses is exceedingly unlikely (NIH, 2013).

One example of how synapses communication is through bidirectional communication between the synapse and the nucleus. This process regulates neuronal development and plasticity. The exact same process can be used to increase calcium levels in the post-synaptic cell. Calcium's role in biochemical transduction of sigans from the synapse to the nucleus is well-known in the scientific community (NIH, 2013)

To take the subject of neuron/synapse communication a bit further, a different site cites the use of the word "nerve" when discussion communication and that is deemed to be fitting given that nerves hold a vital role that involves a lot of communication. Neurons communicate over long distances by sending a series of signals call nerve impulses through a framework called the axons. These axons make up the tract of the nerve and serve as the conduit of the communication (IntroPsych, 2013).

The output from each axon arrives at an area call the synapse, as discussed above. At the point of the synapse, the neurons are separated by a tiny gap call the synaptic cleft. When a nerve impulse reaches the axon, a single neuron may send impulses or signals to thousands of other neurons. The dendrites and/or cell body of a single synapse or cell body (the axon of those points, usually) will possible receive the signal from the synapses and then react accordingly (IntroPsych, 2013).

When transmitters flow across a chemical synapse, there is one of two effects that will manifest itself. The first is that it will get excited and this will cause the neuron to possible fire off a signal of its own in sort of a cascading effect across the neurons and synapses. The other effect to have it inhibited by the signal it's receiving. Either way, the reactions from neuron's to neurons and synapses to synapse might be entirely different at the same time (IntroPsych, 2013).

For example if someone is in a crowded restaurant and that person sees a face they know, some synapses and neurons will be focus on the recognition of that face while other neurons may be focusing on a smell that is prevalent in the restaurant while other neurons may be focusing on temperature in the room perhaps being a bit too stuffy or too cold.

Synapses Affecting Behavior

As one can imagine, these synapse/neuron reactions can guide and influence behavior and that indeed happens every day. As noted before, whether an influence takes hold often relies on how long the influence is present and to what degree the synapses react and fire as a result given the stimuli. To measure this phenomena and how long it truly takes for real change to occur, scientists have often look at… [END OF PREVIEW]

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