Can someone explain synaptic transmission in easy terms for me?

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SoftGingerCat
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I'm really struggling with biopsychology and I'm year 13 and still don't understand synaptic transmission. Could someone explain synaptic transmission in simple terms for me?
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SoftGingerCat
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My inbox says someone has replied to this but I can't see it on my laptop or my phone for some reason so sorry I've not replying, my tech stuff is messed up
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sammyj97
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I love this topic. I’ll do my best at explaining;

Imagine two neurones; lying horizontally next to each other.

Theres a small gap from where one neurone starts and the other finishes. This gap is called the synaptic cleft.

They aren’t connected so they need a way to communicate with each other.

This method of communication is called synaptic transmission.

The neurone which sends the communication is called the pre-synaptic neurone, and the one which receives the communication is called the post-synaptic neurone.

So... what exactly is the communication you might be wondering.

Well....

It’s done through a hormone called Acetylcholine. Imagine that Acetylcholine is a letter inside an envelope and the pre-synaptic neurone needs to send it to the post-synaptic neurone.

So, they package this Acetylcholine envelope inside a vesicle, to protect it.

When the pre-synaptic neurone is ready to “send” the acetylcholine envelop, it receives an action potential which starts the process. Think of the action potential abit like a “push”.

So the vesicles contained Acetylcholine gets released into the synaptic cleft. (The gap between the two neurones)

Then the acetylcholine gets out of the vesicles and binds to receptors on the post synaptic neurone. This carries the “push” action potential onto the post-synaptic neurone.

Eventually, the acetylcholine needs to get transported back. It can’t sit in the synaptic cleft forever, now can it?

So.... because it’s too big to go back by itself, it’s gets broken down into two blobs. Acetyl and choline.

These blobs go woosh and back they go into the first pre-synaptic neurone.

And then?

The process occurs all over.
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sammyj97
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Sorry if I waffled abit! Hope it makes sense
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cathasatail
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(Original post by SoftGingerCat)
I'm really struggling with biopsychology and I'm year 13 and still don't understand synaptic transmission. Could someone explain synaptic transmission in simple terms for me?
Hi!

In simple terms, it's a way of getting an electrical signal from one neuron to another (generally speaking, although neuromuscular junctions also exist which allow the transmission of a signal from a neuron to a muscle).

As the electrical signal passes down the 1st neuron and reaches the end (presynaptic terminal), the electrical signal is converted to a chemical signal. This is because the electrical signal (the depolarisation) triggers the opening of ion channels, which in turn trigger the release of a chemical (neurotransmitter) into the space between the two neurons (synaptic cleft).
These chemicals diffuse across the space, binds to receptors on the start of the 2nd neuron (postsynaptic terminal). This triggers the entry of ions into the 2nd neuron- generating an electrical signal which can then pass along the 2nd neuron to its eventual target.

I hope that helps a bit! If you want me to go into detail then just say, and I'll be more than happy to help
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SoftGingerCat
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(Original post by sammyj97)
I love this topic. I’ll do my best at explaining;

Imagine two neurones; lying horizontally next to each other.

Theres a small gap from where one neurone starts and the other finishes. This gap is called the synaptic cleft.

They aren’t connected so they need a way to communicate with each other.

This method of communication is called synaptic transmission.

The neurone which sends the communication is called the pre-synaptic neurone, and the one which receives the communication is called the post-synaptic neurone.

So... what exactly is the communication you might be wondering.

Well....

It’s done through a hormone called Acetylcholine. Imagine that Acetylcholine is a letter inside an envelope and the pre-synaptic neurone needs to send it to the post-synaptic neurone.

So, they package this Acetylcholine envelope inside a vesicle, to protect it.

When the pre-synaptic neurone is ready to “send” the acetylcholine envelop, it receives an action potential which starts the process. Think of the action potential abit like a “push”.

So the vesicles contained Acetylcholine gets released into the synaptic cleft. (The gap between the two neurones)

Then the acetylcholine gets out of the vesicles and binds to receptors on the post synaptic neurone. This carries the “push” action potential onto the post-synaptic neurone.

Eventually, the acetylcholine needs to get transported back. It can’t sit in the synaptic cleft forever, now can it?

So.... because it’s too big to go back by itself, it’s gets broken down into two blobs. Acetyl and choline.

These blobs go woosh and back they go into the first pre-synaptic neurone.

And then?

The process occurs all
No this makes alot more sense. I really like the metaphor of two neurons talking to each other, its really cute
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SoftGingerCat
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(Original post by cathasatail)
Hi!

In simple terms, it's a way of getting an electrical signal from one neuron to another (generally speaking, although neuromuscular junctions also exist which allow the transmission of a signal from a neuron to a muscle).

As the electrical signal passes down the 1st neuron and reaches the end (presynaptic terminal), the electrical signal is converted to a chemical signal. This is because the electrical signal (the depolarisation) triggers the opening of ion channels, which in turn trigger the release of a chemical (neurotransmitter) into the space between the two neurons (synaptic cleft).
These chemicals diffuse across the space, binds to receptors on the start of the 2nd neuron (postsynaptic terminal). This triggers the entry of ions into the 2nd neuron- generating an electrical signal which can then pass along the 2nd neuron to its eventual target.

I hope that helps a bit! If you want me to go into detail then just say, and I'll be more than happy to help
Okay so the electrical signal goes down neuron 1 towards the presynaptic terminal, changing from an electrical to a chemical signal which then diffuse across the synapse (?) and binds to the receptors on neuron 2's postsynaptic terminal, turning back into an electrical signal?
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SoftGingerCat
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Okay so an electrical signal goes down the presynaptic neuron towards the presynaptic terminal, changing from an electrical to a chemical signal. the hormone Acetylcholine is sent inside a vesicle given a push by action potential, diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to receptors at the postsynaptic terminal on the postsynaptic neuron. The Acetylcholine is then broken down into Acetyl and choline and go back to the presynaptic neuron. cathasatail and sammyj97 would this be right?
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sammyj97
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(Original post by SoftGingerCat)
Okay so an electrical signal goes down the presynaptic neuron towards the presynaptic terminal, changing from an electrical to a chemical signal. the hormone Acetylcholine is sent inside a vesicle given a push by action potential, diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to receptors at the postsynaptic terminal on the postsynaptic neuron. The Acetylcholine is then broken down into Acetyl and choline and go back to the presynaptic neuron. cathasatail and sammyj97 would this be right?

Yes that’s right! The acetylcholine gets transported back into the first neurone (pre-synaptic) but the action potential carries on going into the 2nd neuron (post synaptic).
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SoftGingerCat
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(Original post by sammyj97)
Yes that’s right! The acetylcholine gets transported back into the first neurone (pre-synaptic) but the action potential carries on going into the 2nd neuron (post synaptic).
Okay thank you so so so much!!!!!!
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