Anatomy & Physiology Nervous #7

Question

Which structure is most important in neuron communication?

Answers

  1. Glia
    • Rationale:

      Glia (i.e., neuroglia) are non-neuronal cells in the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) that do not produce electrical impulses; therefore, they do not play a role in neuron communication. Glia form myelin, maintain homeostasis, and provide protection and support for neurons.

  2. Soma
    • Rationale:

      The soma is the cell body of a neuron that contains the nucleus and various other organelles. It does not play a direct role in neuron communication.

  3. Myelin
    • Rationale:

      Myelin is the fatty substance that covers and protects nerve cells. While myelin plays a role in the communication of neurons, it is not the most important structure of neuron communication.

  4. Synapse
    • Rationale:

      Neurons communicate with each other via electrical events, or action potentials, and chemical neurotransmitters. This communication occurs at the synapse, or the junction between two neurons.

Overview

Neurons communicate via an electrochemical process.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

A synapse is the junction between two nerve cells. It consists of a small gap and is responsible for the transmission of impulses (i.e., communication) between neurons. These impulses pass by diffusion of a neurotransmitter.

Test Taking Tip

“Most important” indicates that while more than one answer choice may play a role in neuron communication there is only one that is essential.

Video Rationale