Roundup

How Neurons Communicate

  • Published23 Aug 2019
  • Reviewed23 Aug 2019
  • Author Hannah Zuckerman
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN

If your body was a spaceship, your brain would be the command center. The neurons in your brain relay messages throughout your body, powering thought into action using both electrical and chemical signals.

If the ship takes damage, such as when you stub your toe, neurons jump into action. Electrical signals called action potentials zoom down sensory neurons and trigger a volley of chemical messages. After crossing the synapse — the gap between neurons — the chemical messages set off action potentials in the next neurons, conveying the message onward. This is how your brain keeps the ship sailing along, and prompts you to grab some ice for your toe.

Click on the targets in the image to explore how neurons communicate.

iStock.com/Victor Metelskiy

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BrainFacts/SfN