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Neuron
a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system
dendrites
the branches of a neuron that receive and conduct impulses toward the cell body
axon
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons, muscles, or glands
myelin sheath
a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next.
action potential
the nerve impulse, which is a rapid change in electrical charge across the cell membrane
synapse
the gap between neurons
refractory period
the time after activation when a neuron repolarizes
neurotransmitters
chemicals that carry messages across synapses
Dopamine
Neurotransmitter: movement, learning, attention, emotion
Acetylcholine
Neurotransmitter: muscle action, learning, memory
Serotonin
Neurotransmitter: mood, hunger, sleep
Norepinephrine
Neurotransmitter: alertness, arousal
GABA
a major inhibitory neurotransmitter
glutamate
a major excitatory neurotransmitter involved in memory
resting potential
the state of a neuron before it is activated