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In the Central Nervous System (CNS)

The Central Nervous System (CNS) is made up of the brain and the spinal chord, it receives information from the nervous system, where neurons are the building blocks of the CNS. [1]Many inputs from hundreds of other neurons are received by a single neuron which then can form synapses with many thousands of other cells. This type of neuronal transmission is known as convergence, where a small number of presynaptic neurons can affect a large number of postsynaptic neurons, forming branches called collateral axons. The following are examples of convergence where some will create an action potential and some won't. 

Type of Potentials 

Among these synapses on a single neuron, some get excited when others get inhibited. In the excitatory synapse, neurotransmitter is released which then causes a small depolarisation within the postsynaptic membrane, naming: excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP).

On the other hand, the neurotransmitter which is released from an inhibitory synapse causes a small hyperpolarization called: an Inhibitory Postsynaptic Potential (IPSP).

Process: When there is an electrical impules and the neurotransmitter binds the to the channel on the postsynaptic membrane, the channel opens.If sodium channels open, then Na+ enter the cell→ EPSP (positive), but if K+ or chloro channels open, then they will leave the cell→ IPSP (negative).


1. Cherry K. Structure and Function of the Central Nervous System [Internet]. Verywell Mind. 2018 [cited 6 December 2018]. Available from: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-central-nervous-system-2794981

2. Dharani K. Molecular-Grid Model. The Biology of Thought [Internet]. 2015 [cited 6 December 2018];:123-142. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128009000000075

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