FRANCIS LEROY & SEMPOT AMAURY, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY & SEMPOT AMAURY, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Signal summation, animation. Every nerve cell, or neuron, connects with thousands of other neurons, often receiving multiple impulses from them. Sometimes, a single impulse from one neuron is enough to induce an impulse in the other. However, it is often the case that one neuron will need to receive several impulses from other neurons before it is sufficiently stimulated to fire off its own impulse. Summation, either spatial or temporal, is the addition of these impulses in a neuron. Spatial summation occurs when simultaneous impulses received at different places on a neuron add up to make it fire. Temporal summation occurs when impulses received at the same place on a neuron add up over time. For a labelled version of this animation, see K004/2028.
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