# What does "excitatory" mean when used in relation to responses caused by synapses?

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nobitha Share
Dec 8, 2017

Nervous system consists two types of synapses viz, chemical and electrical, on the basis of their nature.

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1. in electrical synapses the synapti cleft is short (0.2nm) so that the action potential generated from the presynaptic knob can pass directly to the post synaptic membrane.
2. In chemical synapses the cleft is 10-20nm wide. Presynaptic knobs have numerous vesicles containing neurotransmitters.

Chemical synapses further, are of two types,excitatory and inhibitory.

In excitatory synapses, neurotransmitters open $N {a}^{+}$ channels of post synaptic cell for transmission of impulse.
In inhibitory synapses they cause more negative charge inside the cell than resting potential.
Excitability is the ability to respond to a stimulus and enter into active state. It is due to the presence of polarized membranes with potential differences on two surfaces.

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Dec 10, 2017

Excitatory synapse means nerve impulse from presynaptic neuron jumps successfully to postsynaptic neuron through this synapse.

#### Explanation:

Neurotransmitters working at chemical synapse could be 'excitatory' or 'inhibitory'.

In this kind of sinus:

• impulse reaches presynaptic neuron's axon terminal
• Ca ions flow inside the synaptic knob from outside
• secretory vesicles containing neurotransmitters burst
• neurotransmitters are released in synaptic cleft
• neurotransmitter molecules attach to specific receptors present on postsynaptic membrane

In case of excitatory synapse, now Na channels will open up in the postsynaptic membrane. Flooding of inside of nerve cell by positive ions will generate a new action potential in the postsynaptic neuron. Thus nerve impulse continues to travel in postsynaptic neuron.

(On the other hand, in case of inhibitory synapse, Cl ions will enter the cell or potassium ions will flow out of the cell in response to binding of neurotransmitter. This prevents development of action potential in postsynaptic neuron.)

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