Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses
Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Micheva, K. D. 2010. Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Chemical synapses—that is, synapses that use a chemical neurotransmitter to transfer information from one neuron to another—can be excitatory or inhibitory, depending on their effect on the postsynaptic neuron. Synapses releasing a neurotransmitter that brings the membrane potential of the postsynaptic neuron toward the threshold for generating action potentials are said to be excitatory. Alternatively, inhibitory synapses drive the membrane potential of the postsynaptic neuron away from the threshold for generating action potentials.
- long-term potentiation;
- synaptic competition