From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Molecular and Cellular Biology (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of the WikiProject Molecular and Cellular Biology. To participate, visit the WikiProject for more information.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Neuroscience (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Neuroscience, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Neuroscience on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Biology  
WikiProject icon Neurotransmission is part of the WikiProject Biology, an effort to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to biology on Wikipedia.
Leave messages on the WikiProject talk page.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
Note icon
It is requested that a photograph or photographs be added to this article to improve its quality.

Page start[edit]

Neurotransmission was previously redirected to Chemical synapse, and I've changed it into an article of its own. I'm aware that there will be some overlap. However, neither in the article "Chemical synapse", nor in the discussion is a single word about neurotransmission. Users/readers not knowing anything yet about neurotransmission won't know more after having read Chemical synapse. So that's why I started this article.
I plan on expanding it, but it is already evening in Sweden and tomorrow I'll have to work as usual, so I won't write so much more tonight, the whole page will take a couple of days. Lova Falk 18:37, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

While I'm writing, I'm starting to doubt. Maybe there is too much overlap with chemical synapse? But one of the reasons I wanted to write an article about neurotransmission is that non-professionals (and Wikipedia should be readable for non-professionals) easily could get a couple of wrong ideas when reading "chemical synapse", for instance, that the site of "decision" about firing or not (summation) is at the synapse. From "chemical synapse" it's not so easy to understand either that a nerve impulse sometimes simply ends. So I wanted to make that clear in this article.
Please comment and state what you think about "neurotransmission" as an article! Lova Falk 19:07, 3 May 2007 (UTC)( Edited: Lova Falk 19:12, 3 May 2007 (UTC))

Some of the May 2007 Links in this article are outdated. I couldn't find references 3 or 4 (, retrieved May 2007 Retrieved May 2007) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:31, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

expanding this article[edit]

i added a much more detailed user freindly description of synaptic transmission and added a example of neuro impulses such as a heart beat, then some more links and a new reference. Roy Stanley (talk) 20:57, 13 January 2008 (UTC)


This section is sorely lacking in information. In fact, such a topic might warrant its own article. For now, I moved some relevant info from Dale's principle (now known to be false). I also removed the statement that cotransmission "...functions to multiply effect complexity manifold". This statement isn't too meaningful to the layman, mainly because it needlessly uses the word "manifold". Also, it implies that the purpose (i.e. function) of cotransmission is to multiply the complexity of effects - something that, in the strictest sense, can never be proven. A more accurate statement might be: "Cotransmission allows for more complex postsynaptic effects, and thus more complex communication between neurons." (In fact, I think I'll add that statement.) Fuzzform (talk) 23:44, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

According to Gordon Shepherd, Dale's principle is widely misunderstood. What Dale was trying to say (according to Shepherd; I haven't read Dale) is basically that a neuron does the same thing at all of its synapses, not necessarily that it only releases one transmitter. Anyway, I think your edits have improved this article -- please continue at will. Looie496 (talk) 01:26, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Can someone add the needs expansion tag? cause this page is really missing information —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:15, 17 February 2010 (UTC)


This section is far too vague in its ramifications, and far to specific in its machinery. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:47, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Well, yes, actually the whole page would benefit from expansion. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:33, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

How many input signals?[edit]

Question: When summing inputs, does anyone here know how many (or what percentage of) input signals are required to cause a neuron to fire and pass the signal on to other neurons?

Suggestions: If known, please extend the statement in the 3rd paragraph of the article to read something like, "Each neuron receives as many as 15,000 connections from other neurons, at least ____ of which must be stimulated before causing it to fire."

Put an example in the Summation section like the following to illustrate this amazing concept to non-professional readers. I'd do it, but I don't know what numbers to put into the blanks: "When you prick your finger with a pin, instead of the single signal that you might think is transmitted, as many as ____ nerves are stimulated to fire their axons and thus stimulate the dendrites of ____ more neurons, thus initiating a series of signals of the sensation. Only when more than ____ of the dendrites of one of the receiving neurons are stimulated will it fire its axon and pass the signal on to the neurons that it can reach. Before the signal of that single pin prick reaches your brain, up to ____ nerve cells may be involved. The number of neurons then involved in processing the signal inside your brain that causes you to say, "ouch," is incalculably large."

Discussion: I am not an expert and don't even know where to look for answers to this (the cite links 2,3,& 4 didn't work behind my ridiculously strong firewall, but I'm not going to delete them in case it's just me.) I also don't know if "stimulated" or "fire" are the right terms to use. LeeMost (talk) 20:24, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm sympathetic to the idea, but in practice it isn't so easy. Cerebellar Purkinje cells can be fired (several times) by a single input from a climbing fiber; hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells can be fired by two or three inputs from mossy fibers. A cortical pyramidal cell requires about 100 excitatory inputs to fire it in the absence of inhibition, but when inhibitory interneurons are active (as they usually are), the number can approach a thousand. In short, it's very difficult to make meaningful statements in a completely general context. Looie496 (talk) 21:56, 4 November 2011 (UTC)