Originated by Prof. Miroslavia Korenova
In this module we look at the Neuron (the brain’s basic unit for processing information) which is both a receiver and a transmitter. When a neuron receives a signal, it generates an electrical impulse. This impulse travels through the neuron and down the axon to its end. The signal is then passed on to other neurons. Viewed under a microscope, neurons look like a dense forest of trees whose branches are so closely intertwined that they appear to touch. But when the details are highlighted with a silver stain, it is clear that each cell is separated from its neighbours by tiny gaps called synapses. Because the electrical signal cannot bridge this space, some other mechanism is required for a neuron to communicate with its neighbours. This is where the neuron’s chemical signal comes in. Students are encouraged to think about the connections in the brain happening every minute of every day. This module is intended as an overview of the workings of brain cells and how they operate.