Brain Signaling: Input/Output Mechanisms

Electrical Signals: Action Potentials

Action potentials are rapid, transient changes in the electrical potential across a neuron's membrane. They propagate along the axon, allowing information to be transmitted over long distances within the nervous system.

Electrical Signal GIF

Chemical Signals: Neurotransmitters (Short-range)

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit signals across synapses, the junctions between neurons. They travel very short distances and enable communication between neurons.

Chemical Short-range Signal GIF

Chemical Signals: Hormones (Long-range)

Some neurotransmitters can act as hormones when released into the bloodstream. These chemical signals can travel long distances to affect distant tissues and organs.

Chemical Long-range Signal GIF

Electric Fields

Recent discoveries suggest that neurons working together create electric fields, which in turn can influence the behavior of the neurons that created them. This creates a feedback loop of neuronal activity and electric field interactions.

Electric Field GIF

Quantum Mechanics in the Brain

Some scientists hypothesize that quantum mechanical processes might play a role in brain function. While still controversial, this idea suggests that quantum effects could contribute to cognitive processes.

Quantum Mechanics GIF

Neuron Components

Neuron Diagram