[Get Answer] Compare and contrast electrical and chemical synapses. Describe chemical synapses and explain how they transmit information.

Study Guide for Synapses
Study Question
Define synapse. Compare and contrast electrical and chemical synapses. Describe chemical
synapses and explain how they transmit information.
Sample exam question
1. Chemical synapses are characterized by all of the following except
A. neurotransmitter is released by exocytosis from the presynaptic cell
B. postsynaptic membranes contain ligand-gated ion channels that bind the released
neurotransmitter
C. a fluid-filled gap separates the presynaptic and the postsynaptic membranes
D. ions flow through protein channels directly from the presynaptic to the postsynaptic
neuron
E. All of the above characterize chemical synapses.
Study Questions
Describe, compare and contrast graded potentials and action potentials. Give examples. Where
does each one occur (what part of a neuron) and why?
Sample exam question
2. Which of the following is a type of graded potential?
A. EPSP
B. IPSP
C. depolarization of photoreceptor cell (rod or cone) in the retina in response to changes in
light level
D. A and B
E. All of the above
Study Questions
Describe the structure of a chemical synapse and list the steps involved in synaptic
transmission.
Sample exam question
3. The release of neurotransmitter at a chemical synapse is triggered by the
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

opening of voltage-gated K+ channels
release of Ca2+ from the sarcoplasmic reticulum
depolarization of the postsynaptic membrane
neurotransmitter binding to ligand-gated ion channels
presynaptic influx of Ca2+ through voltage-gated channels
1

Study Questions
Distinguish between excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs and IPSPs).
Describe how synaptic events are integrated through temporal and spatial summation.
4. An IPSP is inhibitory because __________________.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

It hyperpolarizes the postsynaptic membrane
It reduces the amount of neurotransmitter released by the presynaptic terminal
It prevents calcium entry into the presynaptic terminal
It changes the action potential threshold voltage of the postsynaptic neuron
A and D

5. A presynaptic neuron is firing action potentials at a high frequency. It therefore is releasing
bursts of neurotransmitter onto the presynaptic cell in quick succession. This causes the
postsynaptic cell to depolarize more than it would from a single EPSP. This is an example of
____________.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

temporal summation
spatial summation
hyperpolarization
the relative refractory period
none of the above

Study Questions
Define neurotransmitter and name several classes of neurotransmitters.
Sample exam question
6. Biogenic amine neurotransmitters include all of the following except ____________.
A.
B.
C.
D.

norepinephrine
acetylcholine
dopamine
seratonin

Study Questions
Explain how drugs can alter synaptic transmission.
Sample exam question
7. A drug that mimics the actions of ACh at the neuromuscular junction could be called
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

an agonist
an antagonist
a channel blocker
a synergist
a fixator

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