Summation (neurophysiology) - Types

Types

At any given moment, a neuron may be receiving postsynaptic potentials from thousands of other neurons. Whether or not threshold is reached, and an action potential generated, is dependent upon the spatial (from multiple neurons) and temporal summation (from a single neuron) of all inputs at that moment. In addition, the summation of excitatory and inhibitory influences will modulate the outcome. The closer a synapse is to the cell body of a neuron, the greater the influence on the final summation. This is due to the fact that the postsynaptic potentials travel through the unmyelinated dendrites to the axon hillock, where they are combined in summation. Because dendrites are unmyelinated the sustained membrane potential decreases increasingly over the amount of distance travelled.

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