- Atoms or small groups of atoms that carry a net electric charge, either positive or negative. When anerve impulse is fired, ions flow through channels in the membrane of a nerve cell, abruptly changing thevoltage across the membrane in that part of the cell. This sets off a chain reaction of similar voltage changesalong the cell’s axon to the synapse, where it causes the release of neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft.
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