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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the nervous system, a synapse is a structure that permits a neuron to pass an electrical or chemical signal to another cell. The word "synapse" comes from "synaptein", which Sir Charles Scott Sherrington and colleagues coined from the Greek "syn-" ("together") and "haptein" ("to clasp").

Synapses are essential to neuronal function: neurons are cells that are specialized to pass signals to individual target cells, and synapses are the means by which they do so. At a synapse, the plasma membrane of the signal-passing neuron (the presynaptic neuron) comes into close apposition with the membrane of the target (postsynaptic) cell. Both the presynaptic and postsynaptic sites contain extensive arrays of molecular machinery that link the two membranes together and carry out the signaling process. In many synapses, the presynaptic part is located on an axon, but some presynaptic sites are located on a dendrite or soma.

There are two fundamentally different types of synapse:

  • In a chemical synapse, the presynaptic neuron releases a chemical called a neurotransmitter that binds to receptors located in the postsynaptic cell, usually embedded in the plasma membrane. Binding of the neurostransmitter to a receptor can affect the postsynaptic cell in a wide variety of ways.
  • In an electrical synapse, the presynaptic and postsynaptic cell membranes are connected by channels that are capable of passing electrical current, causing voltage changes in the presynaptic cell to induce voltage changes in the postsynaptic cell.

In-depth descriptions of both types can be found in the chemical synapse and electrical synapse articles.

Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity

is the gap between one neuron and another which connects them


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also synapse


German Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia de


Synapse f. (genitive Synapse, plural Synapsen)

  1. synapse


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!


Cover of City of Heroes, V2 #5

Real name Steven Berry
Status Active
Affiliations Freedom Phalanx
Previous affiliations
Notable powers Super Speed, Electrical Blasts
Notes Role model for speedsters everywhere.

Synapse is one of the primary heroes in the City of Heroes universe, but does not have a real-life dev behind the hero.


Steve never wanted to be a hero. He was an average beer-guzzling, couch potato second-class citizen, until the day he signed up for a Crey experiment for some extra cash. He was blasted with high levels of electricity for days, until he gained complete control over his nervous system. This gave him super speed, and electrical blasts, which he used to escape. Crey still denies the event ever happened.

Despite this, he's become one of the greatest heroes in the city. During the Rikti War, he used his speed to save hundreds of civilians in the Eden and other areas. After some initial conflict he's become good friends with Positron, and has taken on another Crey experiment, Mynx, as a sidekick.


Synapse watches over a park near the PTA tram in Skyway City, and offers a level 15-20 task force that focuses on the Clockwork. Unlike Positron's task force in the previous level bracket, this one is considered one of the best due to fights with both Babbage and The Clockwork King. The final mission also has some incredible artwork.

One note is that Clockwork only spawn up to level 19 under normal circumstances, so 20s taking this task force may find it rather easy.

This article uses material from the "Synapse" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Synapses are gaps or junctions between two neurons.

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