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Synaptic potential

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A synaptic potential (also known as a postsynaptic potential)in short is a change in the potential, voltage, of the post synaptic cell. In other words, it is an alteration in the membrane potential of a cell resulting from activation of a synaptic input. All animal cells maintain a voltage difference between the intracellular and extracellular regions, holding the intracellular region at a negative voltage that in a baseline state is usually in the range -30 to -70 millivolts. Synaptic inputs from neurons can alter this voltage difference. If the intracellular voltage rises, the signal is called an excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP); if it falls the signal is called an inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP). If the cell is electrically excitable, a sufficiently large EPSP may cause it to generate an action potential.


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