Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892



Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

Which of the following statements best describes saltatory conduction?

a. It inhibits direct neurotransmitter release.

b. It transmits the action potential at the nodes of Ranvier andthus speeds up impulses on myelinated axons.

c. It increases neurotransmitter release at the presynapticmembrane.

d. It decreases neurotransmitter uptake at chemically gatedpostsynaptic channels.

e. It removes neurotransmitters from the synaptic cleft.

Summary Introduction


An action potential generated in a neuron travels from its initiation point on the axon to the axon terminal and then propagates to another neuron. This way, the information travels from one neuron to another. This propagation of action potential is known as conduction. This is of two types: continuous and saltatory.


Explanation/Justification for the correct answer:

Option (b) states that the salutatory conduction transmits the action potential at the nodes of Ranvier and speeds up the transmission of the impulse. The propagation of an action potential that takes place by the leaps between spaces on the nodes of Ranvier in a neuron is called saltatory conduction. This occurs in myelinated axons. Voltage-gated channels are present only on nodes of Ranvier, where the current is carried by the sodium ions and the potassium ions. Thus, conduction occurs by jumping. This type of conduction is rapid and travels a longer distance than continuous conduction in a few milliseconds. Hence, option (b) is correct.

Explanation for the incorrect answers:

Option (a) states that saltatory conduction inhibits the direct release of the neurotransmitter. This statement is false because the saltatory conduction does not interfere with the release of the neurotransmitter into the synapse; it only speeds up the transmission of the impulse by making it jump from one node to another...

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