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Electrical synapse

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A form of synapse between two apposed neurons in which nerve impulse transmission is rapid and occurs by the passage of ions from one neuron to another via the gap junction.


In electrical synapse, the nerve impulses are transmitted by the passage of ions from one neuron to another through gap junction channels. Compared to chemical synapse, the electrical synapse is faster in conducting nerve impulses. It is used whenever fast response and coordination of timing are crucial, as in escape reflexes, the retina of vertebrates, and the heart.. Also, nerve impulse transmission in electrical synapses is also bidirectional, although in some it is unidirectional.

Compare: chemical synapse
See also: synapse