What is the difference between a presynaptic neuron and a postsynaptic neuron?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Neurons transmit impulses  from one neuron to the next neuron across the synapse. Said another way, the synapse is where neurons meet each other, chemicals called neurotransmitters fuse across the synapse. These neurotransmitters are necessary to convey the nervous "message" from one to the next. The answer to your question is just of location. Anatomically, the presynaptic neuron is the neuron before the synapse, this neuron is delivering the "message" across the synapse to the postsynaptic neuron. The postsynaptic neuron is the "receiver" of the neurotransmitter "message". Again, the difference is just one of location with one sending the chemical message and the other receiving the chemical message.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Already a member? Log in here.

Are you a teacher? Sign up now