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Neuroscience

What is an excitatory and inhibitory local potential?

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November 25, 2008 2:35PM

As a rule more than one presynaptic action potential is needed to fire the postsynaptic neuron or muscle so that the trigger to initiate an action potential are either many subthreshold local potentials from different sources or from the same neuron received within a short period of time. The first case is called spatial summation and the second case is called temporal summation. Whether a postsynaptic potential (another term for a local potential) is excitatory or inhibitory depends on what ion channels are affected by the transmitter released from the presynaptic vesicles.