The small interval in a neural network at which a nervous impulse passes from the axon of an emitting neuron to the dendrite of a receptor neuron.
What happens in the synaptic interval (or cleft) is a quite complex process of transmission. The electric impulse from the axon is not directly transmitted to the receptor dendrite. It triggers a sequence of exchanges based on specific biochemical molecules, from the terminal knob of the axon to the receptor dendrite. After transmission the chemical signal is again transformed into an electrical impulse and the synaptic cleft returns to its potencially receptive state through specific feedbacks.
A better understanding can be obtained for instance from J.C. ECCLES's work (1977), J.Z. YOUNG's (1978) or more recently Rita CARTER's book (1978).
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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