Convergence

Any single neuron in a neuronal pool may receive impulses from two or more other neurons. Axons originating from different parts of the nervous system leading to the same neuron exhibit convergence (kon-ver'jens).

Incoming impulses often represent information from various sensory receptors that detect changes. Convergence allows the nervous system to collect, process, and respond to information.

Convergence makes it possible for a neuron to sum impulses from different sources. For example, if a neuron receives subthreshold stimulation from one input neuron, it may reach threshold if it receives additional stimulation from a second input neuron. Thus, an output impulse triggered from this neuron reflects summation of impulses from two different sources. Such an output im pulse may travel to a particular effector and evoke a response (fig. 10.20a).

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