"Many nerve cells are of the basic type illustrated above. Some kind of stimulus triggers an electric discharge of the cell which is analogous to the discharge of a capacitor. This produces an electrical pulse on the order of 50-70 millivolts called an action potential. The electrical impulse propagates down the fiber-like extension of the nerve cell (the axon). The speed of transmission depends upon the size of the fiber, but is on the order of tens of meters per second - not the speed of light transmission that occurs with electrical signals on wires. Once the signal reaches the axon terminal bundle, it may be transmitted to a neighboring nerve cell with the action of a chemical neurotransmitter. "