I've been looking at neuromuscular junctions in biology and was wondering why the end of a motor neurone is flatter than neurones in a synapse.
My only guess is that it creates a larger surface area nearer to the muscle fibre, so more Acetylcholine can travel across the gap to bind to receptors, so it's quicker to create an impulse in the cell membrane.
Please let me know if there's another reason they're flatter!

spot on! I can't immediately think of other advantages. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuromuscular_junction

There are a few interesting relevant comments about species differences in NMJs (see 'Intracellular communication in the Nervous System' (2010), Robert C. Malenka; p186 observed on-line googling ‘neuromuscular junction folds in birds’) re. folds increasing surface area and a possible reciprocal relationship between the quanta of Ach released at the NMJ and the intensity of postsynaptic folding (the more Ach released the fewer folds expressing nicotinic Ach receptors required to ‘amplify’ its effects, as in some fish and birds, and I imagine that this would be muscle-dependent).

Last edited by Steve Lolait (31st Dec 2015 15:02:59)