Neurons (also referred to as neurones or nerve cells) room the an essential units the the mind and concerned system, the cell responsible because that receiving sensory input native the exterior world, for sending motor regulates to our muscles, and for transforming and relaying the electrical signals at every action in between. Much more than that, their interactions define who we room as people. Having said that, our approximately 100 exchange rate neurons do interact closely with other cell types, extensively classified as glia (these might actually outnumber neurons, return it’s no really known).

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The creation of brand-new neurons in the mind is dubbed neurogenesis, and also this have the right to happen even in adults.

What walk a neuron watch like?

A valuable analogy is to think of a neuron together a tree. A neuron has actually three main parts: dendrites, an axon, and also a cell body or soma (see image below), which have the right to be stood for as the branches, roots and also trunk that a tree, respectively. A dendrite (tree branch) is whereby a neuron receives entry from various other cells. Dendrites branch together they move towards your tips, just like tree branches do, and they even have leaf-like structures on lock called spines.

The axon (tree roots) is the output framework of the neuron; once a neuron desires to talk to one more neuron, it sends an electrical message called an action potential throughout the entire axon. The soma (tree trunk) is whereby the cell nucleus lies, whereby the neuron’s DNA is housed, and also where proteins are made to be transported transparent the axon and dendrites. 

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The tree-like framework of a neuron. Dendritic spines are small structures that receive inputs from the axons of various other neurons. Bottom-right image: a segment the dendrite native which spines branch off, favor leaves turn off a tree branch. Note the very small size (~0.001mm). (Image: Alan Woodruff ; De Roo et al / CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons)

There room different species of neurons, both in the brain and the spinal cord. They room generally divided according to where they orginate, where they project to and also which neurotransmitters lock use.

Concepts and also definitions

Axon – The long, thin framework in which action potentials space generated; the transmitting part of the neuron. After ~ initiation, activity potentials travel down axons to reason release the neurotransmitter.

Dendrite – The receiving component of the neuron. Dendrites receive synaptic inputs indigenous axons, through the sum complete of dendritic entry determining even if it is the neuron will fire an activity potential.

Spine – The small protrusions discovered on dendrites that are, for numerous synapses, the postsynaptic contact site.

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Action potential – Brief electrical event commonly generated in the axon the signals the neuron as "active". An action potential travels the size of the axon and also causes release of neurotransmitter right into the synapse. The action potential and also consequent transmitter release permit the neuron to connect with various other neurons.