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Author Topic: [HowStuffWorks] How Your Brain Works: the Neuron  (Read 1029 times)

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[HowStuffWorks] How Your Brain Works: the Neuron
« on: June 14, 2019, 03:52:35 PM »
this source: https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/brain1.htm

primary source: https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/brain.htm

Neuron Structure


 
The basic design of a neuron

Your brain is made of approximately 100 billion nerve cells, called neurons. Neurons have the amazing ability to gather and transmit electrochemical signals -- think of them like the gates and wires in a computer.

Neurons share the same characteristics and have the same makeup as other cells, but the electrochemical aspect lets them transmit signals over long distances (up to several feet or a few meters) and send messages to each other.
 
Neurons have three basic parts:

1. Cell body or soma. This main part has all of the necessary components of the cell, such as the nucleus (which contains DNA), endoplasmic reticulum and ribosomes (for building proteins) and mitochondria (for making energy). If the cell body dies, the neuron dies.

2. Axon. This long, cablelike projection of the cell carries the electrochemical message (nerve impulse or action potential) along the length of the cell. Depending upon the type of neuron, axons can be covered with a thin layer of myelin sheath, like an insulated electrical wire. Myelin is made of fat and protein, and it helps to speed transmission of a nerve impulse down a long axon. Myelinated neurons are typically found in the peripheral nerves (sensory and motor neurons), while non-myelinated neurons are found in the brain and spinal cord.

3. Dendrites or nerve endings. These small, branchlike projections of the cell make connections to other cells and allow the neuron to talk with other cells or perceive the environment. Dendrites can be located on one or both ends of a cell.

the NeuronWiki



Neurons come in many sizes. For example, a single sensory neuron from your fingertip has an axon that extends the length of your arm, while neurons within the brain may extend only a few millimeters.

They also have different shapes depending on their functions. Motor neurons that control muscle contractions have a cell body on one end, a long axon in the middle and dendrites on the other end. Sensory neurons have dendrites on both ends, connected by a long axon with a cell body in the middle. Interneurons, or associative neurons, carry information between motor and sensory neurons.
 
These fundamental members of the nervous system also vary with respect to their functions.

Sensory neurons carry signals from the outer parts of your body (periphery) into the central nervous system.
Motor neurons (motoneurons) carry signals from the central nervous system to the outer parts (muscles, skin, glands) of your body.

Interneurons connect various neurons within the brain and spinal cord.

The simplest type of neural pathway is a monosynaptic (single connection) reflex pathway, like the knee-jerk reflex. When the doctor taps the right spot on your knee with a rubber hammer, receptors send a signal into the spinal cord through a sensory neuron. The sensory neuron passes the message to a motor neuron that controls your leg muscles. Nerve impulses travel down the motor neuron and stimulate the appropriate leg muscle to contract.

The response is a muscular jerk that happens quickly and does not involve your brain. Humans have lots of hardwired reflexes like this, but as tasks become more complex, the pathway circuitry gets more complicated and the brain gets involved.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 03:59:58 PM by Chip »
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I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

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