Psych M.D. - Neuron


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Term: Neuron
Definition (Myers): a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system. (pg. 58)
Definition (alternative): The neuron is made up of three areas, each with a distinct function: the dendrites, the cell body, and the axon. Messages circulate through the network of neurons in the form of electrical signals ( nerve impulses ), always moving from the dendrite toward the axon. There exists two principal types of neurons: sensory neurons that transmit signals from organs and the skin to the central nervous system (CNS) – the brain and spinal cord – and motor neurons that transmit signals from the CNS to the organs. When you burn your hand, the message "burning sensation" is encoded into a specific electrical signal that travels along a chain of neurons until it reaches the CNS. The CNS then emits another message – "pull the hand back" – that is transmitted to the arm using a different path. *
Contextual explanation: Neuron or nerve cell is basic building block of the nervous system. A neuron receives signals from other neurons through dendrites. Than cell body combines these signals and transmits an electrical impulse or action potential down to its axon. When these signals reach the end of the axon, they release neurotrasmitters. Neurotrasmitters travel the synaptic gap between other neurons.

Related terms and concepts: Nervous System, Dendrite, Axon, Myelin Sheath, Action Potentia, neurotransmitters.
Neuron
Related websites: Neuron, The Neuron, How do Neuron Works?
Edited by: Jessica



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