Explain the functions of a neuron


Neurons are the fundamental unit of the nervous system specialized to transmit information to different parts of the body.

Functions of a neuron

  • Neurons are specialized cells of the nervous system that transmit signals throughout the body. Neurons have long extensions that extend out from the cell body called dendrites and axons.
  • Dendrites are extensions of neuron’s cell body or soma that receive signals and conduct them toward the cell body.
  • The cell body extends into an axon which is covered by myelin sheath.
  • The myelin sheath acts as an insulator which prevents short-circuiting in the neurons. This way an impulse is maintained within a single neuron and doesn’t go haywire.
  • There are small gaps in the myelin sheath known as Nodes. An impulse jumps from node to node on its way of propagation towards the axon terminals.
  • At the terminals, depending on the makeup of the neuron, the impulse is transmitted to the dendrites of the next neuron via a junction known as synapse, in a chemical or electric manner.

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