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.