How Neurons work

Neurons or nerve cells make up your nervous system, which decides for all the actions you perform. All of your cognitive processes also originate from your nerve cells. Feelings, emotions, even movements all depend on neurons’ responses.  

neuron structure

A neuron consists of a soma (body), dendrites and axon. Neuron’s body and dendrites receive and process information. There are many dendrites that each neuron has, which means that neuron can simultaneously receive a lot of signals. Some signals may cause a neuron to fire, whereas others prevent neuron from firing. If the firing takes place, the message (nerve impulse) is then sent by the neuron down the axon. Each neuron has only one axon.   

Neuron axons are wrapped with Schwann cells, forming a protective myelin sheet, which is extremely important from the efficiency of signal transmission. The more myelin is wrapped around the axons, the faster signals travel down the axon. 

Neurons communicate with each other through junctions called synapses. When the signal reaches the end of the axon, it gets into axon terminal from which a dendrite of the connected neuron collects the information for further processing.

The information that is sent is encoded in electrical (ions) of chemical (neurotransmitters) form. 

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