What are neurons?

Neurons are the cells in the nervous system that transmit information by electrochemical signaling. They are the core components of the brain and the spinal cord. Specialized types of neurons, including sensory neurons and motor neurons, allow us to feel and act respectively. All neurons respond to stimuli, and communicate the presence of stimuli to the central nervous system, and then to the relevant part of the brain, which processes the information and sends responses to other parts of the body for action. Each neuron is connected to approximately 10,000 others by frond like tendrils. The dendrites are the “receivers,” and axons, the “transmitters.” The neurons are not actually joined together but touch each other. When neurons communicate, the gaps at the touch points are filled with with neurotransmitters, chemicals that carry pulses or “electrical messages.” The myelin sheath acts as an insulator and increases the speed and efficiency of the pulses.

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