Neurons

Neurons are the excitable nerve cells of the brain. They are involved in the initiation and conduction of nerve impulses. Because of this unique property, neurons are considered the functional, computing elements of the nervous system. Two kinds of processes are formed from extensions of the neuronal plasma membrane—the axons and the dendrites (Fig. 1).

In vertebrates, the function of the axon is to conduct the nerve impulse in one direction only, usually away from the neuronal cell body (efferent) to another neuron or another part of the system through intercellular junctions called the synapses. On the other hand, dendrites carry information from the synapse to the cell body (afferent).

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