Neurons: the Basic Elements of Behavior

Topics: Nervous system, Neuron, Electric charge Pages: 2 (502 words) Published: April 25, 2011
Neurons: The Basic Elements of Behavior
Neurons, or otherwise called nerve cells, are the basic elements of our nervous systems. We have as many as one trillion nerve cells throughout our bodies. These cells are responsible for controlling our behavior. So what is a neuron? “A neuron is a nerve cell that is the basic building block of the nervous system. Neurons are similar to other cells in the human body in a number of ways, but there is one key difference between neurons and other cells. Neurons are specialized to transmit information throughout the body. These highly specialized nerve cells are responsible for communicating information in both chemical and electrical forms. There are also several different types of neurons responsible for different tasks in the human body.” (K Cherry) Each neuron is a cell that uses biochemical reactions to receive, process, and transmit information. Neurons communicate by firing, or transmitting an electrical impulse along the axon. Sometimes they do not fire. There is no middle ground with neurons, either they fire or they do not. A neuron fires when a message arrives at the neutron, from then on there is an electrical charge that sends positively charged ions sometimes as high as 100 million ions per second. The rush of all these positive ions changes the part of the cell to briefly change from negative to positive. Once the positive charge reaches a specific level the neuron is fired, and the electrical impulse travels along the axon of the neuron. Neurons are the cells that control our behavior, without them we would not be able to perform daily activities like walking, driving a car, or playing sports. “There is something inside you, something that controls your every thought feel and motion. A series of electrical impulses, traveling through your body.  They are called Neurons and they are considered to be the basic elements of behavior. They are an important piece in the puzzle of understanding human...

References: Witt, G. A., & Mossler, R. A. (2010). Adult development and life assessment. Retrieved from:
Feldman, R. (2009). Understanding psychology, Ninth Edition. New York:
Cherry, K (2011). What is a Neuron Retrieved 01/08/2011 from
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