Psychology paper

Topics: Nervous system, Neuron, Brain Pages: 3 (1108 words) Published: October 31, 2013
The brain of an average human being contains 100 billion nerve cells or neurons. Billions more are found in other parts of the nervous system. Neurons come in all different sizes and shapes, but they all seem to be specialized to receive and transmit information. Neurons are made of neurons which contains chromosomes and genes, a cytoplasm which keeps the cells alive and a cell membrane that encloses the whole cell. Neurons are different from other cells because they have small fibers that branch out from the cell body that allows the neuron to receive and transmit messages. Neurons that carry messages to other organs and carry those messages to the to the spinal cord or the brain are called sensory neurons. Neurons that carry messages from the spinal cord or the brain to the muscles and gland are called motor neurons. Also, neurons that carry messages from one neuron to another are called interneurons. The small fibers that branch out of neurons are called dendrites. Their role is to pick up incoming messages from other neurons and transmit them to the cell body. The single long fiber extending from the cell body is called an axon. The axon’s role is to carry outgoing messages to neighboring neurons or to a muscle or gland. Axon can vary in sizes from 1-2 millimeters to 3 feet. Although the neuron has only one axon near the end of the axon it splits into terminal branches. When think of a nerve it is actually group of axons bundled together like a wire. The myelin sheath is a white fatty covering found on some axons. The myelin sheath is pinched in some places resembling a line of sausages. Not all the axons have this feature, axons that are myelinated axons are known as “white matter”, whereas axons that do not have the myelinated covering are known as “grey matter”. Myelin sheath has two functions, first it provides insulation which signals from adjacent neurons to not interfere with each other, it also increases the speed at which signals are transmitted....
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