A Description of the Nervous System

Topics: Neuron, Nervous system, Action potential Pages: 3 (902 words) Published: October 6, 2010
Nervous System: an extensive network of specialized cells that carries information to and from all parts of the body. Neuron: the basic cell that makes up the nervous system and that receives and sends messages within that system. Dendrites: branchlike structures that receive messages from other neurons. Soma: the cell body of the neuron responsible for maintaining the life of the cell. Axon: tubelike structure that carries the neural message. Glial cells grey fatty cells that provide support for the neurons to grow on and around, deliver nutrients to neurons, produce myelin to coat axons, clean up waste products and dead neurons, influence information processing, and, during prenatal development, influence the generation of new neurons. Myelin: fatty substances produced by certain glial cells that coat the axons of neurons to insulate, protect, and speed up the neural impulse. Nerves: bundles of axons coated in myelin that travel together through the body. Resting potential: the state of the neuron when not firing a neural impulse. Action potential: the release of the neural impulse consisting of a reversal of the electrical charge within the axon. Axon terminals branches at the end of the axon synaptic knob rounded areas on the end of the axon terminals. Synaptic vesicles saclike structures found inside the synaptic knob containing chemicals. Neurotransmitter chemical found in the synaptic vesicles that, when released, has an effect on the next cell. Synapse (synaptic gap) microscopic fluid-filled space between the synaptic knob of one cell and the dendrites or surface of the next cell. Receptor sites holes in the surface of the dendrites or certain cells of the muscles and glands, which are shaped to fit only certain neurotransmitters. Excitatory synapse synapse at which a neurotransmitter causes the receiving cell to fire. Inhibitory synapse at which a neurotransmitter causes the receiving cell to stop firing. Reuptake process by which neurotransmitters are...
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