Illustration of a nerve cell

Illustration of a nerve cell

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Credit: JOHN BAVOSI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Illustration of a nerve cell, or neuron. At above centre is the nerve cell body with its cytoplasm and nucleus (coloured purple). Branched dendrites (green) lead off from the cell body to receive in- put stimuli from neighbouring neurons. In turn, these neighbouring neurons communicate with this cell body at synapses (bulbs at the end of pink fibres). A single axon, leading to lower right, transmits the cell's response. On stimulation a sudden local change in nerve cell-membrane permea- bility occurs. Sodium and potassium ions diffuse through causing an electrical potential that travels wave-like along the nerve. Impulses are thus created, and messages transmitted.

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Keywords: anatomy, artwork, axon, cells, dendrite, human body, nerve cell, nervous, neurone, synapse, system

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