Nerve cells

Nerve cells

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Credit: MEHAU KULYK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Nerve cells. Computer artwork of a section through two nerve cells, also called neurons. The neuron at bottom is transmitting a signal to the neuron at top. Neurons are responsible for passing information around the central nervous system (CNS, brain and spinal cord) and from the CNS to the rest of the body. This information is transmitted as electrical impulses (yellow flashes). A nerve cell comprises a central nerve cell body surrounded by numerous extensions. Most of these are dendrites, which collect information from other nerve cells or from sensory cells. Each neuron also has an extension called an axon, through which information passes outwards to other cells, including other nerve cells and muscle fibres. Dendrites and axons meet at junctions known as synapses.

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