What is a Neuron and Neuron Functions, Parts, Structure, Types ofNeuron, and more

neuron is the most specialized cell that is used to forms the basis of the nervous system. It is also referred (called) to as a nerve cell. An excitable cell that has the specialized cell parts such as soma, dendrites, and axons, structures and chemicals for conducting nerve impulses.

  • Parts of neuron

  • Functions of neuron

  • Types of neuron

  • Research

  • Takeaway


Neurons, also term as nerve cells, transfer and receive signals from your brain. While neurons have a lot in common with other kinds of cells, they’re functionally & structurally un
Specialized projections called axons allow neurons to transfer chemical and electrical signals to other cells. Neurons can also receive these message via rootlike extensions known as dendr
At birth, the human brain consists of an approximate 100 billion neurons. Unlike other cells, neurons do not regenerate or reproduce. They aren’t replaced once they decease.

The generation of new nerve cells is known as neurogenesis. While this method isn’t well understood, it may occur in some sections of the brain after birth.

As researchers take an insight into both neurons and neurogenesis, numerous are also functioning to uncover links to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Parts of a neuron

Cell body

The cell body is also known as soma, the soma or cell body is the neuron’s core. The soma or cell body transmits genetic information, maintains the structure of a neuron, and gives the energy to drive activities.

Like other similar cell bodies, a neuron’s cell body contains a nucleus and generalized organelles. It’s surrounded by a membrane which both protects it and authorizes it to interact with its immediate surroundings.


An axon is a tail-like construction. It is very long in structure. which joins the cell body at a specialized gap or junction known as the axon hillock. Many axons are enveloped with a fatty matter called myelin. Myelin supports axons to conduct an electrical signal. Neurons commonly have only one main axon.


Dendrites are fibrous roots that spread out from some of the cell body. Like receiver antennae, dendrites collect and process messages from the axons of other neurons. Neurons can have further than one set of dendrites, called dendritic trees. How many they have commonly depended on their role.

For example, Purkinje cells are a special sort of neuron that exists in the cerebellum part of the brain. These cells have well-developed dendritic trees that allow them to accept thousands of signals.

Function of neurons

Neurons send messages operating action potentials. An action potential is a shift in the neuron’s electric potential generated by the stream of ions contains negative or positive charges in and out of the neural membrane.
Action potentials can operate both synapses i.e.
  • chemical synapses

  • electrical synapses.

Chemical synapses

In a chemical synapse, action potentials affect further neurons via a gap junction between neurons called a synapse. Synapses consist of a
  • postsynaptic ending

  • a synaptic cleft

  • a presynaptic ending

When an action potential is originated, it’s conveyed with the axon to a presynaptic ending. This activates the release of chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters. These substances traverse the synaptic cleft and bind to receptors in the postsynaptic ending of a dendrite.

Neurotransmitters can provoke the postsynaptic neuron, causing it to originate an action potential of its own. As a replacement; they can restrain the postsynaptic neuron, in which case it does not originate an action potential.

Electrical synapses

Electrical synapses can just stimulate. They happen when two neurons have come into contact via a gap junction. This gap is too much shorter than a synapse and comprises ion channels that promote the direct communication of a positive electrical signal. As a result, electrical synapses are too rapid than chemical synapses. Nevertheless, the message diminishes from one neuron to the other neuron, building them less effective at transmitting.

Types of neurons

Neurons vary in construction, function, and genetic texture. Given the sheer quantity of neurons, there are 1000 uncommon kinds, as there are thousands of generations of living beings on Earth.

In terms of functioning, scientists classify neurons into three broad and basic categories:
  • sensory,

  • motor,

  • and interneurons.

Sensory neurons

Sensory neurons assist you in:
  • feel things around you

  • see

  • hear

  • smell

  • taste

Sensory neurons are activated by physical and chemical inputs from our environment. Taste, Sound, touch, heat, and light are other physical inputs. Basically, smell and taste are chemical inputs.
For e.g., walking on hot sand triggers sensory neurons in the soles of your feet. Those neurons transfer a message to your brain, which makes you well informed of the heat.

Motor neurons

Motor neurons play a very important role in the movement, comprising voluntary and involuntary activities. These neurons permit the brain and spinal cord to acquaint with muscles, organs, and glands all over the body of organisms.
There are two kinds of motor neurons: lower and upper. Lower motor neurons transfer messages from the spinal cord to the smooth muscles and the skeletal muscles. Upper motor neurons transmit messages among your brain and spinal cord.
When you eat, drink, taste, for instance, lower motor neurons in your spinal cord transmits signals to the smooth muscles in your stomach, esophagus, and intestines. These muscles contract, which allows food to transport through your digestive tract.


Interneurons are neural intermediaries exists in your brain and spinal cord. They’re the most ordinary category of the neuron. They pass messages from sensory neurons and other interneurons to motor neurons and other interneurons. Often, they form complicated circuits that assist you to react to external stimuli.
For e.g., when you touch some specific thing hot, sensory neurons present in your fingertips transmit a message to interneurons in your spinal cord. Some interneurons convey the message on to motor neurons in your hand, which permit you to move your hand away. Other interneurons transmit messages to the pain center in your brain, and you feel pain.

Recent research on neuron

While experimentation has promoted our understanding of neurons in the last century, there’s yet too much we don’t understand.
For instance, until in present times, researchers imagine that neuron creation happened in adults in a part of the brain called the hippocampus. The hippocampus is involved in remembrance and learning.
But a present investigation is calling beliefs about hippocampal neurogenesis into question. After investigating hippocampus samples from thirty-seven donors, researchers imagine that young adults produce relatively few new hippocampal neurons.
Though the results have now to be confirmed, they come as a important setback. Many scientists in the field were hopeful that neurogenesis may help treat fatal causes such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which produce neuron damage and also leads to dea

The takeaway

The cells present in the nervous system are known as neurons. They have three specific portions, including a cell body, axon, and dendrites. These parts assists them to transfer and receive chemical and electrical messages or signals.
While there are millions of neurons and hundreds of types of neurons, they can be classified into 3 basic groups based upon functioning: motor neurons, sensory neurons, and interneurons.
There’s yet a lot we don’t know about neurons and the functions they perform in the development of certain brain situation.

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