28 August 2015
What are the 3 major types of neurons? How are they functionally different? Why are the functional differences important?
There are 3 major neurons that the nervous system uses to carry information throughout the body; sensory neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons. Each type of neuron, all functionally different, interacts with the central nervous system, the brain, and the muscles of the body. Some vary in shape and sizes as well as differ in simplicity and complexity. Neurons play a big role in communication between cells, as well as for processing information, and the usage of memory. Each neuron has a similar structure; the cell body, axon, dendrites, terminal buttons, etc. The cell body is formed on a single strand called an axon. Branching from the axon, are dendrites. The function of the dendrite is to collect incoming or afferent information from other dendrites to pass to the axon. Once the axon receives the information it sends out efferent information to other cells. Long axons project information to farther distances in the body (interneurons), while shorter axons communicate with local nearby neurons. The sensory neuron is one of the simplest structured neurons. As presented in figure 3-5 in the textbook, the sensory neuron is simple in that …show more content…
Also known as association cells, connect a neuron to another neuron (ex: sensory neuron to motor neuron). Because they are the bridge between sensory and motor neurons, they collect information from many different sources. One type of an interneuron, the pyramidal cell, carries information from the cortex to the brain and spinal cord. The Purkinje cell, another interneuron, carries information from the cerebellum to the brain and spinal cord. One unique fact about interneurons is that you can find most of these in the brain. The larger the brain, the more interneurons are