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The Neuron- Up Close and Personal

The Question of Intelligence




And here it is . . . the amazing . . . Neuron!!!

Neuron Firing
(image thanks to soton.ac.uk/~jrc3/chudler/synapse.html)

Neurons come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending upon their function and specialized structures. However, in general, all neurons work in the same manner and resemble each other. And, in addition, our neurons look almost exactly like the neurons of a dolphin, a cat, or a squirrel!!

What do you notice about the image above?

The red "nerve impulse" is moving in one direction through the cell, from the left to the right. The left end of the neuron is made of special extensions "dendrites" which receive information and bring electrochemical signals to the cell body (or "soma"); the right end of the neuron is a special extension called the "axon" which sends information away from the cell body. Neurons communicate with each other by electrochemical signals travelling from the axon terminal of one cell to the dendrite of the next... and on... and on... The actual linking sites where nerve cells communicate are called "synapses" and neuronal communication of information is called "synaptic transmission".

labelled neuron
(image thanks to vv.carleton.ca/~neil/neural/neuron-a.html)

Let's see some fun facts about neurons

Go to the neuron and intelligence

Go to real magnified pictures of neurons

Huh? Can we start over?