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PSYCH 261 (91)


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Deltcho Valtchanov

STRUCTURES AND FUNCTIONS OF CELLS OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM  Movement and behavior- primary function of the nervous system  Sensory neurons – a neuron that detects changes in the external or internal environment and sends information about these changes to the central nervous system o Information in the form of light, sound waves, odors, tastes, or contact with object is gathered from the environment by these specialized cells  Motor neuron – movements accomplished by the contraction of muscles are controlled by these neurons o Also controls the secretion of the gland  Interneuron – A neuron located entirely within the central nervous system  Local interneurons – form circuits with nearby neurons and analyze small pieces of information.  Relay interneurons – connect circuits of local interneurons in one region of the brain with those in other regions  100 billion of neurons - estimated number of neurons in the brain  CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS) – consist of the parts that are encased by the bones of the skull and spinal column: the brain and the spinal cord  PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (PNS) - consist of the nerves and most of the sensory organs CELLS OF THE ENRVOUS SYSTEM  Neurons – nerve cell; most important cells of the nervous system; the information processing and the information-transmitting element of the nervous system. o BASIC STRUCTURE OF NEURONS  Cell body or soma – contains the nucleus and much of the machinery that provides for the life processes of the cell  Dendrites – grk: tree; Dendrites serve as an important recipient of these messages as the neurons converse to each other  the messages that pass from neuron to neuron are transmitted across the synapse – a junction between the terminal buttons of an axon and a membrane of another neuron ; the messages that pass from neuron to neuron are transmitted here  Axon - a long slender tube covered by a myelin sheath; it carries information from the cell body to the terminal buttons  Action potential – the basic message that is being carried by an axon o A brief electrical/ chemical event that starts at the end of the axon next to the cell body and travels toward the terminal buttons. *full strength action potential  Multipolar neuron - a neuron with one axon and many dendrites attached to its soma  Bipolar neuron – give rise to one axon and one dendritic tree, at opposite ends of the soma. o Bipolar neurons are sensory (i.e. the detect events occurring in the environment and communicate it to the CNS)  Unipolar neuron – one axon attached to its soma then the axon divides with one branch receiving sensory info and the other sends info to the CNS  Terminal buttons – secretes neurotransmitters (has an inhibitory or excitatory effect on another neuron) o INTERNAL STRUCTURE  Membrane – a structure consisting principally of lipid molecules that defines the outer boundaries of the cell and also constitutes many of the cell organelles, such
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