Dictionary > Neuron

Neuron

Definition
noun, plural: neurons
An excitable cell that has specialized cell parts (such as soma, dendrites and axons), structures (such as synapses), and chemicals (such as neurotransmitters) for conducting nerve impulses
Supplement
Neurons are nerve impulse-conducting cells that make up nerves, brain and spinal column. Thus, they are regarded as the functional unit of the nervous system. A typical neuron has a nucleated soma and processes (axon and dendrites).
Neurons may be classified according to polarity:

  • bipolar neuron – a neuron in which the processes extend from opposite ends of the soma
  • (pseudo)unipolar neuron – a neuron in which the process extends from one end of the soma
  • multipolar neuron – a neuron in which an axon and several dendrites extend from the soma

Neurons according to the direction of nerve impulses:

  • sensory (or afferent) neuron – a neuron sending nerve impulses toward the CNS
  • motor (or efferent) neuron – a neuron sending nerve impulses away from the CNS to muscles or glands
  • interneuron – a neuron sending impulses to another neuron

Word origin: Greek neûron (sinew, cord, nerve)
Variant(s):

  • neurone (British)

Synonym(s):

Related term(s):


You will also like...

An artistic depiction of Dunkleosteus fish
Fish

The sea was teeming with life. Eventually, through reproduction and continued variation, fish came about. There are over..

Adaptive Radiation
Adaptive Radiation

The diversification of several new species from a recent ancestral source, each adapted to utilize or occupy a vacant ad..

dinosaurs
The Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs represented a major turn in the evolutionary development of organisms on Earth. The first dinosaurs were presu..

Kidneys
Kidneys and Regulation of Water and Inorganic Ions

The kidneys are responsible for the regulation of water and inorganic ions. Read this tutorial to learn about the differ..

Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung
Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung

In this tutorial, the works of Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud are described. Both of them actively pursued the way h..

New Zealand - Biodiversity fauna
New Zealand’s Biodiversity

Find out more about New Zealand's unique biodiversity by exploring a range of different ecosystems and the key role of s..