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    the cells in the nervous system that handle information processing are called


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    Neuroscience For Kids

    Intended for elementary and secondary school students and teachers who are interested in learning about the nervous system and brain with hands on activities, experiments and information.

    Neuroscience For Kids

    Types of Neurons (Nerve Cells)

    The human body is made up of trillions of cells. Cells of the nervous system, called nerve cells or neurons, are specialized to carry "messages" through an electrochemical process. The human brain has approximately 86 billion neurons. To learn how neurons carry messages, read about the action potential.

    Neurons come in many different shapes and sizes. Some of the smallest neurons have cell bodies that are only 4 microns wide. Some of the biggest neurons have cell bodies that are 100 microns wide. (Remember that 1 micron is equal to one thousandth of a millimeter!).

    Neurons are similar to other cells in the body because:

    Neurons are surrounded by a cell membrane.

    Neurons have a nucleus that contains genes.

    Neurons contain cytoplasm, mitochondria and other organelles.

    Neurons carry out basic cellular processes such as protein synthesis and energy production.

    However, neurons differ from other cells in the body because:

    Neurons have specialize cell parts called dendrites and axons. Dendrites bring electrical signals to the cell body and axons take information away from the cell body.

    Neurons communicate with each other through an electrochemical process.

    Neurons contain some specialized structures (for example, synapses) and chemicals (for example, neurotransmitters).

    The Neuron

    One way to classify neurons is by the number of extensions that extend from the neuron's cell body (soma).

    Bipolar neurons have two processes extending from the cell body (examples: retinal cells, olfactory epithelium cells).Pseudounipolar cells (example: dorsal root ganglion cells). Actually, these cells have 2 axons rather than an axon and dendrite. One axon extends centrally toward the spinal cord, the other axon extends toward the skin or muscle.Multipolar neurons have many processes that extend from the cell body. However, each neuron has only one axon (examples: spinal motor neurons, pyramidal neurons, Purkinje cells).

    Neurons can also be classified by the direction that they send information.

    Sensory (or afferent) neurons: send information from sensory receptors (e.g., in skin, eyes, nose, tongue, ears) TOWARD the central nervous system.Motor (or efferent) neurons: send information AWAY from the central nervous system to muscles or glands.Interneurons: send information between sensory neurons and motor neurons. Most interneurons are located in the central nervous system.

    Check out the Gallery of Neurons to see some pictures of real neurons or "Sidewalk Cells" to see photographs of neurons on the street.

    Hear It

    "Neuron" | "Axon" | "Dendrite" |

    "Nissl" | "Mitochondria" | "Endoplasmic reticulum"

    There are several differences between axons and dendrites:

    Axons Dendrites

    Take information away from the cell body

    Smooth Surface

    Generally only 1 axon per cell

    No ribosomes Can have myelin

    Branch further from the cell body

    Bring information to the cell body

    Rough Surface (dendritic spines)

    Usually many dendrites per cell

    Have ribosomes

    No myelin insulation

    Branch near the cell body

    What is inside of a neuron? A neuron has many of the same organelles such as mitochondria, cytoplasm and a nucleus, as other cells in the body.

    Nucleus - contains genetic material (chromosomes) including information for cell development and synthesis of proteins necessary for cell maintenance and survival. Covered by a membrane.Nucleolus - produces ribosomes necessary for translation of genetic information into proteinsNissl Bodies - groups of ribosomes used for protein synthesis.Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) - system of tubes for transport of materials within cytoplasm. Can have ribosomes (rough ER) or no ribosomes (smooth ER). With ribosomes, the ER is important for protein synthesis.Golgi Apparatus - membrane-bound structure important in packaging peptides and proteins (including neurotransmitters) into vesicles.Microfilaments/Neurotubules - system of transport for materials within a neuron and may be used for structural support.Mitochondria - produce energy to fuel cellular activities.Did you know?

    Neurons are the oldest and longest cells in the body! You have many of the same neurons for your whole life. Although other cells die and are replaced, many neurons are never replaced when they die. In fact, you have fewer neurons when you are old compared to when you are young. On the other hand, data published in November 1998 show that in one area of the brain (the hippocampus), new neurons CAN grow in adult humans.

    Neurons can be quite large - in some neurons, such as corticospinal neurons (from motor cortex to spinal cord) or primary afferent neurons (neurons that extend from the skin into the spinal cord and up to the brain stem), can be several feet long!

    Source : faculty.washington.edu

    General Psych Ch. 2 Flashcards

    Start studying General Psych Ch. 2. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.

    General Psych Ch. 2

    Nervous System

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    The body's electrochemical communication circuitry.

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    The brain's special capacity for change.

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    Terms in this set (89)

    Nervous System

    The body's electrochemical communication circuitry.


    The brain's special capacity for change.

    Electrochemical Transmission

    The brain and the nervous system function essentially as an information-processing system, powered by electrical impulses and chemical messengers.

    When an impulse travels down a nerve cell, or neuron, it does so electrically. When that impulse gets to the end of the line, it communicates with the next neuron using chemicals, as we will consider in detail later in this chapter.

    Also called sensory nerves; nerves that carry information about the external environment

    Afferent Nerves

    to the brain and spinal cord via sensory receptors.

    Efferent Nerves

    Also called motor nerves; nerves that carry information out of the brain and spinal cord to other areas of the body.

    Neural Networks

    Networks of nerve cells that integrate sensory input and motor output.

    Central Nervous System (CNS)

    The brain and spinal cord.

    Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

    The network of nerves that connects the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body.

    Somatic Nervous System

    The body system consisting of the sensory nerves, whose function is to convey information from the skin and muscles to the central nervous system about conditions such as pain and temperature, and the motor nerves, whose function is to tell muscles what to do.

    Autonomic Nervous System

    The body system that takes messages to and from the body's internal organs, monitoring such processes as breathing, heart rate, and digestion.

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    Heritability of intelligence refers to a. the extent to which a person's intelligence is caused by genetics. b. the effect of adoption on the intelligence of adopted children. c. the amount of group variation in intelligence that can be attributed to genetics d. the extent to which the quality of schools and other environmental factors determine intelligence. e. the correlation between intelligence test scores of identical twins.

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    Match the term below with its correct definition. sleep apnea A. breathing interruption that occurs during sleep B. the inability to sleep C. drug that increases the activity of the nervous system D. drug that slows the activity of the nervous system E. a system that provides information about something happening in the body F. sleep stage characterized by irregular breathing increased blood pressure, and faster heart rate G. method some people use to try to narrow their consciousness so that stresses of the outside world fade away H. a state of consciousness in which a person's sense of self or sense of the world changes I. awareness of things inside and outside ourselves J. the removal of a harmful substance from the body K. after a person takes a drug for a while, the body craves it to feel normal L. a feeling of great happiness or well-being

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    Brain and Nervous System (for Parents)

    The brain controls everything we do, and is often likened to the central computer within a vast, complicated communication network, working at lightning speed.

    Brain and Nervous System

    Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD

    Print en español

    El cerebro y el sistema nervioso

    What Does the Brain Do?

    The brain controls what we think and feel, how we learn and remember, and the way we move and talk. But it also controls things we're less aware of — like the beating of our hearts and the digestion of our food.

    Think of the brain as a central computer that controls all the body's functions. The rest of the nervous system is like a network that relays messages back and forth from the brain to different parts of the body. It does this via the spinal cord, which runs from the brain down through the back. It contains threadlike nerves that branch out to every organ and body part.


    The Brain and Nervous System

    The brain is like a computer that controls the body's functions, and the nervous system is like a network that relays messages to parts of the body.

    Click through this slideshow to learn more about the brain and nervous system.

    © 2020 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

    When a message comes into the brain from anywhere in the body, the brain tells the body how to react. For example, if you touch a hot stove, the nerves in your skin shoot a message of pain to your brain. The brain then sends a message back telling the muscles in your hand to pull away. Luckily, this neurological relay race happens in an instant.

    What Are the Parts of the Nervous System?

    The nervous system is made up of the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system:

    The brain and the spinal cord are the central nervous system.

    The nerves that go through the whole body make up the peripheral nervous system.

    The human brain is incredibly compact, weighing just 3 pounds. It has many folds and grooves, though. These give it the added surface area needed for storing the body's important information.

    The spinal cord is a long bundle of nerve tissue about 18 inches long and 1/2-inch thick. It extends from the lower part of the brain down through spine. Along the way, nerves branch out to the entire body.

    Both the brain and the spinal cord are protected by bone: the brain by the bones of the skull, and the spinal cord by a set of ring-shaped bones called vertebrae. They're both cushioned by layers of membranes called meninges and a special fluid called cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid helps protect the nerve tissue, keep it healthy, and remove waste products.

    What Are the Parts of the Brain?

    The brain is made up of three main sections: the forebrain, the midbrain, and the hindbrain.

    The Forebrain

    The forebrain is the largest and most complex part of the brain. It consists of the cerebrum — the area with all the folds and grooves typically seen in pictures of the brain — as well as some other structures under it.

    The cerebrum contains the information that essentially makes us who we are: our intelligence, memory, personality, emotion, speech, and ability to feel and move. Specific areas of the cerebrum are in charge of processing these different types of information. These are called lobes, and there are four of them: the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes.

    The cerebrum has right and left halves, called hemispheres. They're connected in the middle by a band of nerve fibers (the corpus callosum) that lets them communicate. These halves may look like mirror images of each other, but many scientists believe they have different functions:

    The left side is considered the logical, analytical, objective side.

    The right side is thought to be more intuitive, creative, and subjective.

    So when you're balancing your checkbook, you're using the left side. When you're listening to music, you're using the right side. It's believed that some people are more "right-brained" or "left-brained" while others are more "whole-brained," meaning they use both halves of their brain to the same degree.

    The outer layer of the cerebrum is called the cortex (also known as "gray matter"). Information collected by the five senses comes into the brain to the cortex. This information is then directed to other parts of the nervous system for further processing. For example, when you touch the hot stove, not only does a message go out to move your hand but one also goes to another part of the brain to help you remember not to do that again.

    In the inner part of the forebrain sits the thalamus, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland :

    The thalamus carries messages from the sensory organs like the eyes, ears, nose, and fingers to the cortex.

    The hypothalamus controls the pulse, thirst, appetite, sleep patterns, and other processes in our bodies that happen automatically.

    The hypothalamus also controls the pituitary gland, which makes the hormones that control growth, metabolism, water and mineral balance, sexual maturity, and response to stress.

    The Midbrain

    The midbrain, underneath the middle of the forebrain, acts as a master coordinator for all the messages going in and out of the brain to the spinal cord.

    Source : kidshealth.org

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