Nerve cells or also known as nerve fibers and neurons are the cells in nervous system which function to process and transmit information in the form electrical impulses. Nerve cells are typically consist of a soma or a cell body, dendrite and an axon.
If we think… A neuron resembles a tree 🌳.
LET’S HAVE A COMPARISON BETWEEN A NEURON AND A TREE.
Now, if we look at two pictures given above we can find some resemblance between a neuron and a tree.
We can compare the twigs with the dendritic tip, tree trunk with the axon and the roots with the axon terminal.
Now let us come to the types of neurons.
The two main types of neuron are afferent neuron and efferent neuron. Afferent neurons are also known as sensory neurons and efferent neurons as motor neurons. The sensory neurons or the afferent neurons takes the impulse towards the CNS and motor neurons takes the impulses away from the CNS.
It’s a bit confusing to learn these types of neurons (afferent and efferent neurons) BUT no need to worry as I will tell you guys a simple trick to remember it.
So, as we all know … A comes before C… The impulses will come towards the brain first, and then they will move away from the brain. i.e. afferent neurons will perform their function first after which efferent neurons will do their job.
Now I hope there is no confusion between the afferent neurons and efferent neurons.
We all know that information travels in the form of electrical impulses through one nerve cell to the other and reaches the brain (or may be spinal cord in the case of reflex arc).
Let’s learn this process in a bit detail.
The information acquired at the end of the dendritic tip of a neuron sets off chemical reaction which creats electrical impulses which then passes through the cell body, axon and reaches the axon terminal where the electrical impulses sets off the release of some chemicals which then pass a gap or SYNAPSE and reaches the dendritic tip of another neuron. This process continues till the impulse reaches the brain.