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The Neuron

There’s a veritable electrical storm going on inside your head: 100 billion brain cells firing electrical signals at one another are responsible for your every thought and action.

A neuron, a.k.a. nerve cell or brain cell, is a specialized cell that sends an electrical impulse out along fibers connecting it, in turn, to other neurons. These guys are the wires of your very own personal circuitry.

What follows is a simplistic description of the general features of nerve cells, whether they are found sending signals from your senses to your brain, from your brain to your muscles, or to and from other nerve cells. It’s this last class, the kind that people most likely mean when they say “neurons,” that we are most interested in here. (All nerve cells, however, share a common basic design.)


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