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Neurons are cells of the nervous system that send and receive signals within the human body. A neuron is defined as the cellular principal element which plays a great role in functioning of the nervous systems including the spinal code, the brain and the sensory peripheral systems. Although the functioning of the neurons covers a wide area, the brain is the most distinguished part of the body system which is known to be served by neurons. Different kinds of neurons occur depending on their specialization. Interneurons have the role of connecting neurons on the same part of the brain and the spinal chord. Sensory neurons act in response to touch, sound, light and other stimuli that affects the sensory organ cells. They then send signals to the brain as well as the spinal chord. Motor neurons, on the other hand, receive signals from the spinal chord and the brain leading to muscle contractions affecting the glands.
There are several kinds of neurons and all are made up of the same structures. They have a cell body just like many other cells. The cell body contains the nucleus which establishes the hereditary materials that describes how a cell functions. They are physically held by glial cells that provide nourishment to the neurons, insulating, repairing damage as well as supporting neural functioning (Stamenov and Vittorio, 2002). Compared to other cells, neurons have unique features. They are able to pass information and communicate to other cells over long distances. They receive signals from the environment and deliver the nervous system messages to the body muscles and other targeted cells, although majority of them communicate only with other neurons. The cell body is made up of a cluster of fibres known as dendrites that take messages from other neurons. They look like twisted branches of a tree.
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The axon, found on the opposite end of the cell body, carries messages received by dendrites to other neurons. The messages traveling through neurons are naturally electrical. Electrical messages move in one direction across neurons (Dowling, 2001). They follow a route that starts with dendrites and continues into the cell body along the axon to the nearby neurons. Dendrites then are able to detect the impulses or messages from short-circuiting each other. Axons are therefore insulated in some way, just like electrical wires are. This is done through protective coat known as myelin sheath, containing fat and protein and wraps around the axon. The protective coating serves to increase the speed by which the impulses move through axons (Osborne, 1978).
The workings of the human brain have always been puzzling. Experts have come up with countless theories concerning the origin of human intelligence (Stamenov et. al., 2001). The human body is made up of almost one hundred billion nerve cells which act as processors just like the computer chips. They work through the firing action sending signals all over the human body .The brain's ability to handle gigantic tasks is due to its ability to organize the tasks of billions of neurons that work as a unit dealing with various problems. Since it processes and communicates large amounts of information; it requires a way to pass and receive the data. The brain through the dendrite and the axon, communicate and form a strong connection strengthened with stimulations.
Behaviour is defined as the actions that animals do so as to be distinguished from one another. Neurons are termed as the basic elements of behaviour because it builds up the behaviour that animals exhibit in their daily lives. It comprises of the intertwined interconnections which make up the brain cells and are responsible for the communication process in the brain. The brain is able to handle several tasks at one given moment because of the billions of neurons that are present in the brain. Neurons therefore serve as coordinators which receive and transmit data. Because neurons comprise the cells which control every part of the brain of any animal, they therefore form the basic functions elements of behaviour in humans and other animals (Stamenov and Vittorio, 2002).