Cell Body (Soma)
Nodes of Ranvier
Neurons are the cells responsible for passing chemical and electrical signals along the pathways of the brain. They come in many shapes and sizes enabling them to conduct specialized functions such as storing memories or controlling our muscles.
Neurons come in many shapes and sizes
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Information from one neuron flows to another neuron across a small gap called a synapse (SIN-aps). At the synapse, electrical signals are translated into chemical signals in order to cross the gap. Once on the other side, the signal becomes electrical again.
Astrocytes are just one type of supporting cell in the brain
Check out a synapse in action in this animated tutorial.
For many years, scientists viewed neurons as the most important cells of the brain. However, recent studies have demonstrated that other cells in the brain, termed supporting cells, may also actively participate in complex brain functions.