The Neuron

The neuron, or nerve cell, is the basic building block of the brain.  Neurons transmit information throughout the brain, and this process takes place in both chemical and electrical forms.  In order to do this, the brain needs over one hundred billion neurons.

There are three basic parts of a neuron: the dendrites, the cell body, and the axon.  Dendrites are tree-like extensions surrounding the neuron.  They receive information from other neurons and transmit electrical stimulation to the cell body. The axon is the elongated fiber that extends from the cell and transmits the neural signal. Terminal buttons are located at the end of the axon and send signals to other neurons. Located between the terminal button and the next neuron is a gap known as a synapse.   Neurotransmitters carry signal across these synapses to other neurons.