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A protoplasmic fiber runs from the cell body and branches profusely, with some parts transmitting signals and other parts receiving signals.Thus, most parts of the insect brain have passive cell bodies arranged around the periphery, while the neural signal processing takes place in a tangle of protoplasmic fibers called neuropil, in the interior.
Nerves are large enough to have been recognized by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, but their internal structure was not understood until it became possible to examine them using a microscope.
In vertebrate species it consists of two main parts, the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS consists mainly of nerves, which are enclosed bundles of the long fibers or axons, that connect the CNS to every other part of the body.
Nerves that transmit signals from the brain are called motor or efferent nerves, while those nerves that transmit information from the body to the CNS are called sensory or afferent.
White matter includes all of the nerves, and much of the interior of the brain and spinal cord.
Grey matter is found in clusters of neurons in the brain and spinal cord, and in cortical layers that line their surfaces.
"It is difficult to believe that until approximately year 1900 it was not known that neurons are the basic units of the brain (Santiago Ram? Equally surprising is the fact that the concept of chemical transmission in the brain was not known until around 1930 (Henry Hallett Dale) and (Otto Loewi).
We began to understand the basic electrical phenomenon that neurons use in order to communicate among themselves, the action potential, in the decade of 1950 (Alan Lloyd Hodgkin, Andrew Huxley and John Eccles).Most nerves serve both functions and are called mixed nerves.The PNS is divided into a) somatic and b) autonomic nervous system, and c) the enteric nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is further subdivided into the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems.Both autonomic and enteric nervous systems function involuntarily.Nerves that exit from the cranium are called cranial nerves while those exiting from the spinal cord are called spinal nerves.Among the most important functions of glial cells are to support neurons and hold them in place; to supply nutrients to neurons; to insulate neurons electrically; to destroy pathogens and remove dead neurons; and to provide guidance cues directing the axons of neurons to their targets.