Nerve Cell: Definition, Anatomy, Different and Distinct Types And Its Tremendous Functioning Elements in Nervous System.

Nerve Cell Definition

Nerve cell (also known as neurons) comprise the basic functioning elements of the nervous system, having an approximate 86 billion throughout the brain of an adult person. The function of a nerve cell would be to collect and send signals from neighbouring cells. Within the human body, there are three fundamental types of nerve cells that interact cooperatively to gather and assess data from our environment prior to beginning responses to these stimuli. In this manner, they allow us to grasp and connect with the surrounding environment.

What is the Nervous System?

The nervous system consists of a complex web of neurons that enables us to communicate and interact with the outside environment. It uses our senses to gather information about our surroundings, analyses that information, and then produces a biological reaction. Nerve cells are essential for the nervous system’s proper functioning because they receive and send information between the brain, spinal cord, and other regions of the body. When you touch something hot, for example, your nerve cells transmit a pain signal to your brain. The brain receives this information very instantly and responds with a message that prompts you to grab your hand away.

The two major components of the nervous system are the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS). The CNS, which is made up of the brain and spinal cord, regulates almost every aspect of our bodies and minds, including our movements, thoughts, emotions, desires, hormone changes, respiration, heart rate, and more.

The PNS is composed of nerves that extend throughout the body from the spinal cord. They provide sensory data to the CNS for interpretation and control reactions to stimuli, including perspiration, muscular movement, blood pressure fluctuations, and so on.

What is a Nerve Cell?

Nerve cells (also known as neurons) are the nervous system’s fundamental functioning components. Simply said, their role is to receive information from cells and then transmit it to other cells. Neuronal messages are transported in the form of electrical signals (called nerve impulses) that go from the body to the brain and back. Nerve cells provide information about the external surroundings (known as stimuli) to the brain, where it is interpreted and reactions to those stimuli are triggered.

Anatomy of a Nerve Cell

There are three major parts of a nerve cell: the cell body, dendrites, and axon.

Cell body

The nucleus, which governs the operation of the cell, is located in the cell body (also known as the soma) of the neuron. It also includes specialised organelles for the creation of protein and energy.


Dendrites are branching extensions of the cell body. Cells translate chemical impulses from other neurons into electrical impulses as well as transmit them towards the cell body.


An axon is a long projection of the cell body that transmits data out of the cell body. Numerous axons include myelin, an insulating covering that allows nerve signals to flow swiftly throughout the axon’s length. The axon ends are the axon’s extremities. At this stage, data exits the nerve cell and is transmitted to destination cells.

Different Types of Nerve Cells

Three types of nerve cells exist inside the human body. Three kinds of neurons include sensory neurons, motor neurons, and interneurons.

Sensory Neurons

Sensory neurons are responsible for detecting external stimuli such as heat, sound, pressure, and light. They then send this sensory data to the remainder of the nervous system, where it is processed. When a dog growls at you, for example, your sensory neurons send out messages to your brain, alerting it that there is a danger nearby.

Motor Neurons

The CNS includes motor neurons in the spinal cord, which extend throughout the body to link with muscles, glands, and organs. Lower motor neurons govern all of our muscular movements by delivering spinal cord nerve messages to the muscles. Between the brain and the spinal cord, upper motor neurons travel.

Motor neurons are in charge of transmitting brain signals to muscles, glands, and organs. They make it easier for you to react to stimuli. If a dog growls and barks at you, for example, your motor neurons will send messages to your muscles, causing you to leap back.


Interneurons are nerve cells that link one nerve cell to another. They are exclusively present in the CNS. Before transferring information to motor neurons or interneurons, they receive nerve impulses from other interneurons or sensory neurons.

They may transmit information about environmental stimuli from sensory neurons to the brain or from the brain to motor neurons in order to initiate a reaction.

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