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Neuron Structure and Function
The basic functional unit of the nervous system is the neuron, also known as the nerve cell. The neuron is a specialized type of cell that is capable of generating electric signals, propagating those electrical signals and passing them down to a different, adjacent cell. Neurons have lost their ability to divide via mitosis and are always in the G0 phase of the cell cycle. All neurons consist several important structures. They have dendrites, which are projections that receive electrical signals and pass them down to the cell body. The cell body, which contains the nucleus and the rest of the organelles transmits the signal onto the axon hillock, which is a region that is capable of generating the action potential. The axon hillock sends the action potential across a long extension of the neuron known as the axon. At the end of the axon is the axon terminal (also called the synaptic terminal or synaptic bouton). The axon terminal is a specialized region that is able to transmit signals to other adjacent cells.
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