Nervous Transmission

Types of Neurons

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Ben Whitten

Learning Objectives

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What are the types of neurons?
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There are two categories of neurons, which other types of neurons fall under; these are functional types of neurons and structural types of neurons.


Functional

  • Sensory neurons

  • Interneurons

  • Motor neurons


Structural

  • Multipolar

  • Bipolar

  • Unipolar

  • Pseudounipolar

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What are the structural types of neurons?
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  • Multipolar neurons - Have one axon and multiple dendrites and are the most common type of neuron; multipolar neurons include most of the interneurons found in the CNS and motor neurons

  • Bipolar neurons - Have one axon and one dendrite, and they are found in places such as the ear, eye and nose

  • Unipolar neurons - Have just one extension, i.e. an axon, and include most sensory neurons. True unipolar neurons are only found in invertebrate species, rather than humans

  • Pseudounipolar neurons - Type of neuron that has one extension from the cell body, containing an axon that has split into two branches where one branch travels to the peripheral nervous system and the other to the central nervous system

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What are the functional types of neurons?
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  • Sensory Neurons - Carry information from the receptor and/or sensory organs to the central nervous system (CNS)

  • Interneurons - Located in the CNS and provide a link between the sensory and motor neurons

  • Motor Neurons - Carry impulses from the CNS to an effector, e.g., muscles or glands

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Comparing functional types of neurons
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