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neuron connections

Matthew Kirkcaldie m.kirkcaldie at removethis.unsw.edu.au
Thu Dec 2 02:17:11 EST 2004

In article <f%xrd.429771$wV.213471 at attbi_s54>,
 "AngleWyrm" <no_spam_anglewyrm at hotmail.com> wrote:

> In the visual system, neurons are connected through several stages in a
> directed manner from eye to back of brain.
> Is this true of most all brain cells? Do they have a directed nature? And
> if so, where can I get a map of the FROM->TO sections of the brain?
> Thanks,
> -:|:-
> AngleWyrm

Yes, nearly all neurons have a part which receives signals (dendrites), 
which then decide whether they will fire or not.  If the cell does fire 
it sends a signal down its axon, a long tube which may be super-short 
and contact the neighbouring neuron, or may extend all the way down the 
spinal cord and make contact with a motor neuron in the lower back.  
Some neurons have sensors down in the feet, and generate signals which 
travel all the way to the neck.  All of this transmission is one-way.

There's not really a map of what goes to where: in the brain, everything 
connects to everything using one set of cells to go forward, and another 
to come back.  In the body, sensory fibres send signals in toward the 
spinal cord or the brainstem, and motor fibres come from those same 
places to make contact with muscles or glands.

There's a lifetime to be spent figuring it all out!  Anything in 
particular you're interested in?



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