Before we figure out howyour nervous system makes performing simple tasks easy, we need to know theparts and functions of the neuron. The neuron has five main parts: soma,dendrites, axon, myelin sheath and neurotransmitters. The soma or cell bodycontains the cell nucleus and much of the chemical machinery common to mostcells. Dendrites are the parts of a neuron that are specialized to receive information.
The axon is a long, thin fiber thattransmits signals away from soma to other neurons or to muscles or glands. Themyelin sheath is insulating material that encases some axons. Mylein sheathfunction is to speed up the transmission of signals that move along axons.Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit information from one neuron toanother. Neurons communicatethrough an electrochemical process. Sensory nerve interacts with incentivessuch as light and sound. Then, nerve impulses are generated to be transmittedto the brain for interpretation.
Systems of neurons in the brain analyze theinformation. The information is transmitted along axons and dendrites becauseof changes in the electrical charge, which is action potential. The voltagespikes along the axon when action potential has commenced. Once the electricalsignal reaches the end of the neuron/ axon, a neurotransmitter is released.
Theprocess is delayed for a very short amount of time but then the process isrepeated. Simple actions likeanswering the phone are the result of the arranged activity of billions ofneurons sending signals to each other. When the phone starts to ring,neurons in your auditory cortex pick up the sound of ringing.
Then the neuronfunctions to transmit the information to the frontal lobes of your brain. Inthe frontal lobe, it recognizes the sound of heard and identifies it as aringing sound coming from your phone. Next signals are sent from the frontallobe to your visual cortex to notice who is calling.
By picking up the call,neurons stimulate in your motor cortex which makes you pick up the phone andpress the button to answer. This seems like a very long process but it happensin less than a second. It’s crazy how our brains work each day!