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What is the functional unit of the nervous system?

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Quick Answer

The basic functional unit of the nervous system is the nerve cell, also called a neuron. These cells are specialized to send information through the body in the form of electrical action potentials. These travel from one neuron to the next through special connections called synapses.

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Full Answer

The cell body of a neuron contains several structures called dendrites, which receive action potentials from other neurons. Another specialized structure is the axon, which connects to the dendrites of other neurons and sends the action potential to them. There are several types of neurons in the body, including sensory neurons, motor neurons and interneurons, which connect different types of nerve cells.

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