Crafting the Message

  • Published27 Jul 2018
  • Reviewed27 Jul 2018
  • Author Michael W. Richardson
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN
Image of axons and dendrites
Leterrier et al. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2018.

Axons and dendrites are the motorways of the brain; as electrical signals shoot along their pathways, the circuits that form the basic functions of the brain become more and more complex. Dendrites, seen here in blue, reach out to other neurons to receive their messages. But axons are responsible for conveying those message onward. Highlighted in yellow are specialized cell parts called the axon initial segment – responsible for generating, shaping, and dispatching these signals. The signal will then move down the axon until it meets up with a dendrite from another cell, ready to receive its message.

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