A neuron is a signaling cell in the nervous system with highly specialized processes, axons and dendrites, that receive, integrate, and transduce stereotypic electrochemical signals from one cell to another. Unlike many other cell types in the body, every neuron sits in a unique position of the brain and spinal cord and makes connections (synapses) with neurons or non-neuronal cells (e.g. muscles) in other areas to establish highly ordered communication systems. The positional information and the initial targets of a neuron are endowed during the birth of a neuron in early embryonic development. The establishment of functional connectivity is influenced by activity.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.