Teacher Key. Big Idea Different types of neurons compose the nervous tissue that forms the communication system within the body.

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1 Big Idea Different types of neurons compose the nervous tissue that forms the communication system within the body. Introduction to Neurons An individual s survival and reproductive success depends upon the ability to sense, respond and adapt appropriately to changes in the environment. The nervous system links sensation to response. Nerve cells (neurons) in the nervous system are the structural units principally used in transmitting information. Many different types of neurons with specialized structures enable them to conduct messages effectively from one part of the body to another. Modeling Neurons and Neuronal Structures 1. Draw your mental image of a neuron in the space below. (Various.) - Page 1

2 2. What are two characteristics that distinguish nerve cells from other cells? Nerve cells are unique in that they transmit signals and utilize chemical communication. 3. What is the difference between a nerve cell and a nerve? A nerve cell is a specialized excitable cell for the transmission of electrical signals over long distances while a nerve is a fiber composed of a bundle of axons of nerve cells. 4. Label these major parts of the large neuron model: dendrites, axon, soma/cell body, nucleus, myelin sheath, Schwann cell, axon hillock, synaptic knob. Synaptic Knob Axon Hillock Axon Dendrites Soma / Cell Body Schwann Cell Nucleus Myelin Sheath Nucleus 5. With an arrow, indicate the direction of the movement of information through the above nerve cell. (Noted in red on the diagram above.) - Page 2

3 6. Sketch and identify the types of neurons modeled in the Neuron Modeling Set in the space below. Bipolar Unipolar Multipolar Interneuron - Page 3

4 7. Where are these neurons found in the body? How do they function? Complete the chart below. Type of Neuron Based on Structure Location Functional Class Abundance multipolar PNS/CNS motor/efferent most abundant/ major CNS neuron bipolar special sense organs most sensory rare unipolar chiefly PNS most sensory commonly found in spinal cord and cranial nerves interneuron CNS Conducts impulses from afferent to motor neurons most abundant (over 100 billion) - Page 4

5 8. Identify the function of each of the following: motor neuron - interneuron - sensory neuron - a nerve cell that transmits signals from the brain or spinal cords (CNS) to muscels or glands a nerve cell within the CNS that forms synapses with sensory and/or motor neurons and integrates sensory input and motor output a nerve cell that receives information from internal or external environments and transmits signals to the CNS 9. What is the myelin sheath? The myelin sheath is a coat of cell membranes from Schwann cells or oligodendrocytes that are wrapped around the axon of a neuron. 10. What is the function of myelin sheath? The membranes of the cells forming the myelin sheath are composed mostly of lipids, which are poor conductors of electrical current and provide good insulation. 11. Label the neuron, oligodendrocyte, and Schwann cell. Neuron Oligodendrocyte Schwann Cell Neuron Peripheral Nervous System Central Nervous System - Page 5

6 12. Is the large neuron model a part of the PNS or the CNS? How do you know? The neuron is part of the PNS because the myelin sheath is composed from Schwann cells instead of oligodendrocytes. 13. What is a synapse? Identify where synapse junctions may occur in the body. A synapse is the junction where a neuron communicates with another cell across a narrow gap. 14. Identify where synapse junctions may occur in the body. _ Synapses may occur between nerve cells, between a nerve cell and a muscle cell or _ between a nerve cell and glandular cell. Neuronal Neuro- muscular Neuro- glandular - Page 6

7 15. To illustrate the structural diversity among neurons, identify the types of synapses shown in the diagram to below (axodendritic, axoaxonic, axosomatic). Using the neurons in the kit, model each of these synapse types. Axoaxonic Axodendritic Axosomatic - Page 7

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