How is a neuron adapted to perform its function?
The nerves cells are rather long which enables communication with distant body parts. The dendrites allow for communication with other neurons. Myelin surrounding the axon of a neuron acts as an insulator.
The above example is a very general description. In fact, neurons can be categorized into three groups based on their function:
Carry impulses from the receptors (cells that detect the stimuli i.e. heat or pressure) to the central nervous system (CSN).
They have longer dendrites and shorter axons due to carrying of impulses from sensory organs to the spinal cord or brain.
In general, sensory neurons are very long cells as they have to carry the impulses from the body to the place where the response occurs.
Carry impulses from the CSN to the effector (cells responding to the stimuli i.e organs, muscles)
They have long axons and shorter dendrites due to the passage of impulses from spinal cord or brain to the effector organs/cells.
They are known as link neurons in the CNS due to their function which is to link sensory neurons with the motor neurons