Universal Properties

The communicative role of the nervous system is carried out by nerve cells, or neurons. These cells have three fundamental physiological properties that are necessary to this function:

  1. Excitability (irritability). All cells possess excitability, the ability to respond to environmental changes called stimuli. Neurons have developed this property to the highest degree.
  2. Conductivity. Neurons respond to stimuli by producing traveling electrical signals that quickly reach other cells at distant locations.
  3. Secretion. When the electrical signal reaches the end of a nerve fiber, the neuron secretes a chemical neurotransmitter that "jumps the gap" and stimulates the next cell.

1gangli = knot

2af = ad = toward + fer = to carry 3somat = body + ic = pertaining to 4ef = ex = out, away + fer = to carry 5auto = self + nom = law, governance

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

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.

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