Brief Overview of Brain Anatomy and Neurochemistry



The brain is the portion of the nervous system enclosed within the skull. It includes all of the higher nervous centers receiving stimuli from the sense organs.  The brain interprets and correlates these stimuli to create your thoughts feelings, and movements.  It is the organ of your mind.

The following graphic shows the main anatomical features of the brain and their location:



The neuron is the basic cell of the nervous system. It transmits nerve impulses. A typical neuron has a cell body containing a nucleus and two or more long fibers. Impulses are carried along one or many of these fibers, the dendrites, to the cell body; in higher nervous systems, only one fiber, the axon, carries the impulse away from the cell body.

The picture below shows the basic features of a neuron:


Neurotransmitters are chemical agents released by neurons to stimulate neighboring neurons, thus allowing impulses to be passed from one cell to the next throughout the nervous system.  Examples include dopamine and serotonin.  See Neurotransmitters for more information.

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