sensory neuron

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Related to Sensory neurons: Interneurons, Motor neurons

sen·so·ry neu·ron

a neuron conveying information originating from sensory receptors or nerve endings; an afferent neuron, may be a general or special sensory neuron.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


(noo'ron?) [Gr. neuron, nerve, sinew]
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A nerve cell, the structural and functional unit of the nervous system. A neuron consists of a cell body (perikaryon) and its processes, an axon and one or more dendrites. Neurons function in the initiation and conduction of impulses. They transmit impulses to other neurons or cells by releasing neurotransmitters at synapses. Alternatively, a neuron may release neurohormones into the bloodstream. Synonym: nerve cell See: illustrationneuronal (noor''on-al), adjective

afferent neuron

A neuron that conducts sensory impulses toward the brain or spinal cord.
Synonym: sensory neuron

association neuron


associative neuron

A neuron that mediates impulses between a sensory and a motor neuron.

bipolar neuron

1. A neuron that bears two processes.
2. A neuron of the retina that receives impulses from the rods and cones and transmits them to a ganglion neuron. See: retina for illus.

central neuron

A neuron confined entirely to the central nervous system.

commissural neuron

A neuron whose axon crosses to the opposite side of the brain or spinal cord.

efferent neuron

A neuron whose axon carries motor impulses away from the brain or spinal cord.

gamma motor neuron

A small nerve originating in the anterior horns of the spinal cord that transmits impulses through type A gamma fibers to intrafusal fibers of the muscle spindle for muscle control.

ganglion neuron

A neuron of the retina that receives impulses from bipolar neurons. Axons of ganglion neurons converge at the optic disk to form the optic nerve.
See: retina for illus.

internuncial neuron


lower motor neuron

A peripheral motor neuron that originates in the ventral horns of the gray matter of the spinal cord and terminates in skeletal muscles. Lesions of these neurons produce flaccid paralysis of the muscles they innervate. Synonym: lower motoneuron

mirror neuron

Any of a group of neurons that become active both when an animal moves in a certain way and when the animal observes others performing the same action. Learning by simulation or imitation is thought to be a function of the system of mirror neurons in the brain.

motor neuron

A neuron that carries impulses from the central nervous system either to muscle tissue to stimulate contraction or to glandular tissue to stimulate secretion.

multipolar neuron

A neuron with one axon and many dendrites.

peripheral neuron

A neuron whose process constitutes a part of the peripheral nervous system (cranial, spinal, or autonomic nerves).

peripheral motor neuron

A motor neuron that transmits impulses to skeletal muscle. Synonym: peripheral motoneuron

postganglionic neuron

A neuron of the autonomic nervous system whose cell body lies in an autonomic ganglion and whose axon terminates in a visceral effector (smooth or cardiac muscle or glands).

preganglionic neuron

A neuron of the autonomic nervous system whose cell body lies in the central nervous system and whose axon terminates in a peripheral ganglion, synapsing with postganglionic neurons.

sensory neuron

Afferent neuron.

serotonergic neuron

A nerve cell that uses serotonin as its neurotransmitter.

unipolar neuron

A neuron whose cell body bears one process.

upper motor neuron

A motor neuron (actually an interneuron) found completely within the central nervous system that synapses with or regulates the actions of lower motor neurons in the spinal cord and cranial nerves. Lesions of these neurons produce spastic paralysis in the muscles they innervate. Synonym: upper motoneuron
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners

sensory neuron


sensory cell

a neuron that conducts impulses from the periphery of an organ to the CNS.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
They also revealed that patients with pain disorders such as erythromelalgia, small fiber neuropathy, and paroxysmal extreme pain disorder, contain mutant forms of Nav1.7 that cause the sensory neurons in which they are present to fire abnormally and at the merest hint of provocation.
Also, disruption of inhibition of the antagonist muscle or increased action potentials in the sensory neurons from the muscle spindle can lead to muscle tightness (Nielsen et al., 2007).
Evidence consistent with a pain-generating mechanism following injury include (1) the existence of hyperactivity in the spinal cord and thalamus of patients with SCI [43,58-59], (2) effectiveness of local anesthetics in alleviating pain when delivered to the injured cord [41,60], and (3) sensitization and prolonged afterdischarges of spinal sensory neurons following SCI [25,31,42,61-62].
In animals, NGF acutely conditions the response to capsaicin, suggesting that NGF may be important in sensitizing the response of sensory neurons and may play a role in pain and hyperalgesia (Anand 1995, 2004; Shu and Mendell 1999b, 2001).
Then, scientists think, nerve fibers called cutaneous sensory neurons signal the brain with a "SCRATCH ME HERE." A scratch may relieve a minor itch like a bug bite, because scratching disperses (spreads out) histamines, Webster explains.
In the deafferentation type of neuropathic pain, the primary sensory neurons are completely damaged, hence the profound sensory deficit and cold skin.
Two particularly consistent changes effected by 5-HT in sensory neurons are spike broadening (a longer duration action potential; Baxter and Byrne 1990; Mercer et al.
The researchers then delivered into the nose droplets containing globose basal cells--the principal pool of replicating stem cells that replenish aging or damaged olfactory sensory neurons throughout life.
"Activating two different receptors present in the same sensory neurons seems to have a type of synergy that requires less drug to deliver better pain relief in our animal models, and, if tests in humans pan out, may offer a way to lower the risk for developing tolerance and addiction to pain medications," said researcher Srinivasa Raja.
Scientists previously developed a new surgical technique to reconnect sensory neurons to the spinal cord after traumatic spinal injuries.