A nerve cell, which is an impulse-conducting cell of the brain, spinal cord and nerves, with the unique function of connecting itself with many other nerve cells. Neurons also connect to muscle cells to make them move. Specialized neurons can function to receive information in the form of touch, sound, light, chemical signals such as smell and taste,and can function to receive internal body sensations.
The main portion of the nerve cell is the body, or soma. The cell has a long extension, or axon. At the end of the axon are small extensions, or dendrites. The dendrites are very close to the next neuron's soma, allowing one neuron to communicate with the next. The space between the dendrites and soma is called the synapse. Each soma may have as many as 10,000 dendrites touching it.