type of neuron

Neurons are the cells in our body responsible for transmitting electrical signals through the nervous system. The ability to move or feel the world around us all starts with impulses from neurons. This process helps us see, taste, touch and move. To immediately facilitate these bodily processes, highly specialized neurons are used to transmit these signals and coordinate the body.

Read on to learn about the different types of neurons in the body and how they help us function.

type of neuron

There are many different types of neurons, and they all have specialized functions in the brain, spinal cord, and muscles that control our bodies. These different types of neurons are highly specialized. Some neurons are responsible for taste, while others are responsible for perceiving pain.

Traditionally, scientists have divided neurons into three broad categories based on their function:

  • senses
  • engine
  • interneuron

The scientists also divided neurons into four groups based on structural differences:

  • multipole
  • Monopolar
  • bipolar
  • Pseudo-unipolar

Although nearly all neurons fall into one of these broad categories, these seven groups are only a subset of all neurons within the nervous system. Classifying neurons helps us simplify how they work and better understand their role in the body.

sensory neurons

Sensory neurons help us feel and explore the world around us. Primary senses such as touch and pain help us navigate the world safely.

Pain is an example of an important sensory neuron. When you feel pain from a hot pan or a sharp pin, you are sending sensory information to the brain through sensory neurons. The flow of electrical impulses is guided from the source of pain along nerve fibers that connect to sensory neurons.

Sensory neurons are essential for our bodies to understand the environment around us. They can transmit information about temperature and teach us when to avoid hot food. Sensory neurons can also support complex movements, such as picking up dishes.

Sensory neurons provide feedback to our muscles and joints for precise and engineered movements.

motor neuron

Motor neurons control the movement of the body. These neurons coordinate our muscles and make sure our arms and legs move together.

Motor neurons can be subdivided into lower and upper motor neurons, which are located in the brain and spinal cord. The difference between upper and lower motor neurons involves the level of control each neuron has over bodily functions.

Healthcare providers often use differentiated movements based on upper and lower neurons to describe types of neurological disorders.

How motor neurons work in practice

Think about the process of getting up from a chair. Your brain tells your motor neurons in your legs to activate. Next, your motor neurons send commands to the muscles that control the lift of your leg. Finally, you can press your arms against the armrests of the chair for extra lift.

This series of actions is completely controlled by the activity of motor neurons. It’s impressive how all this can happen without much thought. Motor neurons work in tandem with your muscles to move your body seamlessly through space.


Interneurons are the most abundant neurons in the body. They act as signal controllers in the body, relaying important information from one end of the nervous system to the other.

Interneurons are located in the middle of other neurons, such as motor or sensory neurons. They are responsible for relaying electrical signals.

Interneurons can also be used to modulate signals from neurons. They can control what is sent and what is not sent. They have a multipole structure that allows them to receive multiple signals and then send a unified command to another neuron. In this way, you can think of interneurons as traffic controllers, sitting in the middle of neural pathways and coordinating the flow of information.

Interneurons and Depression

Interneurons are thought to play an important role in signaling in the brain, and they have been implicated in depression.

Neuron Anatomy

Neurons are the basic cellular units of the nervous system. Neurons have different components that play an integral role in the ability to receive and transmit signals through the body.

The most important components of a neuron are:

  • Cell Body: In the cell body, neurons store genetic material and generate energy to function.
  • Axon: axon Responsible for conducting electrical signals. They need to respond quickly and provide information. However, they can stretch a few meters and a few meters.To overcome this problem, the human body has developed ingenious ways to myelin. Myelinated neurons can communicate rapidly, 10 times faster than unmyelinated neurons.
  • Synapse: synapse is the part of the neuron that receives information.Synapses are made up of small receptors called dendritespick up the signals, and pass them on to the axon.

In addition to the billions of neurons within the nervous system, there are many supporting cells called Glial cells Cells that regulate neuronal activity. Glia are responsible for removing waste and debris from neurons and responding to inflammation and invaders such as viruses and bacteria.

Although glial cells do not directly regulate signaling in the nervous system, a growing body of research suggests that they play an important role in healthy nervous system function.

Structure-based neuron types include:

  • Unipolar neurons: These neurons have a long axon that is responsible for sending electrical signals. The axons of unipolar neurons are myelinated and can transmit signals rapidly.
  • Multipolar Neurons: These neurons are able to receive impulses from multiple neurons through their dendrites. Dendrites transmit signals through neurons by electrical signals propagating along the axon.
  • Bipolar Neurons: These neurons send signals and receive information from the world. Examples include neurons in the eye that receive light and then transmit signals to the brain.
  • Pseudo-unipolar neurons: These neurons transmit signals from the skin and muscles to the spinal cord. They are the main neurons responsible for coordinating the movements of the arms and legs using input from the brain.


Neurons are responsible for transmitting signals throughout the body, a process that allows us to move and exist in the world around us. Different types of neurons include sensory neurons, motor neurons, and interneurons, as well as structure-based neurons, which include unipolar, multipolar, bipolar, and pseudounipolar neurons. These cells coordinate bodily functions and movements so quickly that we don’t even notice it happening.

VigorTip words

Neurons and their various complexities can seem like a daunting topic. However, knowing that different types of neurons play different roles in the body can help you gain a basic understanding of the structure of the nervous system. Understanding the types of neurons and how they affect the body can explain different diseases of the nervous system, from traumatic spinal cord injury to neurodegenerative diseases.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the most common types of neurons?

    The most common types of neurons are sensory neurons, motor neurons, and interneurons. Among them, interneurons are the most abundant neurons.

  • Which neurons carry impulses away from the central nervous system?

    Efferent neurons help transmit signals from the brain and central nervous system (CNS) to muscles and skin. Efferent neurons are responsible for controlling the body.

  • Do neurons get replaced during a lifetime?

    Some neurons, such as those located in the peripheral nervous system, can slowly regenerate and repair themselves. However, neurons located in the brain and spinal cord cannot heal or regenerate. Therefore, certain damage to the nervous system is permanent, such as spinal cord injury. In some cases, neuronal plasticity within the brain causes healthy neurons to take on the jobs or functions of other damaged neurons.

  • Which neurons are myelinated?

    Most neurons that carry signals for movement and higher-order functions, such as thinking and reading, have myelin sheaths. By contrast, neurons that control pain and temperature sensation are sometimes myelinated and sometimes not. Unmyelinated neurons transmit electrical signals more slowly than myelinated nerves in the body.