Dendrite

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Dendrite

Nerve cell fibers that receive signals from other cells.

Dendrites are one of two types of short, threadlike fibers that extend from the cell body of a nerve cell, or neuron . The other type are called axons. Dendrites receive electrochemical signals, which are known as postsynaptic potentials, from the axons of other neurons, and the information contained in these signals is fired across a synaptic gap or cleft about 0.02 microns or about 8 millionths of an inch wide and transmitted toward the cell body, with the signals fading as they approach their destination. A single neuron can have many dendrites, each composed of numerous branches; together, they comprise the greater part of the neuron's receptive surface.

The number of axons and dendrites increases dramatically during infancy and childhoodpossibly to facilitate the rapid development experienced during this periodand decrease in early adolescence . A child of six or seven has more dendrites than an adult.

See also Synapse

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den·drite / ˈdendrīt/ • n. 1. Physiol. a short branched extension of a nerve cell, along which impulses received from other cells at synapses are transmitted to the cell body. Compare with axon. 2. a crystal or crystalline mass with a branching, treelike structure. ∎  a natural treelike or mosslike marking on a piece of rock or mineral.

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dendrite Any of the slender branching processes that arise from the dendrons of the cell body of a motor neuron. A dendrite forms connections (see synapse) with the axons of other neurons and transmits nerve impulses from these to the cell body.

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dendrite tree-like form in stone or mineral. XVIII. — F. — Gr. dendrī́tēs pert. to a tree, f. déndron tree; see -ITE.

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dendrite: see nervous system; synapse.

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dendrite A many-branched process, arising from the cell body of a neuron, that receives impulses from other neurons.

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dendrite (den-dryt) n. one of the shorter branching processes of the cell body of a neurone, which makes contact with other neurones at synapses and carries nerve impulses from them into the cell body.