10 Differences Between axon and dendrite

The Difference Between Axon and Dendrite

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What is Axon?

An axon is a long, slender projection of a neuron that conducts electrical impulses away from the neuron cell body. It is responsible for transmitting signals to other neurons, muscles, or glands. Axons are covered by a myelin sheath, which helps speed up the transmission of signals.

Examples of Axon

– The axon of a motor neuron transmits signals to muscle fibers, causing them to contract.

– In the brain, the axons of neurons in the visual cortex transmit visual information to other regions involved in processing visual stimuli.

What is Dendrite?

A dendrite is a branch-like structure that extends from the cell body of a neuron. It receives electrical signals from other neurons and carries them towards the cell body. Dendrites play a crucial role in integrating and processing information received by the neuron.

Examples of Dendrite

– When you touch a hot surface, the sensory neurons in your skin send signals through dendrites to your brain, allowing you to perceive the heat and react accordingly.

– Motor neurons receive signals from other neurons through dendrites, enabling them to initiate muscle movements.

Differences Between Axon and Dendrite

Difference Area Axon Dendrite
Function Transmits signals away from neuron cell body Receives signals and carries them towards the cell body
Location Varies in length, can extend long distances Relatively short, confined to the immediate vicinity of the cell body
Structure Single, thick, long projection Multiple, thin, extensively branched projections
Myelin Sheath Predominantly covered by a myelin sheath, which speeds up signal transmission Not covered by a myelin sheath
Signal Direction Always carries signals away from the cell body Always carries signals towards the cell body
Signal Type Transmits action potentials/electrical impulses Receives synaptic input through neurotransmitters
Connections Connects with other neurons, muscles, or glands Connects with other neurons
Number Each neuron typically has one axon Each neuron has multiple dendrites
Function in Neural Transmission Primary role in transmitting the signals Primary role in receiving and integrating signals
Stimulation Axon is stimulated by depolarization of the cell body or dendrites Dendrite is stimulated by the release of neurotransmitters from other neurons


In summary, axons and dendrites are two distinct parts of a neuron that play crucial roles in neural communication. While axons transmit signals away from the cell body, dendrites receive and carry signals towards the cell body. Axons are covered by a myelin sheath and can extend long distances, while dendrites are relatively short and extensively branched. Understanding the differences between axons and dendrites is essential for comprehending the complex workings of the nervous system.

People Also Ask:

Q: What is the primary function of an axon?

A: The primary function of an axon is to transmit electrical impulses away from the neuron cell body.

Q: Can axons and dendrites both receive signals?

A: No, axons only transmit signals, while dendrites receive signals and carry them towards the cell body.

Q: How do axons and dendrites differ in structure?

A: Axons are single, long projections, while dendrites are multiple, extensively branched projections.

Q: Do axons and dendrites have different coverings?

A: Yes, axons are predominantly covered by a myelin sheath, while dendrites are not covered by myelin.

Q: Can axons and dendrites connect with muscles?

A: Axons can connect with muscles, allowing for muscle contractions. Dendrites primarily connect with other neurons.

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