Home Physics Homework Help Because the long axons of neurons look like electrical wires, and both...

Because the long axons of neurons look like electrical wires, and both neurons and electrical wires conduct electricity, is tempting to equate the two. Compare and contrast the functioning of axons and electrical wires in terms of their structure and the nature of the electrical signals they conduct.


Neurons are nerve cells; neurons are messengers. These messengers are passed through the brain from a receptor through an electrical signal. Axons are what transmits information or nerve impulses from one cell to another. Like an electrical wire; when an axon is torn the nerve impulse will not end up being transmitted, like electrical wires axons have an outer coating that gives it insulation. Especially when it is being damaged by force. This leads to problems being noticed in the nerve cell, despite the possibility that the axon may be torn.

A physical example of comparison is a cord to an appliance like for instance a vacuum cleaner. Often times, I know I can rush the brushing process and on occasion have gotten the cord caught on the blades. When damage is caused to the exterior of the cord the vacuum will continue to properly function despite the fraying of insulation, which then exposes bare wire. When we touch it with our bare hands after the rubber protection has melted off, almost if not instantaneously I will feel a shock. Basically the insulation from the electricity is no longer there and is now exposed. Our skin is our insulation, like the rubber is to the vacuum wire. The same is the electrical signal sent from axons sent to one cell to another the electrical signals connection, the axon is a wire that is so long that that if you attached it from one end to the other there would be enough wire to reach from the moon and back (Neurons and Circuits). Our brain is composed of different subsystems it is these signals that are in charge of sending information that is far, or long distanced. Our brain processes so much information, it is these connections that work together to figure out the over 10,000 connections. Wires connect signals at the speed of light while the signals in our brains are slower in transporting signal.

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