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see nervous systemnervous system,
network of specialized tissue that controls actions and reactions of the body and its adjustment to the environment. Virtually all members of the animal kingdom have at least a rudimentary nervous system.
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; synapsesynapse
, junction between various signal-transmitter cells, either between two neurons or between a neuron and a muscle or gland. A nerve impulse reaches the synapse through the axon, or transmitting end, of a nerve cell, or neuron.
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a branching process of a nerve cell that receives excitatory or inhibitory influences from other neurons or receptor cells.

In some types of cells the dendrite directly receives mechanical, chemical, or thermal stimulation. Various cells may have from one to many dendrites. They form the sensory pole of the nerve cell. The dendrite attains maximal branching in neurons of the central nervous systems of animals with a high degree of organization. The numerous synapses on the surface of a dendrite are formed by the axons of other cells that approach them.



a crystalline form of a mineral, alloy, or artificial compound, pertaining to a complex type of skeleton crystals (incomplete crystalline polyhedra) or to an aggregation of accreted crystals, mutually oriented in accordance with their symmetry. Usually a dendrite is shaped like the small branches of a tree, the leaf of a fern, or a star (for example, a snowflake). Dendrites are formed from melts, vapors, or solutions during the rapid crystallization of the substance under conditions of restricted growth as a result of the uneven supply of materials to various parts of the growing crystals, for example, along fine, small fissures or rocks, crystals, or aggregates of other minerals; between thin glass plates; in viscous media; and in friable clay formations. In nature, dendrites are common in native copper, silver, gold, and other metals as well as in pyrolusite, uraninite, the sulfides of iron and copper, and many other minerals.


The part of a neuron that carries the unidirectional nerve impulse toward the cell body. Also known as dendron.
A crystal having a treelike structure.