By the end of this section, you will be able to:
- Describe the basic structure of a neuron
- Identify the different types of neurons on the basis of polarity
- List the glial cells of the CNS and describe their function
- List the glial cells of the PNS and describe their function
Nervous tissue is composed of two types of cells, neurons and glial cells. Neurons are the primary type of cell that most anyone associates with the nervous system. They are responsible for the computation and communication that the nervous system provides. They are electrically active and release chemical signals to target cells. Glial cells, or glia, are known to play a supporting role for nervous tissue. Ongoing research pursues an expanded role that glial cells might play in signaling, but neurons are still considered the basis of this function. Neurons are important, but without glial support they would not be able to perform their function.