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How do motor neurons function in muscle movement and response?

Motor neurons function by transmitting signals from the central nervous system to muscles, causing movement.

Motor neurons are responsible for controlling muscle movement and response. They are part of the peripheral nervous system and transmit signals from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles. These signals are in the form of electrical impulses, which travel down the motor neuron and cause the release of neurotransmitters at the neuromuscular junction.

The neurotransmitter acetylcholine is released and binds to receptors on the muscle fibre, causing depolarisation of the muscle cell membrane. This depolarisation triggers the release of calcium ions from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, which leads to muscle contraction. The more motor neurons that are activated, the more muscle fibres are stimulated, resulting in greater force of contraction.

Motor neurons also play a role in muscle tone, which is the continuous low-level contraction of muscles that helps to maintain posture and balance. This is achieved by a constant stream of signals from motor neurons to the muscles, which keeps them in a state of partial contraction.

In summary, motor neurons are essential for muscle movement and response. They transmit signals from the central nervous system to the muscles, causing them to contract and produce movement. They also play a role in muscle tone, which helps to maintain posture and balance.

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