10 Difference Between Afferent and Efferent Neurons (With Table)

The human body responds to stimuli in various ways. Thanks to the coordination of neurons and the central nervous system. It is the reason why the body can smell, move and hear.

The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord. The brain is responsible for the interpretation of signals transmitted via neurons.

So, what is the main difference between afferent and efferent neurons? Afferent neurons carry signals from the sensory perception to the central nervous system whereas efferent neurons carry signals from the central nervous system to the effector organs.

Efferent and afferent neurons are the peripheral nervous systems. These neurons play a crucial role in the body. They consist of dendrites, dendrons, and cell bodies.

Continue reading this article for deeper insights into the difference between efferent and afferent neurons. Keep in mind that these neurons have opposite roles when it comes to transferring signals between organs and brains or spinal cord.

difference between afferent and efferent neurons

Comparison Table (Afferent vs Efferent Neurons)

Basic Terms Afferent Neurons Efferent Neurons
DescriptionThese are neurons that carry sensory signals towards the CNS.These are neurons that carry motor signals away from the CNS.
Alternative NameSensory neuronsMotor neurons
Main FunctionTo carry signals from the sensory organs to the CNS.To carry signals from the CNS to the effector organs and tissues.
Axon LengthShort axon.Long axon.
ReceptorsPresentAbsent
Cell Body LocationLocated in the dorsal root ganglion of the spinal cord and no dendrites are found in it.Situated in the ventral root ganglion of the spinal cord and consists of dendrites.
DendronsOne long dendronMany short dendrons
Multipolar or unipolarUnipolarMultipolar
ImportanceCarry signals from the outer part of the body to the CNS.Carry signals from the CNS to the outer part of the body.
Present inSkin, eyes, ears, tongue, and nose.Muscles and glands.

What Is Afferent Neuron?

Afferent neuron carries sensory impulses towards the CNS. The neuron is also known as sensory neurons. These neurons are found in the skin, eyes, ears, tongue, and nose.

The afferent neurons usually convert external stimuli to internal electrical impulses. The nerve impulse travels along with the afferent nerve fiber to the CNS.

The sensory perception gathered by afferent neurons is light, smell, taste, hearing, and touch. These sensory perceptions are detected by the eyes, skin, nose, ears, and tongue.

What Is Efferent Neuron?

Efferent neuron carries motor impulses away from the CNS towards the effector organs and tissue. These neurons are responsible for muscle contraction and secretion of substances by the glands.

The efferent neuron is also known as the motor neuron. The motor neuron is divided into upper and lower motor neurons. These neurons convey the signals to the muscles and the glands.

Main Differences between Afferent and Efferent Neurons

  1. Afferent neurons carry sensory impulses towards the CNS. Efferent neurons carry motor impulses from the CNS towards the effector organs and tissue.
  2. Afferent neuron has short axon while efferent neuron has long axon.
  3. The afferent neuron is also known as a sensory neuron while the efferent neuron is a motor neuron.
  4. Afferent neuron has receptor while efferent neuron lack receptor.
  5. Afferent consists of long dendron whereas efferent neuron consists of short dendron.

Similarities between Afferent and Efferent Neurons

  1. Both are the peripheral nervous system.
  2. Both help the brain with the coordination of stimuli with their responses.
  3. Both consist of the cell body, dendron, and dendrites.

In Conclusion

The main difference between afferent and efferent neurons is that the former is carries sensory impulses towards the CNS and the latter carries motor impulses away from the CNS.

CNS is responsible for coordinating the stimuli with the respective responses. Specific stimuli is send to the effector organs such as glands, organs and tissues by efferent neurons.

More Sources and References

 

Leave a Comment