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What is the difference between sensory and motor nerves/neurons?

Question #57913. Asked by chocolatecello.
Last updated Oct 09 2016.

Answer has 85 votes
Currently Best Answer

Answer has 85 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
Sensory nerves/neurons gather information of the environment and send it to the brain, and motor nerves/neurons tell muscles to contract, thereby making you move.
A sensory nerve/neuron is a nerve that carries sensory information toward the central nervous system (CNS). It is an enclosed, cable-like bundle of afferent nerve fibers (the axons of sensory neurons) in the peripheral nervous system (PNS).

Motor neurons' axons are efferent nerve fibers that carry signals from the spinal cord to the effectors to produce effects. Types of motor neurons are alpha motor neurons, beta motor neurons, and gamma motor neurons.


Response last updated by Terry on Oct 09 2016.
Jun 23 2005, 5:24 PM
Answer has 61 votes
20 year member
3324 replies

Answer has 61 votes.
So the main difference is that sensory nerves have cells called sensory neurons. These have special sensory receptors in their cell membranes that convert information such as smell, light, temperature, etc., depending on the type of nerve, into electrical impulses which travel down the nerve, either to the central nervous system or to directly trigger motor nerves (a reflex).

Motor nerves have special motor neurons. These have a special junction or synapse with muscles, releasing specific neurotransmitters that cause muscle fibres to contract.

Response last updated by Terry on Oct 09 2016.
Jun 24 2005, 1:37 AM
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