This is a nerve cell or neuron.
The dendrites receive information from other nerve cells. The axon forwards information to other nerve cells.
The dendrites are so called because they look like a tree. Dendron means tree in ancient greek.
The dendrites do not have smooth surfaces as in the image above. In fact they have protruberances on them called dendritic spines rather like leaves
on a tree. This is a close-up of a dendrite. You can observe the spines or leaves.
The spines/leaves are growing and receding all day long. This is a video of the spines/leaves (from the hearing part of the brain of a mouse).
Here is another video of the spines/leaves on the dendrite.
It seems that in most psychiatric diseases the spines/leaves are decreased. Reduced spines/leaves are associated with
1. Fear – or anxiety
2. Self-pity – or depression
3. Resentment – or hatred
4. Dishonesty – and even criminality
5. Memory impairment – or dementia
6. Auditory hallucinations – as in schizophrenia.
7. Following a convulsion.
Even simple things such as hunger, anger, loneliness or tiredness reduce spines/leaves. Being too serious may also have the same effect.
I like to compare the images to a tree changing from summer to winter when one feels lousy and vice-versa when one feels good.
What makes spines/leaves grow to make one feel good?
It seems the following may help:
1. Sometimes it happens spontaneously – the eureka moment.
2. Having positive people around you.
3. Avoiding isolation.
6. Physical/mental exercise.
8. Pleasant music/images.
9. Curcumin in curries/omega 3 fish oils.
10. Anti-depressants e.g. Prozac.
11. Alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamine.
12. Electrical brain stimulation.
This simple model may be of use to people who are in a winter part of their lives and seek to change from this: