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How fast do your nerves react?
Question Date: 2016-08-31
Answer 1:

Nerve cells react, or transfer information to each other, by producing an electrochemical signal called the action potential. This signal travels down a part of the nerve cell called the axon, which is like a wire that carries the signal to other nerve cells.

On average a nerve cell sends a signal at about 50 meters per second, which is over 100 miles an hour! This means that when you step on something sharp it does take some time for that signal to go from the nerves in your foot to your brain, although not very much time. In fact in taller people it takes longer for a signal to go from one area to another than in shorter people, but the difference is too fast to tell outside of a laboratory.

Depending on a number of factors, signals can be sent even faster. One important factor is how myelinated the axon is.Myelin is a fatty substance that acts as an electrical insulator, increasing the speed at which the signal is sent. A highly myelinated nerve cell can send a signal at up to 120 meters per second, or nearly 270 miles per hour, quite a bit faster than an airplane taking off! These quick speeds are the basis for everything the brain does, from making sense of what your eyes see to deciding what you're going to have for lunch.

Thanks for the question,

Answer 2:

How quickly your nerves react will depend on which kind of nerve impulses you are talking about! On average, however, it is estimated that neurons fire about 200 times per second.

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