The part of the neuron that normally receives stimuli is the dendrite. The dendrites, which are numerous short-branched extensions, come together at the cell body. The purpose of the dendrites is to receive and combine the messages coming from other neurons.
Dendrites have spikes on them to increase the surface area and receive input from many other neurons. The number of dendrites attached to a neuron may change, depending on the environment of the neuron and amount of stimulation received.
An electrical signal known as a nerve impulse or action potential travels through the cell body and down the axon, a long structure that transmits nerve impulses to the next neuron.