Nervous System

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by cozybell
Last updated 5 years ago

Human Anatomy

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Nervous System

The Nervous System

A neuron, also known as a nerve cell, is a specialized cell that transmits electrochemical signals to communicate with other parts of the body.

The Central Nervous System (CNS) is responsible for the processing, memory, and regulation system of the body. It monitors the internal and external conditions of the body by taking in conscious and subconscious sensory information, which it receives from sensory receptors. It is comprised of the brain and the spinal cord. The spinal cord is used as a messenger between the brain and other organs of the body; impulses carried by nerve cells travel down the spinal cord to their destination. The brain is divided into several control centers; the cerebrum, the cerebral cortex, the cerebellum, and the medulla. The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and it is responsible for thought and intelligence. It is divided into two hemispheres, the right hemisphere controlling the right side of the body and the left hemisphere controlling the left. The cerebral cortex deals with learning, language, reasoning, and memory. The cerebellum works with voluntary muscles, muscle tone, and balance, and is located below the cerebrum. Finally, the medulla, which connects the spinal cord cerebrum. It controls vomiting, heart rate, coughing, swallowing, and breathing.

The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) connects the Central Nervous System to the rest of the body. It includes everything else; the nerves, ganglia, sensory receptors, and the spinal and cranial nerves. There are two sections of the PNS; the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system.Somatic Nervous System-The somatic nervous system identifies with the movement of skeletal muscles and other voluntary actions, things that we can control. It consists of the spinal and cranial nerves.Autonomic Nervous System-The autonomic nervous system, however, identifies with the heart, organs, and glands. It controls involuntary actions, things we do not have to think about. This includes breathing and organ functions. It is divided into two branches; the sympathetic branch and the parasympathetic branch.Sympathetic branch- More commonly known as fight or flight, it reacts in response to stress, danger, exercise, embarrassment, and emotions. In these cases, it is able to increase respiration or heart rate, release stress hormones, and decrease your digestion.Parasympathetic branch- Also known and rest and digest, this branch responds when the body is relaxed, feeding, or resting. It’s job is the opposite sympathetic branch; it works to undo it’s work by decreasing respiration or heart rate, increasing digestion, and allowing wastes to exit.

A nerve impulse is an electrical signal that travels along the axon. The nerve will be activated when ions move in and out of the neuron, which will cause a sudden change in voltage. A wave of electrical activity will be triggered, passing along the axon from the cell body to the synapse.

A reflex is when you react to a change in environment without thinking. A reflex arc is when a message is carried by neurons from stimulated receptors to the correct effectors. A message from the receptor is carried by a sensory neuron to the CNS. A message from the CNS is carried by a motor neuron to the receptor.

Acetylcholine: Acts as a neurotransmitter; used in both the PNS and CNSAction Potential: This occurs when information is sent down the axon Dendrite: An extension of a nerve cell; impulses that are received from other cells at synapses are sent to the cell bodyOblongata: Controls involuntary actions; located in the brain stem Mixed nerve: A nerve that carries impulses to and from the CNSNeurotransmitter: Chemicals released from a neuronSodium Potassium pump: Uses energy to remove three sodium ions out of the neuron for every two potassium ions enteringStimulus: Something that evokes a response

The nervous system is a collection of nerves and neurons that run throughout the body and transmit signals.

Central Nervous System

Peripheral Nervous System


Nerve Impulse

Additonal Terms

Reflex Arc


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