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Nervous System

With the exception of some very simple organisms, every single animal has a nervous system. It is what makes us sentient, living things. 

The entire structure of the nervous system is made up of specialized cells that are found nowhere else in the body. Most of these are neurons. Neurons bundle together to form nerves - pathways that transmit electrochemical signals from one part of your body to the the other.¹ The other type of specialized cells are glia, which essentially serve as support and maintenance to the neuron.

The nervous system is comprised of two divisions: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS).

This simple diagram illustrates the basic division of the CNS and PNS within the nervous system. Image Credit: CrashCourse Biology: The Nervous System

The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord and is responsible for analyzing and interpreting the data that the PNS - all of the nerves outside of the brain and spine - collects and sends its way.¹ Once the CNS has analyzed the data it sends a signal back to the PNS instructing it to perform an action which the PNS carries out. The main function of the PNS is to relay messages between the CNS and the rest of the body.

Both of these systems contain two types of neurons: afferent and efferent. Afferent neurons carry messages to the brain and efferent neurons carry messages from the brain to the rest of the body. In the PNS, afferent neurons are called sensory neurons and efferent neurons are known as motor neurons. Sensory neurons send signals to the brain triggered by outside stimuli and motor neurons send signals throughout the body based on decisions made in the CNS.¹ Within the CNS, afferent and efferent neurons exchange signals to different parts of the brain.¹

The PNS is comprised of two different systems:

  1. The somatic nervous system (SNS) is responsible for voluntary body movement and for sensing external stimuli.¹
  2. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is responsible for regulating involuntary bodily functions such as heartbeat, blood flow, breathing and digestion.¹ The ANS has two divisions:
    • The sympathetic division regulates fight-or-flight responses.¹
    • The parasympathetic division helps maintain normal body functions and conserves physical resources.¹



1.Carlson, Neil R., Buskist, W., Heth, C.D, Schmaltz, R. Psychology - The Science of Behaviour.

Categories within Nervous System

Neurons and Glia

Postings: 20

Neurons and glia are the two types of cells that makes up the nervous system.

Neural Basis and Thought

What were some of the most significant factors that may have prevented general acceptance of the neural basis for all thoughts, and why are those factors important? Please put in your own words and give scholarly references (do not paste and copy). Thank you.

The Interrelationship between Neuropsychology and General Psychology

Could you please do an "objective" conversational response on how this person has done on their discussion on their discussion on neuropsychology and general psychology? Your expert objective response should contribute thoughtful, unique and interesting information to add to their discussion. This is their discussion: Aft

Perceptual Binding and Gestalts Theory

Perceptual Binding and Gestalts Theory is related to organizing thoughts to gain the big picture is what we do everyday. What would happen if those connectors are not in place or not fired correctly in the brain, will it cause a different picture or confusion in the brain to relay what is reality?

Someone's Neural Patterns are Irregular

What I have learned from perceptual binding is that it is interrelated with the neurons in our brain. The fact is, that some of these topics are not easy to understand. Sometimes have a hard time with some of these concepts. I am starting to learn that the mind is like a filing cabinet. We file, organize and retrieve items almos

Sympathetic nervous system response and cultural influences

Think about the sympathetic nervous system response. You will have many symptoms. Many of these symptoms are physical such as sweating, shortness of breath, increased heart rate and cold hands. You will also feel a sense of impending doom. Most of us feel these symptoms in a culturally influenced manner. Why do you think

Integumentary and Nervous systems

Name the two primary components of the central nervous system (CNS). Describe the protective membranes associated with eh CNS. Differentiate between afferent and efferent nerve structure and function.

Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems:operation and example

Could someone please discuss how the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system operate? Also could you please use real world or personal examples of how the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system can relate to a person's real life situation or encounter?

Sensation process-Peripheral nervous system

1) Detail the process of sensation 2) Explain how information is processed 3) Describe how the process of sensation and perception (in the sensory area you have chosen) can affect your understanding (or misunderstanding) of the world around you

Neurotransmitters are summarized.

What is the role of receptors in the functioning of the nervous system? What research evidence supports the "lock and key" model for the mode of action of neurotransmitters?

a. Describe each system. b. Indicate what the strengths and weaknesses are of each system. In other words, what does each system do well for the people living under each system and what does each system do poorly for the people living under each system? c. Present your opinion regarding which system will likely dominate by the end of the current century. Substantiate your opinion with specific evidence as well as logical argumentation.

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Drugs Affect Nervous System

How do drugs affect the nervous system? How are the neurological processes altered due to the presence of drugs? Please reply. Please provide reference

How much cash would the lock-box system free up for the company? What is the maximum amount that Century Corporation would be willing to pay for the lock-box system if it can earn 6%on available short-term funds? If the lock-box system could be arranged at an annual cost of $40,000, what would be the net gain from instituting the lock-box system?

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The nervous system control of the digestive system.

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Motivation and the Brain

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Axon Growth and Guidance in the Brain

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Autonomic Nervous System

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