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The Nervous System

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Robert Williford

on 7 May 2014

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Transcript of The Nervous System

The Nervous System
The nervous system controls and coordinates many things that happen in your body. It acts as the central command post, collecting and processing information and making sure appropriate information gets sent to all parts of the body.
central nervous system -
includes your brain and spinal cord. It processes all incoming and outgoing messages.
peripheral nervous system -
consists of communication pathways, or nerves, that connect all the areas of your body to the central nervous system.
Neuron Structure
neurons -
specialized cells that transfer messages throughout the body in the form of fast moving electrical energy.
impulses -
the electrical messages that pass along the neurons.
dendrites -
short branched extensions where a neuron receives information from other cells.
axons -
the fiber along which information is transmitted from one neuron to the next. They can be very short or up to 1m long (lower back to toes).
axon terminal -
the end of the axon branches out to pass information to more cells. The tip of each branch is an axon terminal.
Two Types of Neurons
sensory neurons -
gather information about what is happening in and around your body and send this information on to the central nervous system.
receptors -
the dendrites of the sensory neurons that detect changes inside and outside the body. Ex:light receptors in your eyes.
motor neurons -
neurons that send impulses from the brain and spinal cord to other systems. When muscles get impulses from motor neurons they respond by contracting.
The Brain
brain -
the largest organ in the nervous system and the main part of the central nervous system. It controls both voluntary and involuntary actions of the body.
voluntary actions -
actions that you decide to control like talking or smiling or moving your hand.
involuntary actions -
actions that the body does automatically like digestion or your heart beating.
cerebrum -
the largest part of your brain that controls voluntary movements and allows you to detect touch, light, sound, odors, taste, pain, heat and cold.
hemispheres -
each half of the cerebrum is called a hemisphere and controls a different type of thinking.
right hemisphere -
controls imagination, creativity, and appreciation.
left hemisphere -
speaking, reading, writing, and problem solving.
cerebellum -
the second largest part of the brain that controls balance by receiving sensory impulses from the skeletal muscles and joints.
medulla -
a small 3cm part of the brain that connects to the spinal cord. It controls involuntary actions like blood pressure, heart rate, and involuntary breathing.
The Spinal Cord
Your spinal cord enables your brain to communicate with your peripheral nervous system. Your entire spinal cord is protected by bones called
vertebrae
.
The Peripheral Nervous System
The Central Nervous System
Just a Bundle of Axons
Nerves -
axons bundled together with blood vessels and connective tissue. Most nerves contain the axons of both sensory and motor neurons.
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