3.1. Coordination function (I). The nervous system

The human body nervous system connects the whole body to its brain (cerebrum), the principal control center. In this way, all procedures in the body are controlled and sensibly coordinated.

Stimuli originating from outside or within the body itself are sent to the spinal medulla (medulla spinalis) and the brain. Here the stimuli are processed and the response commands are sent out to the tissues and organs.

Structure of the nervous system

organization of nervous systemThe nervous system is your body’s decision and communication center. It is a complex network that receives sensory data from inside and outside the body, responds to changes and demands, initiates and executes movements, and maintains your body’s homeostasis. The nervous system can be divided into two main categories: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system is made of into the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system, which is further divided into the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. Since this exhibit focuses on the brain, suffice it to say that the peripheral nervous system is a network of nerves.

Together, the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system control every part of your daily life, from breathing and blinking to helping you memorize facts for a test. Nerves reach from your brain to your face, ears, eyes, nose, and spinal cord… and from the spinal cord to the rest of your body. Sensory nerves gather information from the environment, send that info to the spinal cord, which then speed the message to the brain. The brain then makes sense of that message and fires off a response. Motor neurons deliver the instructions from the brain to the rest of your body. The spinal cord, made of a bundle of nerves running up and down the spine, is similar to a superhighway, speeding messages to and from the brain at every second.

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