The Nervous System

The nervous system is a complex network of nerves and cells that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord to various parts of the body.

Our nervous system is divided in two components: the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system (PNS), which includes nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. Together, these organs are responsible for the control of the body and communication among its parts.

The nervous system has 3 main functions: sensory, integration, and motor.

Sensory: The sensory function of the nervous system involves collecting all information that sensory receptors can detect. These signals are then passed on to the central nervous system (CNS) for further processing by afferent neurons (and nerves).

Integration: The process of integration is the processing of the many sensory signals that are passed into the CNS at any given time. These signals are evaluated, compared, used for decision making, discarded or committed to memory as deemed appropriate.

Motor: This function refers to the control of the skeleton muscle, which are the main muscle that we have all over the body and attached to the skeleton. By controlling skeletal muscles the motor functions of the nervous system cause movements, posture, or tone which are the result of a contraction of the skeletal muscle.

The Brain

The brain is an amazing three-pound organ that controls all functions of the body, interprets information from the outside world, and embodies the essence of the mind and soul. Intelligence, creativity, emotion, and memory are a few of the many things governed by the brain.

Protected within the skull, the brain is composed of the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem. The cerebrum has distinct fissures, which divide the brain into 4 lobes: Frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital.

The brain receives information through our five senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing – often many at one time. It assembles the messages in a way that has meaning for us, and can store that information in our memory. The brain controls our thoughts, memory and speech, movement of the arms and legs, and the function of many organs within our body