Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Human Anatomy

The Nervous System

Functions of the Nervous System

1. Sensory Input
The most obvious and present functions of the nervous system is how it makes sense of the world around us. It takes in random images and feelings from all five sense and relays them to the brain to make sense of them.
2. Functional Control
Just as nerves carry sensory input to the brain, they also carry impulses FROM the brain to parts to parts of the body to produce actions, reactions, and feelings. This includes such things as motor control, coming from the brain sending impulses to muscles.
3. Involuntary Impulses
The brain sends impulses constantly to other parts of the body that aren't controlled at will. These impulses go to various organ systems to maintain homeostasis and regulate various functions in the body, such as the shuttling of food through the gastrointestinal system and controlling the beating of the heart.

Parts of the Nervous System

1. The Brain
The most well-known and important part of the nervous system, the brain is the absolute center of the system. All sensory input and output is relayed through the large mass of grey matter. Different parts of the brain control the different functions.
2. The Spinal Cord
The Spinal Cord is a bundle of nerves that take the impulses from the brain and organizes them to be sent on to the extremities. It can be thought of as the train station, where all the trains need to come in before they leave to their destinations. The Spinal Cord and the Brain together make up the Central Nervous System.3. The Neurons
Neurons, interconnected all around the body, are the individual tracks in the body that carry the trains, which in this case are the impulses. Neurons are then separated into different types based on function- motor neurons control motor function, sensory neurons deal with sensory inputs, and interneurons are everything in between.

An Example of How the Nervous System Works