Main Functions Of The Central Nervous System – The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and spinal cord. It acts as the body’s control center, processing sensory information and directing responses. The CNS coordinates voluntary activities, such as movement, and involuntary activities, such as breathing and heartbeat.
However, the brain cannot do this on its own because it must receive information from the body’s sensory receptors, which it accomplishes by communicating with the spinal cord.
- 1 Main Functions Of The Central Nervous System
- 2 Functions Of Nervous System From Receptor Input To Effector Outline Diagram Stock Vector
- 3 Practices To Heal A Dysregulated Nervous System
Main Functions Of The Central Nervous System
The CNS is called “central” because, in addition to its central position in the body, it is also the most important part of the nervous system responsible for maintaining and producing behavior.
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The central nervous system consists of three main components, which are the brain, spinal cord and nerve cells: Brain
The brain is responsible for functions such as thinking, forming memories, movement and consciousness. The human brain consists of three main parts: the cerebrum, the cerebellum and the brainstem.
The brainstem is located at the base of the brain and is one of the most primitive areas of the brain; and consists of the midbrain, pons and medulla oblongata.
The cerebellum is located just above the brainstem, which monitors and regulates motor behaviors, especially automatic movements and balance.
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The brain is the youngest human brain and constitutes its largest part (approximately 85% of its total mass). The brain is divided into two cerebral hemispheres that work together to produce various functions such as voluntary behavior, speech, cognitive thinking, and consciousness.
The left hemisphere is responsible for controlling the movements of the right side of the body, while the right hemisphere is responsible for controlling the movements of the left side of the body.
The surface of the brain is covered by the cerebral cortex, often called gray matter. Gray matter consists of a thin layer of tissue about 3 mm thick containing billions of neurons. Gray matter is the structure where memories are stored, perception occurs and information is processed.
Neurons in gray matter are connected to other parts of the brain by a layer of nerve fibers called white matter, so named because of the shiny white appearance of the substance that insulates it.
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The gray matter has a clearly wrinkled appearance – it is full of bulges separated by furrows. The bulge in the brain is called a gyrus or gyrus in the plural. The grooves in the brain are called fissures. Slits and bends expand the surface area of the cerebral cortex, ultimately increasing the number of neurons it can contain.
Animals with the largest and better functioning brains, such as humans and some primates, have the most wrinkled brains and therefore the largest cerebral cortex.
The spinal cord is a long, thin collection of neurons attached to the base of the brain (brain stem) and runs along the spine.
The spinal cord contains circuits of neurons that can control some of our simple reflexes, such as moving our hand away from a hot surface, without the brain’s involvement.
Human Nervous System
The CNS communicates with the rest of the body through nerves, which are bundles of fibers that transmit signals to and from the CNS. Nerves attached to the spinal cord make up the peripheral nervous system (PNS).
Nerve roots emerge from the spinal cord and travel on both sides of the body, carrying information between the brain and peripheral nerves.
The central structure of the spinal cord consists of gray matter and the outer tissues consist of white matter. There are 30 segments in the spinal cord, each belonging to one of four sections:
In order for messages to be sent to the CNS and throughout the body, billions of cells are needed to help the brain and spinal cord function.
Central Nervous System (cns)
Neurons, or nerve cells, connect to each other to send and receive messages in the brain and spinal cord. Neurons work together to transmit sensory information to the brain and are responsible for decision-making, emotions, and muscle activity.
There are approximately 86 billion neurons in the CNS, and thousands of different subtypes have been identified that perform different functions. Each neuron consists of a cell body (soma), axons and dendrites.
Glial cells are non-neuronal cells in the CNS that do not transmit messages themselves, but protect and support neurons. Glial cells constitute approximately 90% of all CNS cells. There are three types of glial cells in the CNS: astrocytes, microglia and oligodendrocytes.
Astrocytes are the main support cells of the CNS that produce and secrete proteins called neurotrophic factors (which support the growth and survival of neurons). These types of cells also help remove harmful proteins and chemicals that can damage neurons.
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Microglial cells are responsible for clearing damaged neurons and infections and are important for maintaining CNS health. They also produce molecules called cytokines that regulate the cell’s immunity in response to injury.
Oligodendrocytes are responsible for producing a fatty substance called myelin, which serves as insulation surrounding the axons of neurons. Myelin is necessary for neurons to carry electrical messages at much higher speeds than neurons that are not insulated by myelin.
Because the central nervous system is essential for various functions and survival, it is extremely well protected. The skull surrounds the brain, and the spinal cord runs through the center of a column of hollow bones called vertebrae.
In addition, the brain and spinal cord are also protected by a three-layered set of membranes called the meninges (layers specifically called pia mater, arachnoid, and dura).
Functions Of Nervous System From Receptor Input To Effector Outline Diagram Stock Vector
To ensure that the brain and spinal cord do not come into direct contact with any bones in the skull or vertebrae, they float in a clear liquid called cerebrospinal fluid.
Cerebrospinal fluid fills the space between the two meninges and circulates within the ventricles of the CNS, creating a surrounding cushion for the brain and spinal cord, protecting them from damage.
Noback, C. R., Ruggiero, D. A., Strominger, N. L., & Demarest, R. J. (Eds.). (2005). The Human Nervous System: Structure and Function (No. 744). Springer Science and business media.
Dr Saul Mcleod is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years of experience working in higher education and higher education. He has published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
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Olivia Guy-Evans is a writer and editor at Simply Psychology. She previously worked in the healthcare and education sectors. The central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord. The brain and spinal cord are protected by bony structures, membranes and fluid. The brain is located in the cranial cavity and consists of the cerebrum, cerebellum and brainstem. The nerves involved are the cranial nerves and the spinal nerves.
The nervous system has three main functions: sensory input, data integration, and motor output. Sensory input occurs when the body collects information or data through neurons, glia, and synapses. The nervous system consists of excitable nerve cells (neurons) and synapses that form between neurons and connect them to centers throughout the body or to other neurons. These neurons work by excitation or inhibition, and although nerve cells may vary in size and location, their communication with each other determines their function. These nerves carry impulses from sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord. The data is then processed through data integration, which occurs exclusively in the brain. Once the brain has processed the information, impulses are then transmitted from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands, which is called motor power. Glial cells are found in tissues and are not excitable, but they assist in myelination, ion regulation, and extracellular fluid secretion.
The nervous system consists of two main parts or subunits: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS includes the brain and spinal cord. The brain is the body’s “control center”. There are various centers in the CNS that deal with sensory, motor and data integration. These centers can be divided into Lower Centers (including the spinal cord and brainstem) and Higher Centers communicating with the brain using effectors.
The PNS is an extensive network of spinal and cranial nerves connected to the brain and spinal cord. It contains sensory receptors that help process changes in the internal and external environment. This information is sent to the CNS via afferent sensory nerves. The PNS is then divided into the autonomic nervous system and the somatic nervous system. Autonomic has involuntary control over internal organs, blood vessels, smooth and cardiac muscles. The somatic voluntarily controls the skin, bones, joints and skeletal muscles. The two systems function together through nerves from the PNS entering and becoming part of the CNS, and vice versa.
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The central nervous system (CNS) is the largest part of the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. Along with the peripheral nervous system (PNS), yes
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