Introduction (both parts)
Our nervous system is divided into two parts: central nervous system (composed of the brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system (composed of nervous tissue located outside the central nervous system).
Understanding the nervous system: main features
It is in the central nervous system that our thoughts, emotions occur, our memories are archived, and all sorts of sensory stimulation occur.
The peripheral nervous system, composed of the cranial nerves and their ramifications, controls the entry and exit of nerve stimuli in our organs and systems. It is subdivided into somatic nervous system, autonomic system and enteric nervous system (involuntary functioning).
The somatic nervous system is responsible for transmitting the information of our senses (hearing, sight, taste, smell) to the CNS (central nervous system), and also for conducting the nervous impulses of the CNS to skeletal muscles. In the case of motor responses, this action will be voluntary as it can be consciously controlled.
The autonomic nervous system sends information from visceral organs, such as the lung and stomach, to the central nervous system (CNS). It also sends CNS nerve impulses to smooth muscle, heart muscle, and glands. Its action is involuntary, as it does not depend on our will. For example, our hearts keep beating even when we are sleeping soundly.
The enteric nervous system, located in the intestine, controls all nerve impulses that occur within the intestine. Its operation is also involuntary, as we cannot control it.
Generally speaking, we can understand that the nervous system performs numerous tasks in our body, and that through the electrical impulses that occur between its billions of neurons, it is able to connect with all parts of our body.
Did you know?
The branch of medicine that studies the nervous system is known as neurology.