Nervous system

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Illustration of how pain travels to the brain, from René Descartes's Treatise of Man

The nervous system is a system in the body which sends signals around the body. It lets people and animals respond to what is around them. The central nervous system is the brain, the spinal cord, and nerves.[1] It is present in most animals. It is there to coordinate movement, to process the input of the senses, and to make the animals act a certain way.[2] It is made up of neurons and cells called glia, among other things. Glial cells keep the neurons safe and healthy.[3]

The structure of the system includes the brain and spinal cord, which together are called the central nervous system.[2] The brain has billions of nerve cells to help think, walk, and breathe.[4] The nervous system can react in 1/100 of a second to a stimulus, like a pain signal.[4]

The anatomy of nervous systems can be sub-divided as follows:[2][5]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Organization of the Nervous System". Cancer.gov. National Cancer Institute. http://training.seer.cancer.gov/anatomy/nervous/organization/. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kandel ER, Schwartz JH, Jessel TM, ed. (2000). "Ch. 17: The anatomical organization of the central nervous system". Principles of Neural Science. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 978-0-8385-7701-1.
  3. Allen NJ, Barres BA (2009). "Neuroscience: Glia - more than just brain glue". Nature 457 (7230): 675–7. doi:10.1038/457675a. PMID 19194443.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kandel ER, Schwartz JH, Jessel TM, ed. (2000). "Ch. 2: Nerve cells and behavior". Principles of Neural Science. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 978-0-8385-7701-1.
  5. "The Peripheral Nervous System". Cancer.gov. National Cancer Institute. http://training.seer.cancer.gov/anatomy/nervous/organization/pns.html. Retrieved January 20, 2016.