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The Brain and Behavior > The Nervous System
The Nervous System
• Introducing the Nervous System
• The Central Nervous System (CNS)
• The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
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The Brain and Behavior > The Nervous System
Introducing the Nervous System
• The nervous system is the body's main communication system that gathers,
synthesizes, and uses data from the environment.
• The nervous system's most basic unit is the neuron, which serves as both a
sensor and communicator of internal and external stimuli.
• The nervous system can be broken down into two major parts—the central
nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
• The central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord—the main data
center of the body.
• The peripheral nervous system includes all of the neurons that sense and
communicate data to the central nervous system.
The Human Nervous System
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• The peripheral nervous system can be further divided into the autonomic system
that regulates involuntary actions, and the somatic system that controls voluntary
actions.
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The Brain and Behavior > The Nervous System
The Central Nervous System (CNS)
• The central nervous system (CNS) along with the peripheral nervous system
(PNS) comprises the entirety of the body's nervous system which regulates and
maintains its most basic functions.
• The CNS is the main control center of the body—it takes in sensory information,
organizes and synthesizes data, then provides direction for motor output to the
rest of the body.
• The CNS is made up of the brain, brain stem, and spinal cord.
• The brain is the main data center of the body and consists of the cerebrum which
regulates higher level functioning such as thought, and the cerebellum which
The Central Nervous System
maintains coordination.
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• The brain stem includes the midbrain, pons, and medulla, and controls lower level
functioning such as respiration and digestion.
• The spinal cord connects the brain and the body's main receptors, and serves as
a conduit for sensory input and motor output.
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The Brain and Behavior > The Nervous System
The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
• The peripheral nervous system (PNS) provides the connection between stimuli
(either internal or external) and the central nervous system to allow the body to
respond to its environment.
• The PNS is made up of different kinds of neurons, or nerve cells, which
communicate with each other through electric signaling and
neurotransmitters.These include sensory neurons, which collect data from the
environment, and motor neurons, which promote motor output.
• The PNS can be broken down into two systems: the autonomic nervous system,
which regulates involuntary actions such as breathing and digestion, and the
somatic nervous system, which governs voluntary action and body reflexes.
The Nervous System
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• The autonomic nervous system has two complementary parts: the sympathetic
nervous system, which activates the "fight-or-flight" stress response, and the
parasympathetic nervous system, which reacts with the "rest-and-digest"
response after stress.
• The somatic nervous system coordinates voluntary physical action.It is also
responsible for our reflexes, which do not require brain input.
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Appendix
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The Brain and Behavior
Key terms
• autonomic nervous system The part of the nervous system that regulates the involuntary activity of the heart, intestines, and
glands, including digestion, respiration, perspiration, metabolism, and blood-pressure modulation.
• brain stem The part of the brain that connects the spinal cord to the forebrain and cerebrum.
• central nervous system In vertebrates, the part of the nervous system comprising the brain, brainstem and spinal cord.
• cerebellum Part of the hindbrain in vertebrates.In humans it lies between the brainstem and the cerebrum, and plays an
important role in sensory perception, motor output, balance and posture.
• cerebrum In humans it is the largest part of the brain and is the seat of motor and sensory functions, and the higher mental
functions such as consciousness, thought, reason, emotion, and memory
• monosynaptic reflex Involves a single synapse, between the sensory neuron that receives the information and the motor
neuron that responds.
• neuron A cell of the nervous system, which conducts nerve impulses; consisting of an axon and several dendrites.Neurons are
connected by synapses.
• parasympathetic nervous system One of the divisions of the autonomic nervous system; located between the brain and the
spinal cord; slows the heart and relaxes the muscles.
• peripheral nervous system The part of the nervous system comprising a large system of nerves that are linked to the brain and
spinal cord; this system is divided into the autonomic and somatic nervous systems.
• polysynaptic reflex Involves at least one interneuron between the sensory and motor neurons.
• somatic nervous system The part of the peripheral nervous system that transmits signals from the central nervous system to
skeletal muscle and from receptors of external stimuli, thereby mediating sight, hearing, and touch.
• spinal cord A thick, whitish cord of nerve tissue which is a major part of the central nervous system.It extends from the brain
stem through the spine, with nerves branching off to various parts of the body.
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The Brain and Behavior
• sympathetic nervous system The part of the autonomic nervous system that raises blood pressure and heart rate, constricts
blood vessels, and dilates the pupils in situations of stress.
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The Brain and Behavior
The Nervous System
The human nervous system including both the central nervous system (brain, brain stem, and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (including
all other neurons and receptors).
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The Brain and Behavior
The Human Nervous System
The nervous system of the human body.
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The Brain and Behavior
The Central Nervous System
The three major components of the central nervous system: 1) the brain, 2) brain stem, and 3) spinal cord.
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The Brain and Behavior
The primary responsibility of the central nervous system is to
A) process changes in internal and external stimuli and communicate this
information to the brain.
B) synthesize sensory input to compute an appropriate motor response.
C) regulate involuntary actions such as internal organ functions.
D) control voluntary movements such as those in the bones, joins, and
skeletal muscles.
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The Brain and Behavior
The primary responsibility of the central nervous system is to
A) process changes in internal and external stimuli and communicate this
information to the brain.
B) synthesize sensory input to compute an appropriate motor response.
C) regulate involuntary actions such as internal organ functions.
D) control voluntary movements such as those in the bones, joins, and
skeletal muscles.
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The Brain and Behavior
The functions of the central nervous system (CNS) include:
A) Gathering data.
B) Synthesizing data.
C) All of these answers.
D) Responding to stimuli.
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The Brain and Behavior
The functions of the central nervous system (CNS) include:
A) Gathering data.
B) Synthesizing data.
C) All of these answers.
D) Responding to stimuli.
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The Brain and Behavior
Which portion of the nervous system is comprised of the brain and
spinal cord?
A) The peripheral nervous system
B) The autonomic nervous system
C) The central nervous system
D) The parasympathetic nervous system
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The Brain and Behavior
Which portion of the nervous system is comprised of the brain and
spinal cord?
A) The peripheral nervous system
B) The autonomic nervous system
C) The central nervous system
D) The parasympathetic nervous system
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The Brain and Behavior
Alyssa steps into a busy intersection and is almost hit by a
speeding car. Adrenaline secretes into her system, her heart rate
rises, and she jumps back onto the sidewalk. Which portion of the
nervous system is at work here?
A) The parasympathetic nervous system
B) The sympathetic nervous system
C) The somatic nervous system
D) The central nervous system
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The Brain and Behavior
Alyssa steps into a busy intersection and is almost hit by a
speeding car. Adrenaline secretes into her system, her heart rate
rises, and she jumps back onto the sidewalk. Which portion of the
nervous system is at work here?
A) The parasympathetic nervous system
B) The sympathetic nervous system
C) The somatic nervous system
D) The central nervous system
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The Brain and Behavior
Which system(s) would likely be activated if you encountered
something you were afraid of?
A) The autonomic nervous system
B) The peripheral nervous system
C) All of the answers
D) The sympathetic nervous system
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The Brain and Behavior
Which system(s) would likely be activated if you encountered
something you were afraid of?
A) The autonomic nervous system
B) The peripheral nervous system
C) All of the answers
D) The sympathetic nervous system
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The Brain and Behavior
Attribution
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http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/GCSE_Science/The_Nervous_System#The_nervous_system
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http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Human_Physiology/The_Nervous_System#Overview_of_the_entire_nervous_system
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• Wiktionary. "central nervous system." CC BY-SA 3.0 http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/central+nervous+system
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• Wiktionary. "cerebellum." CC BY-SA 3.0 http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cerebellum
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• Wiktionary. "brain stem." CC BY-SA 3.0 http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/brain+stem
The Brain and Behavior
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• Wiktionary. "autonomic nervous system." CC BY-SA 3.0 http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/autonomic+nervous+system
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