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The Physiology of the Nervous System - Research Paper Example

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The nervous system is an essential component of the body system. It is the body’s communication system and control center that guides all the activities of the body system. It plays a very important role in ensuring that the communication function of the body is achieved affectively. …
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The Physiology of the Nervous System
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Download file to see previous pages The central nervous system is divided into two sections: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system is composed of the Brain and the spinal cord. This system controls behavior of a person. All body sensations are transmitted to the central nervous system in order to be interpreted and acted upon (Chiras 34). All nerve impulses that stimulate muscles to contract and the glands to secret substances get all their instructions or messages from the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system on the other hand is composed of a network of nerves. This is the systems pathway to the brain for all the five senses and helps human beings I adjusting to the world around them (Givens and Reiss 55).
The brain is the central organ of the nervous system in all vertebrates. It is a complex organ whose functioning is essential to the survival of any animal. It consists of four main parts: the cerebrum, the cerebellum, the brain stem and the diencephalon or the forebrain stem. The brain is composed of two matters, the gray matter which the active part of the brain that receives and stores impulses and the white matter that carries impulses from and to the gray matter. The cerebrum is divided into two hemispheres each with four lobes namely frontal lobe, temporal lobe, parietal lobe and occipital lobe (Glees 42). These are responsible for various functions such as hearing vision, speech, judgment etc. The cerebellum is responsible for maintaining equilibrium, receipt of relayed tactile, auditory and visual input and fine motor coordination. The mid brain provides conduction pathways and provides a center for righting, postural and audio visual reflexes. The brain stem also called Medulla oblongata is the center for regulation of vital centers that include respiration, heartbeat and basomotor activators. The diencephalon consists of the thalamus responsible for arousal and conscious recognition of crude sensations such as temperature and pain and the hypothalamus responsible for many functions such as monitoring chemical composition of blood, control of hormone secretion, control of sleep and appetite (Glees 45). The spinal cord is a cylindrical structure that extends from the foramen magnum through the spinal foramina of the vertebral column to the upper portion of the lumber region. It houses both the motor and the sensory nerves. Basically the spinal cord is an extension of the brain that runs down the back protected by the vertebral column. It is surrounded by a fluid called the cerebrospinal fluid to protect the nerve tissues against injury.it is also protected by the meninges, a layer of three membranes, that guard it and the brain from bacteria. It is composed of millions of nerve fibers that transmit information to all body parts (Swan 55). The peripheral nervous system is composed of the nerves that connect the central nervous system to other remote parts of the body. It is divided into the cerebrospinal nervous system: which consists of cranial nerves that perform different functions ranging from sensing to controlling movements. The autonomic nervous system which regulates actions of secretory activity of glands and the involuntary contraction of smooth muscles in blood vessels, skin heart etc. it operates without conscious control. It is composed of the sympathetic system and the parasympathetic system. The spinal nerves carry impulses between the spinal cord, skin muscles and other structures. They are 31 in total (Givens and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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