The central nervous system

Control and Co-ordination

Control and co-ordination in the mammalian organic structure is achieved by a combination of nervous communicating and endocrinal communicating. Both are needed, normally moving in opposite ways. For case the nervous system is usually faster, more specific in its sites of action, and its response short- lived in comparing to the hormone system, an exclusion being in the battle or flight response in which both are coordinated and rapid. In this essay nevertheless, we will be sing nervous communicating merely. Its three chief maps are:

  • To have centripetal input from both internal and external environments
  • To incorporate this information
  • And to react to stimuli suitably

( Anon 2006 )

Nervous communicating provides the fastest agencies of conveying information both from the exterior and the interior environment ( of the organic structure ) , and does so by urges, or messages transmitted along the nerve cells. Nerve cells are found in all parts of the nervous system and differ in type depending on where they are found and the occupation they have to make. First we will see the chief parts of the nervous system, followed by the types of nerve cells, the mechanism of nervus urges along them, completing with a consideration of the automatic discharge.

The nervous system can be divided into several parts, each with their ain map. The two chief parts are the Central Nervous System ( CNS ) which is divided into the encephalon and the spinal cord, and the Peripheral Nervous System ( PNS ) . The PNS diverges into two parts, the centripetal tracts and the motor tracts, the latter which diverges once more into the Voluntary ( Somatic ) Nervous System, and the Autonomic Nervous System. Finally the Autonomic Nervous System diverges into the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic divisions. These are discussed in a little more item below

Partss of the Nervous System

The Central Nervous System ( CNS )

With all bilaterally symmetrical animate beings there is ‘head’ and a ‘tail’ terminal, the centripetal variety meats constellating at the head terminal. Even in beings such as platyhelminths and earthworms a ganglia, or bunch of nerve cells form a fundamental ‘brain’ , till finally we have the encephalon construction seen in mammals. ( see image ) The CNS consists of the encephalon, plus the spinal cord, both protected by bone. In worlds, the encephalon consists of the following chief parts ; the cerebrum, cerebellum, myelin oblongata and the thalamus ( Kilgour & A ; Riley,1999 )

The image below shows these countries of the encephalon, plus several others. Each has its ain peculiar map. For case the thalami act as relay points for all centripetal signals as they enter the encephalon, while the cerebellum controls balance, the co-ordination of voluntary musculus, and musculus tone ( Hale ) . The hypothalamus regulates homeostasis, the myelin oblongata controls a figure of things, such as ordinance of the pulse, take a breathing and blood force per unit area, and physiological reactions such as coughing, purging and get downing. The CNS therefore controls and proctors the organ systems of the organic structure, and to make this requires co-ordination between the CNS and the other parts of the nervous system. Briefly these are: –

The Peripheral Nervous System ( PNS )

The PNS is the nervous system as a whole, with the exclusion of the CNS ( Hale et. Al. 1999 ) . It consists entirely of nervousnesss, and serves to link the encephalon and spinal cord, i.e. the CNS, to the remainder of the organic structure ( Anon, 2006 ) . The peripheral nervousnesss themselves can be divided into two groups, those connected to the spinal cord ( the spinal nervousnesss ) , and those connected to the encephalon ( the cranial nervousnesss ) Roberts, 1986. The nervousnesss of the PNS are either motor ( motor nerve ) nerves that convey signals to the musculuss and secretory organs, these being the effecters. Or they are centripetal ( sensory nerve ) nerves that provide the CNS with input from the organic structure.

There are two chief sub-divisions of the PNS motor tracts, and as can be seen in the diagram above these are the voluntary, or bodily nervous system ( SNS ) , and the autonomic nervous system ( ANS )

The Somatic Nervous System ( SNS )

The SNS controls the assorted voluntary activities of the organic structure, for case the muscular system, and besides the assorted external sensory receptors. For case the tegument is a receptor for external stimulations, while musculus fibers and secretory organ cells are effecters. That is, receptors in the tegument choice up external stimulations that are so conveyed along an sensory nerve or centripetal tract to the CNS. Finally this stimulation will be routed back via an motor nerve ( motor ) tract to the original site of the stimulation and appropriate action taken.

The Autonomic Nervous ( ANS )

This portion of the nervous system controls the nonvoluntary actions of the organic structure such as motion of the intestine, perspiration, and whipping of the bosom, and consists of motor nerve cells that control the internal variety meats. There are two parts to the ANS, these being the SNS ( sympathetic nervous system ) , and the PNS ( parasympathetic nervous system ) . By and large the effects of each of these two sub-systems is to oppose each other, such that if the SNS causes a musculus to contract, so the PNS will do it to loosen up.

Types of Nerve cells

The systems described above all require nervousnesss to transport urges from one topographic point to another. These are of different types depending on their map. There are three chief types of nerve cell. These are receptor ( centripetal ) , effecter ( motor ) neurones, and intermediate, or relay nerve cells ( besides called intermediate or association nerve cells ) . ( See pulling below for receptor and effecter nerve cells ) . The intermediate or relay nerve cells are found in the encephalon, spinal cord and sense variety meats, e.g. the oculus. When happening in the spinal cord they are termed relay nerve cells, but those in the encephalon are called pyramidic nerve cells ( see image at terminal of essay ) The legion dendrites allow many connexions to be made between encephalon and spinal cord nerve cells ( Kilgour & A ; Riley, 1999 ) .

Nerve cells vary in form and size, but all have four chief parts, dendrites, an axon, the cell organic structure and the axon terminuss. This latter portion relays the urge to the following nerve cell, the little spread between the nerve cells termed a synapse. This will be referred to below. The receptor neurone has the cell organic structure mid-way between an axon and a dendron, while an effecter nerve cell has short dendron taking to the cell organic structure and a long axon coming from it. ( see image at terminal of essay ) . The mass of dendrites aid in roll uping urges which so pass along the axon either to the CNS ( receptor neurones ) , or to a musculus or secretory organ ( effector nerve cell ) .

Nerve Impulse Transmission

Most nerve cells are wrapped in a fatty insulating substance called medulla. This is produced by two types of glial cell, in the PNS by Schwann cells, and in the CNS by oligodendrocytes ( Raven & A ; Johnson, 2002 ) . These glial cells are much more legion than the nerve cells, their maps being both supportive and alimentary. To this terminal they are found wrapped around the axons supplying a protective medulla coating. This though is non uninterrupted, with interruptions happening at the nodes of Ranvier. At these points merely a thin membrane surrounds the axon, and the urge is able to leap from node to node, therefore greatly rushing up the rate of transmittal. The other chief factor regulating velocity of transmittal is diameter of the axon.

A nervus urge is produced from a stimulation in the signifier of electrochemical energy. When the axon is in the resting province, i.e. is non conveying a signal, the interior and outside of the axon are said to be polarised – the exterior of the axon being positive, and the inside negative. This charge difference is known as the resting possible and is caused by differences the between the concentration of Na and K ions in the cytol. Active conveyance of K and Na ions ( the sodium-potassium pump ) , maintains this instability. A alteration in mutual opposition of the membrane consequences in production of the action potency, and it is this that consequences in extension of the urge along the membrane. ( Anon, 2006 ; Roberts 1986 )

To help transmittal across synapses ( the spread between the terminal subdivision of one neurone and the dendrites of another ) , and at neuromuscular junctions ( where an effecter neurone meets a musculus at the effecter membrane ) , the chemical neurotransmitter acetylcholine is normally found. There are possibly 30 others, but acetylcholine is the chief 1. Problems with signal transmittal are a symptom of certain diseases. For case deficiency of the neurotransmitter Dopastat consequences in Parkinson’s disease, and loss of myelin consequences in Multiple Sclerosis.

The Reflex Arc

a )Spinal Reflexes

For communicating throughout the organic structure neurones must have urges from sensory ( receptor ) neurones, and so go through them onto motor ( effecter ) neurones so that appropriate actions may be taken. This forms the footing of automatic actions, i.e. , those that are automatic, rapid, or innate. Such a tract between sensory and motor nerve cells, with or without an intermediate neurone is termed a automatic discharge. Reflex discharge can be either spinal or intellectual. In spinal 1s connexion between sensory and motor neurones can happen in the spinal cord via a synapse, or via an intermediate nerve cell. Examples of this type of automatic discharges are remotion of the manus from a heat beginning, and the ‘knee jerk’ reaction ( Kilgour & A ; Riley, 1999 ) .

B ) Cerebral Reflexes

These are much the same as spinal physiological reaction discharge, except that they occur in the encephalon and may affect intermediate nerve cells. This automatic action is seen in for illustration, lens adjustment, iris musculus action and in external respiration and the pulse.

Both of the above types of physiological reaction discharge are found associated with largely automatic and unconditioned reactions. These are of import for two chief grounds. First survival. The spinal physiological reaction will do reactions to be taken instantly in instance of danger without holding to believe foremost – it is a shorter distance to the spinal cord than to the encephalon and hence a faster reaction. And secondarily, it keeps all the systems of the organic structure working without any witting attempt –we don’t need to believe about it to breath or our bosom to crush. We can nevertheless develop ourselves to over-ride some nonvoluntary actions. For case the vesica empties automatically in human babes and in kitties, but both can larn

to do this a voluntary action.

  1. Conditioned or Learned Reflexs

The premier illustration of this type of physiological reaction is Pavlov’s Canis familiariss that had been trained to salivate at the sound of a bell by foremost tie ining the sound with nutrient, and finally salivating at the sound of the bell merely. This, as other conditioned physiological reactions, involves encephalon association neurones, instead than the relay or intermediate neurones used in spinal or intellectual physiological reactions. This type of acquisition is of import in craniates, ( and besides in some invertebrates ) . It gives them more flexibleness, they can larn new responses to altering fortunes and so non hold to trust merely on automatic, unconditioned responses. Both have their topographic point, the intellectual physiological reactions in maintaining the organs and systems of the organic structure working efficaciously, the spinal physiological reactions guarding against immediate dangers, and the conditioned physiological reactions leting for larning.

  • The three images at the terminal of this essay ( overleaf ) are:
  1. Diagram of parts of the encephalon
  2. Pyrimidal nerve cell from the encephalon
  3. Receptor and Effector nerve cells


Anon ( 2006 ) The Nervous System

hypertext transfer protocol: //

Kilgour, O.F.G. & A ; Riley, P.D. ( 1999 ) ‘Mastering Biology’ 3rdEd.

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Hale, W.G. , Margham, J.P. & A ; Saunders, V.A. ( 1999 ) ‘Unwin Hyman Dictionary of Biology’ 2neodymiumerectile dysfunction. Pub. Harper Collins.

Thain, M. & A ; Hickman, M. ( 2001 ) ‘The Penguin Dictionary of Biology’ 10Thursdayerectile dysfunction. Penguin books

Raven, P.H. & A ; Johnson G.B. ( 2002 ) ‘Biology’ 6Thursdayerectile dysfunction. Pub. McGraw Hill

Roberts, M.B.V. ( 1986 ) ‘Biology- a functional attack 4Thursdayerectile dysfunction. Pub. Nelson

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