Nervous system The nervous system is the part of an animal's body that coordinates its actions and transmits signals to and from different parts of its body. Nervous tissue first arose in wormlike organisms about 550 to 600 million years ago. In vertebrate species it consists of two main parts, the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS contains the brain and spinal cord. Chemistry Programs For Ti Nspire Cx Cas Manual. The PNS consists mainly of nerves, which are enclosed bundles of the long fibers or axons, that connect the CNS to every other part of the body.
Nerves that transmit signals from the brain are called motor or efferent nerves, while those nerves that transmit information from the body to the CNS are called sensory or afferent. Most nerves serve both functions and are called mixed nerves. The PNS is divided into a) somatic and b) autonomic nervous system, and c) the enteric nervous system. Somatic nerves mediate voluntary movement.
The autonomic nervous system is further subdivided into the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system is activated in cases of emergencies to mobilize energy, while the parasympathetic nervous system is activated when organisms are in a relaxed state. The enteric nervous system functions to control the gastrointestinal system.
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Both autonomic and enteric nervous systems function involuntarily. Nerves that exit from the cranium are called cranial nerves while those exiting from the spinal cord are called spinal nerves. The nervous system derives its name from nerves, which are cylindrical bundles of fibers (the axons of neurons), that emanate from the brain and spinal cord, and branch repeatedly to innervate every part of the body.
Nerves are large enough to have been recognized by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, but their internal structure was not understood until it became possible to examine them using a microscope. 'It is difficult to believe that until approximately year 1900 it was not known that neurons are the basic units of the brain (Santiago Ram?n y Cajal). Equally surprising is the fact that the concept of chemical transmission in the brain was not known until around 1930 (Henry Hallett Dale) and (Otto Loewi). We began to understand the basic electrical phenomenon that neurons use in order to communicate among themselves, the action potential, in the decade of 1950 (Alan Lloyd Hodgkin, Andrew Huxley and John Eccles). It was in the decade of 1960 that we became aware of how basic neuronal networks code stimuli and thus basic concepts are possible (David H.