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Central And Peripheral Nervous System

Central And Peripheral Nervous System

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This lesson will give an overview of the features of the central nervous system & the features of the peripheral nervous system including the two types of nerves that are a part of the PNS.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to this lesson today on the central and peripheral nervous system. Today, you will be learning the structure and function of both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Specifically, you will look at:

  1. The Central Nervous System
  2. The Peripheral Nervous System

1. The Central Nervous System

So the central nervous system, sometimes abbreviated CNS, is composed of the brain and the spinal cord, and contains all of the inner neurons of the nervous system. So all the inner neurons of the nervous system can be found within the central nervous system.

Term to Know

  • Central Nervous System
  • Division of the nervous system that consists of the brain and spinal cord, is the processing center of the body, and contains interneurons

The central nervous system contains both afferent and efferent nerves. So afferent nerves are carrying information towards the central nervous system, and efferent nerves are carrying information away from the central nervous system.


2. The Peripheral Nervous System

The other division of the nervous system is the peripheral nervous system, sometimes abbreviated PNS. So the peripheral nervous system is composed of 31 pairs of spinal nerves and 12 pairs of cranial nerves.

Term to Know

  • Peripheral Nervous System
  • Division of the nervous system that sends signals to and from the central nervous system and contains sensory and motor neurons

So the peripheral nervous system is divided into two divisions:

1.The Somatic Division

So somatic nerves are nerves that carry signals to the head, the trunk, and the limbs. So the effectors for somatic nerves would be skeletal muscle, for example.

2.The Autonomic Division.

Autonomic nerves are nerves that carry signals to your internal organs. So the effectors in this case, then, would be like smooth muscles or glands.

Terms to Know

  • Somatic Nerves
  • Motor nerves that innervate skin and muscle
  • Autonomic Nerves
  • Motor neurons that innervate deeper organs and regulate unconscious organ activity

From there, we can actually break the autonomic division into two more divisions:

1.Sympathetic

So sympathetic nerves are nerves that dominate at times of danger, stress, excitement. And basically, they increase the force and the rate of your heartbeat, increase your blood pressure, and increase your breathing. So what this does is it primes the body to respond to an emergency.

2.Parasympathetic

Parasympathetic nerves are nerves that dominate during quiet, low-stress situations. So basically, what they do is slow the body down and divert energy to things like digestion or other housekeeping items.

Terms to Know

  • Sympathetic Nerves
  • A division of the autonomic nerves which prepare the body for stressful situations by increasing physiological activity
  • Parasympathetic Nerves
  • A division of the autonomic nerves which allow the body to recover from stressful situations by slowing down physiological activity

Sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves are actually antagonistic to one another. So the acts of one are opposite of the acts of the other.

If you take a look at a diagram above, the nervous system is broken down into two divisions: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is in green. So you have the cranial nerves, and then you also have the spinal nerves. Ganglia, which are clusters of neurons, can also be found in the peripheral nervous system.

Then, the peripheral nervous system can be broken down even farther into the autonomic division and the somatic division. And the autonomic division can be broken down even further into sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves.


Summary

So this just gives you kind of more of a visual of how the nervous system can be broken down into the different divisions and different nerves. So this lesson has been an overview on the central and peripheral nervous systems.


Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Central Nervous System

    Division of the nervous system that consists of the brain and spinal cord, is the processing center of the body, and contains interneurons

  • Peripheral Nervous System

    Division of the nervous system that sends signals to and from the central nervous system and contains sensory and motor neurons

  • Somatic Nerves

    Motor nerves that innervate skin and muscle

  • Autonomic Nerves

    Motor neurons that innervate deeper organs and regulate unconscious organ activity

  • Sympathetic Nerves

    A division of the autonomic nerves which prepare the body for stressful situations by increasing physiological activity

  • Parasympathetic Nerves

    A division of the autonomic nerves which allow the body to recover from stressful situations by slowing down physiological activity