The Nervous System

Touch, sight, hearing, taste, smell – our bodies have to do all sorts of jobs to enable us to sense the world around us. Professor Hallux thinks it might be possible to improve on how we do this – with some help from Smidgeon, the prizewinning miniature carrier pigeon.

The sensory system is all about carrying messages around and doing it quickly.  Professor Hallux and Nurse Nanobot as investigating if Smidgeon and his message rucksack is better than the real thing, using an online ‘Physiology File

LOADING PHYSIOLOGY FILE

Job 1: Sight. The eye contains a lens which bends and filters the light and sends it to the brain over a special optic nerve.

The sensory system isn’t just about carrying information to the brain – it’s packaging it up in ways the brain will be able to understand.   Smidgeon’s rucksack isn’t a great carrier or analyser of data.

Job 2: Sound. The ear is designed in such a way that the hairs in the ear change vibrations into an electrical signal that the brain can understand and interpret as the sounds we hear.

Smidgeon is any use in carrying vibrations – including any tuning forks in his rucksack.

Job 3: Taste. Tongues are covered with taste buds which pick up chemical messages from food.  Nerves are located at the base of the taste buds which send the information to the brain.

Smidgeon’s talents don’t extend to chemistry. Nuff said!

Job 4: Smell. Mucous membranes located within the nose relay messages to the brain.

Smidgeon has no mucous!

Job 5: Touch. Skin contains nerve endings that send information to the brain. Cold, heat, contact and pain are four different types of sensations observed through skin.

Even the world’s fastest miniature pigeon is no match for the human sensory system.  Sorry Smidgeon.

Hallux’s fun facts about the nervous system

  • If you were to line up all of the 100,000,000,000 neurons in your brain, they would stretch across 600 miles.
  • The fastest nerves in your body send electrical messages to your brain at more than 200 miles per hour.
  • The left side of your brain controls the right side of your body, and vice versa.
  • Invertebrates like sea anemones evolved the first basic nervous systems.

Want to find out more about your body? Click here to Professor Hallux builds a Body

Physiology is fundamental! It not only helps us understand the jobs parts of the body have to do and how they do them.  It also means we can understand the effect other things have on bodies.

Join Professor Hallux as he looks at each part to see what fixes he can make to build a better body!

You can hear Hallux’s Physiology Fix-Up weekdays from 5pm on Fun Kids!

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Hallux’s Physiology Fix-Up with support from The Physiological Society.

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