The nervous system is one of my favourite things about the human body – and it’s certainly one of the most amazing.
It enables us to sense the world around us by sight, touch, smell, sound and taste. It’s the reason we can walk and move, and talk and think.
Every animal has some sort of nervous system but humans have one of the most complex nervous systems of all!
Let’s investigate what the nervous system does!
The first function of the nervous system is to send signals from one cell or part of the body to another.
There are many ways that a cell can send signals to other cells.
It can release chemicals called hormones into the internal circulation so that they can diffuse to distant sites. Or it can make superfast electrical connections – over 100 metres a second.
The nervous system controls the body, by extracting information from the environment using sensory receptors.
It also sends signals with this information into the central nervous system, processing information to determine an appropriate response, and sending signals to muscles and glands to activate responses!