Nervous System

  • C. A. Benzo


The vertebrate nervous system is responsible both for maintaining contact between the animal and its external and internal environments and for the proper adjustments of the animal to the changes in these environments. The animal maintains contact with the external environment through sensory receptors at the surface of the body. The internal environment is monitored by receptors located in muscles, joints, ligaments, and visceral organs. Basically, adjustments to changes in either environment are brought about by reflex arcs consisting of afferent (sensory) neurons, centers within the spinal cord or brain, and efferent (motor) neurons. Afferent neurons carry sensory information to the central nervous system, and efferent neurons convey motor impulses from the central nervous system to various effector mechanisms, such as muscles and glands. The nervous system works in harmony with the endocrine system to coordinate the many complex activities involved in normal body functions. The nervous system is the rapid coordinator in response to a given stimulus, whereas the endocrine system is more deliberate in its action and is brought into play for conditions that require a more intense or prolonged response.


Spinal Cord Spinal Nerve Vestibular Nucleus Optic Tectum Ventral Root 
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