The Brain and The Nervous System

The Nervous system

If you liken the body to a super computer, the brain would be the CPU which controls are programs or bodily functions. If the brain is the CPU, then the nervous system is perhaps a network of wires and cables where messages are relayed back and forth from the brain to different parts of the body. This is done via the spinal cord which connects the brain and the body, and which contains very fine nerves that branch out throughout the entire body.

The brain-to-body message relay happens in less than a second. For instance, you touch a streaming mug of coffee. The nerves in the skin of your hands send a pain message to your brain. Your brain then responds by telling the muscles in your hand to drop hot coffee mug. Imagine if this exchange between the brain and the body does not happen quickly.

The brain

Despite the fact that it controls practically everything you do, the brain is actually a lightweight – only 3 pounds. It has many ruts and furrows that provide additional surface area for storing all of the body’s important information.

The Spinal Cord

The spinal cord is made up of a bunch of long nerve tissue, about 18 inches long and ¾ of an inch thick. It stretches from the lower part of the brain down through the spine. Down the length of the spinal cord are various nerves that branch out to the entire body. These nerves are called the peripheral nervous system.

How the nervous system works

The nervous system operates through the tiny neurons. The brain has billions of these tiny cells. Neurons have specialized functions. Some get information from the five senses to the brain. Others carry messages from the brain to the rest of the body. All of them however, have the same basic function of relaying information to each other through an electrochemical process. Neuron connections affect the way we are – the way we think, behave, learn, and move.