The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Central nervous system

The vertebrate central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. These lie in the midline of the body and are protected by the skull and vertebrae respectively. (see Nervous System)

The central nervous system along with the peripheral nervous system comprise a primary division of controls that command all physical activities of a vertebrate. Neurons of the central nervous system affect consciousness and mental activity while spinal extensions of central nervous system neuron pathways affect skeletal muscles and organs in the body.

The peripheral system is made of two divisions, the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system, which is further divided as the sympathetic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system and the enteric nervous system. Each of these interact with various organs, glands or muscles, providing information to and from the central nervous system.

Arguably still the most complex object known to man, this collection of billions of neurons known as the central nervous system is the seat of consciousness and the central controller over just about everything that makes us human.

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Related topics

Parts of the central nervous system

Last updated: 10-21-2005 20:39:46
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