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The Nervous System: The Basic Structure. 6-1. From “Running and ME: A Love Story” by Joan Nesbit, 1999.

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The nervous system the basic structure

The Nervous System:The Basic Structure


From running and me a love story by joan nesbit 1999
From “Running and ME: A Love Story” by Joan Nesbit, 1999

It’s almost like running is this great friend we both share…Anyway, that’s what I’d like to talk to you about…running as a friend, a companion, a lover even…in other words, the relationship of running. “WHAT!?” many of you will be saying, “I thought that I was going to learn how to improve my 10k time.” Go read Runner’s World for that. You see, I don’t view running as what I DO or who I AM, but as this thing, this force, that changes me over time….

The nervous system
The Nervous System

  • Controls:

    • emotions

    • movements

    • thinking

    • behavior

The nervous system1
The Nervous System

  • Parts:

    • central nervous system (CNS)

      • brain & spinal cord

    • peripheral nervous system (PNS)

      • Smaller parts/branches of the nerves that go to the parts of the body

Nervous system protection
Nervous System Protection

  • All parts have protection


  • long, thin cells of nerve tissue on which messages travel to and from the brain

Parts of a neuron
Parts of a Neuron

  • Cell body

    • Has the nucleus

    • Produces energy needed for the neuron to work

  • Dendrites

    • Short, thin fibers that stick out from the cell

    • Receive impulses, or messages, from other neurons and send them to the cell body

  • Axon

    • Can be very short, or several feet long

    • Long fiber that carries the impulses away from the cell body to the dendrites of another neuron

Neuron parts cont
Neuron Parts cont…

  • Myelin sheath

    • Insulates and protects the axon for some neurons

    • Speeds the transmission of impulses

  • Axon terminals

    • Branch out at the end of the axon

The nervous system the basic structure


Axon terminals

Cell body


Myelin sheath


Neuron connection
Neuron Connection

  • Synapse

    • The gap that happens between individual nerve cells

  • Impulses/messages are transmitted across the synapse to another neuron

  • Neurotransmitters

    • The chemicals released by neurons

    • Determines the rate at which other neurons fire

The nervous system the basic structure



  • Excite – make the neuron transmit

  • Inhibit – make the neuron stop transmitting

Neuron activity
Neuron Activity

  • Neurons are either ON or OFF

  • Neuron tracks:

    • Ascending – go up

      • Carry messages to the brain

    • Descending – go down

      • Carry messages from the brain to the body

Types of neurons
Types of Neurons

  • Afferent neurons

    • Sensory neurons

    • Send messages from the organs (including eye, nose, ear, skin)

  • Efferent neurons

    • Motor neurons

    • Send signals from the brain to the glands and muscles

  • Interneurons

    • Carry impulses between neurons in the body

Types of activities
Types of Activities

  • Voluntary

    • Lifting your hand

    • Running

    • Turning your head

  • Involuntary

    • Heartbeat

    • Blood pressure

    • Size of the pupils

What systems control what
What systems control what?

  • Somatic Nervous System (SNS)

    • Part of peripheral nervous system

    • Controls voluntary actions

  • Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)

    • Controls involuntary actions

Autonomic nervous system ans
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)


  • Sympathetic

    • Prepares the body to deal with emergencies or hard labor

    • Speeds up the heart to get oxygen and other nutrients to the body

    • Controls how much blood goes to different parts of the body

    • Increases blood pressure

    • Suspends/stops some activities (ex: digestion)

  • Parasympathetic

    • Saves energy

    • Helps the body recover from hard work

    • Reduces the heart rate & blood pressure