Nervous System and Its Functioning for Competitive Exams

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The dendrite and soma of a neuron combine neural input and send it down the axon to the axon terminals for output across the synapse to other neurons.

  • The firing of an action potential (nerve impulse) is basically an electrical event.
  • Communication between neurons is chemical: Neurotransmitters cross the synapse, attach to receptor sites, and excite or inhibit the receiving cell.
  • Chemicals called neuropeptides regulate activity in the brain.
  • All behaviour can be traced to networks of neurons.
  • The brain՚s circuitry is not static. The brain can “rewire” itself and even grow new nerve cells in response to changing environmental conditions.

The nervous system can be divided into the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) , which includes the somatic (bodily) and automatic (involuntary) nervous systems.

  • The brain carries out most of the “computing” in the nervous system.
  • The spinal cord connects the brain to the peripheral nervous system and can process simple reflex arcs.
  • The peripheral nervous system carries sensory information to the brain and motor commands to the body.
  • ″ Vegetative and automatic bodily process are controlled by the automatic nervous system, , which has a sympathetic branch and a parasympathetic branch.