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The nervous system is the part of an animal's body that coordinates its voluntary and
involuntary actions and transmits signals to and from different parts of its body. Nervous tissue first
arose in wormlike organisms about 550 to 600 million years ago. In vertebrate species it consists of
two main parts, the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The
CNS contains the brain and spinal cord. The PNS consists mainly of nerves, which are enclosed
bundles of the long fibers or axons that connect the CNS to every other part of the body. Nerves that
transmit signals from the brain are called motor or efferent nerves, while those nerves that transmit
information from the body to the CNS are called sensory or afferent. Most nerves serve both functions
and are called mixed nerves. The PNS is divided into a) somatic and b) autonomic nervous system,
and c) the enteric nervous system. Somatic nerves mediate voluntary movement. The autonomic
nervous system is further subdivided into the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems.
The sympathetic nervous system is activated in cases of emergencies to mobilize energy, while the
parasympathetic nervous system is activated when organisms are in a relaxed state. The enteric
nervous system functions to control the gastrointestinal system. Both autonomic and enteric nervous
systems function involuntarily. Nerves that exit from the cranium are called cranial nerves while those
exiting from the spinal cord are called spinal nerves.
At the cellular level, the nervous system is defined by the presence of a special type of cell,
called the neuron, also known as a "nerve cell". Neurons have special structures that allow them to
send signals rapidly and precisely to other cells. They send these signals in the form of electrochemical
waves traveling along thin fibers called axons, which cause chemicals called neurotransmitters to be
released at junctions called synapses. A cell that receives a synaptic signal from a neuron may be
excited, inhibited, or otherwise modulated. The connections between neurons can form neural circuits
and also neural networks that generate an organism's perception of the world and determine its
behavior. Along with neurons, the nervous system contains other specialized cells called glial cells (or
simply glia), which provide structural and metabolic support.
Nervous systems are found in most multicellular animals, but vary greatly in complexity.[1] The
only multicellular animals that have no nervous system at all are sponges, placozoans,
and mesozoans, which have very simple body plans. The nervous systems of theradially
symmetric organisms ctenophores (comb jellies) and cnidarians (which
include anemones, hydras, corals and jellyfish) consist of a diffuse nerve net. All other animal species,
with the exception of a few types of worm, have a nervous system containing a brain, a central cord
(or two cords running in parallel), and nerves radiating from the brain and central cord. The size of the
nervous system ranges from a few hundred cells in the simplest worms, to around 300 billion cells in
African elephants.[2]
The central nervous system functions to send signals from one cell to others, or from one part
of the body to others and to receive feedback. Malfunction of the nervous system can occur as a result
of genetic defects, physical damage due to trauma or toxicity, infection or simply of ageing. The
medical specialty of neurology studies disorders of the nervous system and looks for interventions that
can prevent or treat them. In the peripheral nervous system, the most common problem is the failure
of nerve conduction, which can be due to different causes including diabetic neuropathy and
demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Neuroscience is the field of science that focuses on the study of the nervous system.
Parts of the Brain and Their Functions

The human brain is a specialized organ that is ultimately responsible for all thought and
movement that the body produces. Many different parts of the brain and their functions are shown
in the article. Each part has a unique function that allows humans observe and interact with their
environment effectively.
The human brain is ultimately responsible for all thought and movement that the body
produces. This allows humans to successfully interact with their environment, by communicating with
others and interacting with inanimate objects near their position. If the brain is not functioning properly,
the ability to move, generate accurate sensory information or speak and understand language can be
damaged as well.

The brain is made up of nerve cells which interact with the rest of the body through the spinal
cord and nervous system. These cells relate information back to specific centers of the brain where it can
be processed and an appropriate reaction can be generated. Several chemicals are also located in the
brain, which help the body maintain homeostasis, or a sense of overall comfort and calm as its basic needs
are met. Keeping these chemicals balanced and the nerve cells firing properly are essential to healthy
brain function.

Parts of the Brain and Their Functions

The cerebrum is the largest portion of the brain, and contains tools which are responsible for most of the
brain's function. It is divided into four sections: the temporal lobe, the occipital lobe, parietal lobe and
frontal lobe. The cerebrum is divided into a right and left hemisphere which are connected by axons that
relay messages from one to the other. This matter is made of nerve cells which carry signals between the
organ and the nerve cells which run through the body.

Frontal Lobe: The frontal lobe is one of four lobes in the cerebral hemisphere. This lobe controls a several
elements including creative thought, problem solving, intellect, judgment, behavior, attention, abstract
thinking, physical reactions, muscle movements, coordinated movements, smell and personality.

Parietal Lobe:Located in the cerebral hemisphere, this lobe focuses on comprehension. Visual functions,
language, reading, internal stimuli, tactile sensation and sensory comprehension will be monitored here.
Sensory Cortex- The sensory cortex, located in the front portion of the parietal lobe, receives
information relayed from the spinal cord regarding the position of various body parts and how they are
moving. This middle area of the brain can also be used to relay information from the sense of touch,
including pain or pressure which is affecting different portions of the body.
Motor Cortex- This helps the brain monitor and control movement throughout the body. It is located in
the top, middle portion of the brain.
Temporal Lobe: The temporal lobe controls visual and auditory memories. It includes areas that help
manage some speech and hearing capabilities, behavioral elements, and language. It is located in the
cerebral hemisphere.

Wernicke's Area- This portion of the temporal lobe is formed around the auditory cortex. While
scientists have a limited understanding of the function of this area, it is known that it helps the body
formulate or understand speech.
Occipital Lobe: The optical lobe is located in the cerebral hemisphere in the back of the head. It helps to
control vision.

Broca's Area- This area of the brain controls the facial neurons as well as the understanding of speech
and language. It is located in the triangular and opercular section of the inferior frontal gyrus.

This is commonly referred to as "the little brain," and is considered to be older than the cerebrum on the
evolutionary scale. The cerebellum controls essential body functions such as balance, posture and
coordination, allowing humans to move properly and maintain their structure.

Limbic System
The limbic system contains glands which help relay emotions. Many hormonal responses that the body
generates are initiated in this area. The limbic system includes the amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus
and thalamus.

Amygdala:The amygdala helps the body responds to emotions, memories and fear. It is a large portion of
the telencephalon, located within the temporal lobe which can be seen from the surface of the brain. This
visible bulge is known as the uncus.

Hippocampus: This portion of the brain is used for learning memory, specifically converting temporary
memories into permanent memories which can be stored within the brain. The hippocampus also helps
people analyze and remember spatial relationships, allowing for accurate movements. This portion of the
brain is located in the cerebral hemisphere.
Hypothalamus:The hypothalamus region of the brain controls mood, thirst, hunger and temperature. It
also contains glands which control the hormonal processes throughout the body.

Thalamus:The Thalamus is located in the center of the brain. It helps to control the attention span, sensing
pain and monitors input that moves in and out of the brain to keep track of the sensations the body is

Brain Stem
All basic life functions originate in the brain stem, including heartbeat, blood pressure and breathing. In
humans, this area contains the medulla, midbrain and pons. This is commonly referred to as the simplest
part of the brain, as most creatures on the evolutionary scale have some form of brain creation that
resembles the brain stem. The brain stem consists of midbrain, pons and medulla.

Midbrain:The midbrain, also known as the mesencephalon is made up of the tegmentum and tectum.
These parts of the brain help regulate body movement, vision and hearing. The anterior portion of the
midbrain contains the cerebral peduncle which contains the axons that transfer messages from the
cerebral cortex down the brain stem, which allows voluntary motor function to take place.

Pons: This portion of the metencephalon is located in the hindbrain, and links to the cerebellum to help
with posture and movement. It interprets information that is used in sensory analysis or motor control.
The pons also creates the level of consciousness necessary for sleep.

Medulla: The medulla or medulla oblongata is an essential portion of the brain stem which maintains vital
body functions such as the heart rate and breathing.