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3.

2 The role of human


nervous system

NS controls & coordinates the activities of human body


by:
1.
2.
3.

Detecting changes (stimuli) by receptors inside (internal


environment) & outside (external environment)
Processing the received sensory information about
these stimuli, and decides what to do
Initiating responses to these stimuli (taking appropriate
actions)

Role of the nervous


system

Through detecting changes, processing of information


and the taking of appropriate actions, the NS:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Helps us think act consciously


Stores information & allows us to learn from past
experiences
Adapts the body to changes in the environment (by reflex
or involuntary actions) thus protecting it from harm
Controls and coordinates the activities of all other
systems in the body

Organisation of the
Nervous System

Brain and its


function

Fore Brain

Mid Brain

Hind Brain

Cerebrum

Hypothalamus
Pituitary Gland

Mid Brain

Cerebellum

Medulla oblongata
Spinal Cord

CEREBRUM

Cerebral Cortex

MOTOR AREA
Control voluntary
movement

SENSORY AREA
receive & interpret
sensations from the
whole body

ASSOCIATION AREA
link motor areas with
sensory region

Contains millions of
nerve
Centre of intelligence,
memory, language &
consciousness

FUNCTIONS

CEREBELLUM

Located at the back and


bottom of the brain
Has folded surface
Receives information
from muscles, joints,
tendons and the ears to
maintain the posture
and to balance the body

Cerebellum

Receives information from muscles,


joints, tendons and the ears to maintain
the posture and to balance the body

MEDULLA OBLONGATA

MEDULLA OBLONGATA

Relays information between the


spinal cord & the brain
Controls the automatic reactions
in the body
Heartbeat
breathing
constriction of blood vessels
control reflex centre for heart
rate, blood pressure, peristalsis,
vomiting, swallowing and
sneezing

HYPOTHALAMUS

Controls physical expression


of emotions
Coordination centre for the
autonomic nervous system
Associated with homeostasis
& control of hunger, thirst/
water balance, body
temperature & the endocrine
hormone system
Regulates the pituitary gland

PITUITARY GLAND

THALAMUS

Processes all
sensory impulses
(except
olfactory) before
relaying them to
the appropriate
parts of the brain
(cerebrum)

Thalamus

SPINAL CORD

A bundle of nerves that


continues from the
medulla oblongata of the
brain to the pelvic girdle
Occupies the neural canal
of the vertebral column

Has 31 pairs of spinal


nerves at intervals along
its length
Communicates with the
muscles and sensory
organs below the head
through efferent and
afferent neurones
respectively in the spinal
nerves

Spinal Cord

Spinal Cord

Neurone

The basic unit of the


nervous system
Transmits electrical
impulses called nerve
impulses
Basic structure:
Cell body
Axon
Dendrites

Neurones

3 main types :
Afferent or sensory neurone
Efferent neurone or motor neurone
Interneurone or intermediate neurone

Type of neurone

Transmission of information
along the neurone

A neurone:
Transmits information in the form of electrical signal
Produce an impulse which is like an electrical current
passing along its length

Conduction of nerve impulses:


Involves changes of charges on the inside and the outside of
a neurone
Involves ions of which the most important are sodium
(Na+)and potassium (K+)

Mode of transmission
along the neurone

A gap across which a nerve impulse passes from an axon


terminal to another neurone
Role:
Transmits information from one cell to another (from nerve
to nerve or from nerve to muscle)
Causes nerve impulses to travel in one direction only

Synapse

VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY


ACTION

Involves thought and free will


Controlled by cerebrum
Voluntary actions are learned
Slow response, as the cerebrum needs time to think
before an action is carried out
E.g.
Raising your hand to answer a question
Decide to stand up

Voluntary action

(a) Receptors:
Eyes and ear

(f) Effector: arm


muscle contracts to
raise arm

(b) Sensory
(afferent) neurons

(e) Motor (efferent)


neurones of the
spinal nerve

(c) Sensory areas of


the cerebral cortex

(d) Motor area of the


cerebral cortex

Transmission of information in the


voluntary action of raising an arm

Does not involve thought


Not under the control of the will
Controlled by Spinal cord, Hind-brain
Role: to response quickly to avoid danger
Rapid
Same stimulus always result in the same response
E.g.:
Knee jerk
peristalsis

Involuntary action

Type
Parkinsons disease

Symptoms
Shaking of hand at rest
Weakness & stiffness of
muscles
Slowness of movement
Poor balance

Cause
Dopamine-producing
neurones in brain break up
Lack of dopamine (a
neurotransmitter) in the brain
which is important in
movement control

Disease of the nervous


system

Type

Symptoms

Alzheimers disease a.k.a getting senile


cannot remember & behave
abnormally
patient begins to have
problems speaking,
understanding, reading, and
writing
Later becomes anxious &
aggressive and wanders away
from home

Cause
loss of neurones in the
areas of the brain for
memory & other mental
ability
low levels of
neurotransmitter