The central nervous system controls the biological processes of our body and all conscious thought.
Table of Contents
The Central Nervous System is arguably the most important part of the body because of the way it controls the biological processes of our body and all conscious thought. Due to their importance, they are safely encased within bones, namely the cranium protecting the brain and the spine protecting the spinal cord
There are three main components of the brain, namely the brainstem, cerebellum and the forebrain. These are elaborated upon below:
The forebrain has many activities that it is responsible for and is divided into many component parts. The below list elaborates on the localized areas of the forebrain and their functions.
The Hypothalamus – A section of the brain found next to the thalamus that is involved in many regulatory functions such as osmoregulation and thermoregulation. The hypothalamus has a degree of control over the pituitary gland, another part of the brain situated next to it, and also controls sleeping patterns, eating and drinking, and speech. The hypothalamus is also responsible for the secretion of ADH (Anti-Diuretic Hormone) via its neurosecretory cells
The Cerebrum – The cerebrum is the largest part of the human brain, and the part responsible for intelligence and creativity, and also involved in memory. The ‘grey matter’ of the cerebrum is the cerebral cortex, the center that receives information from the thalamus and all the other lower centers in the brain.
The Cerebral Cortex – Part of the cerebrum, this part of the brain deals with almost all of the higher functions of an intelligent being. It is this part of the brain that deals with the masses of information incoming from the periphery nervous system, furiously instructing the brain of what is going on inside its body and the external environment. It is this part that translates our nervous impulses into understandable quantifiable feelings and thoughts. So important is the cerebral cortex that it is sub-divided into 4 parts, explained below:
The above components of the brain work in tandem in a healthy brain. However, in some cases the brain can be injured in some way, causing brain damage. The next tutorial The Central Nervous System looks at how brain damage can affect the way we operate.
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