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Why This Matters Understanding neurotransmitter function will help you be aware of how drugs affect a patient’s nervous system Video: Why This Matters 11.1 Functions of Nervous System Nervous system is master controlling and communicating system of bodyCells communicate via electrical and chemical signalsRapid and specificUsually cause almost immediate responses11.1 Functions of Nervous SystemNervous system has three overlapping functions1.SensoryinputInformation gathered by sensory receptors about internal and external changes 1.IntegrationProcessing and interpretation of sensory input1.MotoroutputActivation of effectororgans (muscles and glands) produces a responseFigure 11.1 The nervous system’s functions.11.1 Functions of Nervous SystemNervous system is divided into two principal parts:Centralnervoussystem(CNS) Brain and spinal cord of dorsal body cavityIntegration and control centerInterprets sensory input and dictates motor output Peripheralnervoussystem(PNS)The portion of nervous system outside CNSConsists mainly of nerves that extend from brain and spinal cordSpinalnervesto and from spinal cordCranialnervesto and from brainFigure 11.2 The nervous system.11.1 Functions of Nervous SystemPeripheral nervous system (PNS) has two functional divisionsSensory(afferent) divisionSomaticsensoryfibers: convey impulses from skin, skeletal muscles, and joints toCNS Visceralsensoryfibers: convey impulses from visceral organs toCNS Motor(efferent) division Transmits impulses fromCNS to effector organsMuscles and glandsTwo divisionsSomatic nervous systemAutonomic nervous system11.1 Functions of Nervous System
Somatic nervous systemSomatic motor nerve fibers conduct impulses from CNS to skeletal muscleVoluntary nervous systemConscious control of skeletal muscles11.1 Functions of Nervous SystemAutonomic nervous systemConsists of visceral motor nerve fibersRegulates smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and glandsInvoluntary nervous systemTwo functional subdivisionsSympatheticParasympatheticWork in opposition to each otherFigure 11.3 Organization of the nervous system.11.2 Neuroglia Nervous tissue histology Nervous tissue consists of two principal cell typesNeuroglia(glialcells): small cells that surround and wrap delicate neuronsNeurons(nervecells): excitable cells that transmit electrical signalsNeuroglia of the CNSFour main neuroglia support CNS neuronsAstrocytesMicroglial cellsEpendymal cellsOligodendrocytesNeuroglia of the CNS (cont.) AstrocytesMost abundant, versatile, and highly branched of glial cellsCling to neurons, synaptic endings, and capillariesNeuroglia of the CNS (cont.) Astrocytes (cont.)Functions include:Support and brace neuronsPlay role in exchanges between capillaries and neuronsGuide migration of young neuronsControl chemical environment around neuronsRespond to nerve impulses and neurotransmittersInfluence neuronal functioningParticipate in information processing in brain Figure 11.4a Neuroglia.

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