PSYC 201 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2B: Peripheral Nervous System, Autonomic Nervous System, Spinal Cord

Course Code
PSYC 201
Dr.Edna Ross, Dr.Paul De Marco, Dr.Matthew Edlin

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2.3 The Nervous System and the Endocrine System
Nervous system: primary internal communication network of the body; divided into the
central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system
o Neuron: the most important transmitter or messages in the central nervous
Communication occurs along nerves; bundles of neuron axons that carry
information in the peripheral nervous system
Nerves are bigger than neurons
o Central nervous system (CNS): division of the nervous system that consists of the
brain and spinal cord
The whole central nervous system is surrounded by bones
It has three layers of membranous tissues called meninges
protecting it
It is suspended in cerebrospinal fluid
Is central to all your behaviors and mental processes
Brain: acts as a command center
Spinal cord: handles incoming and outgoing messages
Most behavior is controlled in your brain but the spinal cord is
capable of sending spinal reflexes; simple, automatic behaviors
that are processed in the spinal cordthere is no brain
involvement in these reflexes
o Involves a loop of rapid communication among sensory
neurons, which communicate sensation to the spinal cord,
interneurons, which relay information within the spinal
o Motor neuron signal the muscle to react
Sensory receptors: send messages along sensory nerve to the spinal cord,
then up to the brain
Peripheral Nervous System: includes all nerve lying outside the central nervous system
that extend to the outermost borders of your body
o 2 divisions:
Somatic nervous system: communicates sensory information to the
central nervous system and carries motor messages from the central
nervous system to the muscle
Voluntary muscle movements
Autonomic nervous system: regulates involuntary functions
Ex. Heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing, and digestion
Little or no conscious involvement
Emotions and mental imagery can influence your autonomic
nervous system
Controlled by 2 branches:
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