The main job of the nervous system is to send and receive messages throughout the body, explains the Monroe County Women’s Disability Network. It is responsible for controlling and coordinating body functions.
The nervous system is composed of the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system and the sense organs, says the MCWDN. It receives sensory impulses through sensory nerve fibers, interprets this information and delivers motor impulses to glands and muscles that act on the impulses and cause the body to react. It also helps the body learn from experience and stores these memories. The nervous system coordinates all body parts to maintain balance.
The MCWDN states that the central nervous system is composed of the brain and the spinal cord, while the peripheral nervous system is made up of sensory neurons, clusters of neurons known as ganglia, and nerves that connect these neurons to each other and to the central nervous system. Complex neural pathways interconnect all of these regions. Neurons process and transmit information through chemical and electrical signaling, and they connect to each other to create networks.
According to the MCWDN, the brain has three primary parts. The cerebrum controls memory and thoughts; the cerebellum controls balance and coordination; and the medulla oblongata controls involuntary actions such as breathing, heartbeat and digestion.