6. Nervous system

Central nervous system

Cerebrum; Image: Paul Kim

The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and spinal cord. These are found housed within the skull and vertebral column respectively.

The brain is made of four parts; cerebrum, diencephalon, cerebellum and brainstem. Together these parts process the incoming information from peripheral tissues and generate commands; telling the tissues how to respond and function. These commands tackle the most complex voluntary and involuntary human body functions, from breathing to thinking.

The spinal cord continues from the brainstem. It also has the ability to generate commands but for involuntary processes only, i.e. reflexes. However, its main function is to pass information between the CNS and periphery. 

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