Anatomy and Physiology: Nervous System


Maya is walking and is about to cross the street. However, she saw the red light just ahead for the pedestrian crossing. She waited until the light for crossing changes to green.

Donnie is in his English class. While his teacher is explaining about the correct grammar usage his mind is continuously drifting on his date the following with the girl he likes and how he wish that things would turn out the better after their time together. Then suddenly, his mind is back at the moment hoping that his teacher had not noticed his brief “departure.”

In both situations, it is clearly noted that the brain has always been on the go. The brain performs a lot of things for a human body to function well such as controlling what a person thinks and feel, learning and remembering things, the way a person moves and talk, and some other things such as the beating of the heart, digestion of the food and etc. Thus, it is very important to have an understanding on how this amazing brain or the nervous system works.


The nervous system is an organ system that contains a network of specialized cells called neurons. This is the master controlling and communicating system of the body. It coordinates the action of an animal and transmits signals between the different parts of the body. Every thought, movement and emotions reflect the activity of the nervous system.

Functions of the NERVOUS SYSTEM

  1. To monitor changes that takes place inside and outside the body. The nervous system utilizes the million sensory receptors to carry out this function. Any changes or stimuli occurring are noted by the nervous system and the gathered data is now called a sensory input.
  2. Another important function of the nervous system is to process and interpret the sensory input or gathered data. It is the working of this system to make decision about what should be done at each moment. This is the process known as INTEGRATION.
  3. As the nervous system has reached a decision of what response and appropriate action to be done in response to the stimuli, it then effects a response by activating muscles or glands through motor output.

These functions of the nervous systems works hand in hand. Let’s take a look at the situation given above – about Maya. While Maya is walking and is about to cross the street she saw the red light for pedestrian crossing just ahead, this is the sensory input. Her nervous system then processes and integrates this information that the “red light” for pedestrian crossing means “stop.” The nervous system then  sends motor output to Maya’s legs and feet and your feet stops walking – response.

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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