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The Nervous System

Chapter 15
How the Nervous System
Chapter 15 Section 1
Functions of the Nervous
• The nervous system receives
information about what is
happening both inside and outside
your body
• It directs the way in which your body
responds to this information
• It helps in maintaining stable internal
Functions of the Nervous

SystemResponding to

Information Stimuli
• Because of the • The nervous
nervous system, system analyzes
you are aware of a stimulus and
your causes a
surroundings response
• It also checks • Nervous system
conditions inside causes both
your body, such voluntary and
as the level of involuntary
glucose in your responses, such
blood as increasing
Maintaining Stable Internal
• The nervous system maintains
homeostasis by directing the body
to respond appropriately to the
information it receives
• When you are hungry, the nervous
system tells you to eat
The Neuron- A Message-
Carrying Cell
• Neurons- cells that carry information
through your nervous system
• Nerve impulse- a message that a
neuron carries
• The structure of a neuron enables it
to carry nerve impulses
The Structure and Function of a
• The cell body of a neuron, which contains
the nucleus, has threadlike extensions
• Dendrite- extension of a neuron that carries
impulses toward the cell body
• Axon- carries impulses away from the cell
body; can have more than 1 tip
• Neurons can have many dendrites, but only
1 axon
• Nerve Fibers- axons and dendrites often
arranged in parallel bundles
• Nerve- a bundle of nerve
• fibers
Kinds of Neurons
• Sensory Neuron- picks up stimuli from
the internal or external environment
and converts each stimulus into a
nerve impulse
• Interneuron- carries nerve impulses
from one neuron to another
• Motor neuron- sends an impulse to a
muscle, and the muscle contracts in
How a Nerve Impulse

Nerve impulses begin in the dendrites of a
• Impulses move rapidly toward the cell
body and then down the axon
• Impulses travel along the neuron in the
form of electrical and chemical signals as
fast as 120 m/sec
• Synapse- tiny space between each axon tip
and the next structure
• Axon tips release chemicals that enable
the impulse to cross the synapse
• Describe three functions of the nervous system.

• Identify the 3 kinds of neurons. Describe how they interact to carry nerve

• Distinguish between external and internal stimuli. Give an example of

• What would happen to a nerve impulse carried by an interneuron if the tips

of the interneuron’s axon were damaged?