March 15, 2013
Neurons: The Real Network Of Your Body
If you were to talk to a doctor, they would likely say that the network of your body would be your circulatory system, which consists of your veins, arteries, heart, etc. On the other hand, if you were to talk to a neurologist, or anyone that studies the brain, they would most likely say it would be the nervous system. Now, from the name, you can guess that the nervous system consists of a system of nerves that go throughout our body.
Now, yes, the circulatory system is important because, let’s just face the facts, we need blood. Blood is pretty important because it does much more than just takes oxygen to different parts of the body. On the other hand, let’s take a look at the nervous system and what it actually does for the body.
The nervous system is split up into two different systems. The one most of us know about, the central nervous system (CNS) and, the one most people may not be so familiar with, the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The good thing is when they named these two different systems; they made it easy to remember what each system corresponds to. The CNS is your brain and spinal cord and the PNS is everything else. Another way of thinking about it is the CNS is the control center of your body and the PNS allows you to flap your arms when doing the chicken dance. These two systems are interconnected so you need both to do anything.
Now, of course, everything gets more complicated because within these nerves are neurons. Not just one type of neuron, but three different types, each with their own specific properties. The only purpose of these neurons is to send electric signals to another neuron. In a sense, you could think of neurons like the links within a chain. These chains are the connections, are everywhere within your body and are never stopping. When you pet a cat, neurons are firing to tell your brain that the cat just bit your hand for waking it up. When you listen to music, through a complex process of turning mechanical sounds to neural signals, neurons send signals to your brain, letting us know there are musical notes flowing into your ears. These neurons are the foundation of how we function.
Each of these three neurons not only helps us survive, but also assists us in every day functions. Like the nervous system, the people who discovered these make remembering these different neurons easy to remember. The types of neurons are motor neurons, sensory neurons, and interneurons. As their names suggest the motor neurons are the neurons that control movement and the organs; the sensory neurons send signals from all your senses such as touch and sight. And the interneurons are the neurons that are the intermediate links between the different parts of the body and the brain. These are the small connections within each region of your body and are the small, but crucial links in the chain that gathers all the information to send to the brain. It is because of these three neurons that I think the real system of the body is connections of neurons. These links not only allow us to live, but also allow us to truly live and experience the world around us and enjoy it in so many ways.
Image Credit: Photos.com