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Neurons and the Central Nervous System

            The working of the human body can be linked to human behavior through the combined studies of biology and psychology. The aim of this assignment is to provide a biological explanation of how neurons in the central nervous system communicate between the body, brain and mind and how psychologists are able to understand and link these transmissions with behavior exhibited by humans. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system consists of bundles of neurons known as nerves connecting the central nervous system to sense organs, muscles, and glands. The brain contains billions of neurons and glial cells which assist in controlling behavior, processing of information about the environment and regulating the physiological processes of the body.
             Neurons are the cells of the nervous system and are responsible for transmitting messages from one part of the body to another. There are three types of neurons, each having a different function; Sensory, transmit impulses received by the nerve endings to the central nervous system. Motor, carry outgoing signals from the brain or spinal cord to other areas of the body and inter-neurons, receive signals from the sensory and send impulses to the motor. They act as 'basic building blocks' (Toates, 2007) for emotions, communications and behavior. A neuron comprises of a cell body, containing a nucleus, axons, (nerve fibers coated in a layer of fatty cells called the myelin sheath) and branches of dendrites known as processes. They are stimulated by contact of a noxious stimulant, such as a sharp object touching the foot or changes in pressure and temperature triggering detectors located within the skin. An electro-chemical reaction occurs transforming the polarity of the neuron from a resting value to a positive creating an action potential. The electrical impulse travels along the axons of each neuron until it reaches a synapse, a gap between the presynaptic neuron, and the postsynaptic cell.

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