The Divisions of the Nervous System: central and peripheral (somatic and autonomic)

The Nervous System:

Humans have extremely complex and highly developed nervous systems. The nervous system is designed to collect, process and respond to information. It also coordinates the workings of the different organs and cells in the body.

All parts of the nervous system are related. The nervous system is divided into 2 main parts:

Human Nervous System


Divisions of the Nrevous System:

The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

Consists of the nerves leading to and from the brain and the spinal cord (to and from other parts of the body). It is divided into:

1. Somatic nervous system – the nerves of this system transmit information about external stimuli from the skin, muscles, and joints (the senses) to the CNS (connects the central nervous system and the senses). It also receives commands from the CNS telling our muscles to move (resulting in running, walking etc.)

2. Autonomic nervous system – Transmits information to and from internal bodily organs. This allows us to do things like breath, digest. It also controls our blood vessels, glands and internal organs. It is particularly involved in emotions such as fear and stress. This part of the nervous system controls our internal organs automatically without our conscious control and plays a vital part in the stress response e.g., heart rate, breathing rate, pupil dilation, saliva production – we don’t have to think about these – they just happen!

The ANS can be subdivided into 2 further parts:

Division of the NS