I'm baking a cake for Mom's birthday! I'm about to take it out
Sure, let me explain it to you. It all has to do with our nervous system.
I'm baking a cake for Mom's birthday! I've never made one before but I think she'll like it. I'm a
Ouch, that's hot!That's weird though, I didn't really feel any pain when I first touched it but I instantly pulled away. Do you know why that is?
First off, our nervous systems can be divided into two parts: the central nervous system and the peripheral. The CNS is made up of the nerves in our spinal cord and brain, while the PNS comprises of all other nerves, right down to the pain sensors in your toes. These two systems work together to control almost everything you do and neurons play an important role.
So when we touch a hot surface, our skin receptors quickly send nerve impulses to our spinal cord via sensory neurons. At the spinal cord, interneurons process the response and send out the corresponding motor neurons. These motor neurons tell our muscles to contract and pull our hand away.
These 3 steps -- sensory input, integration, and motor output, make up all of our actions.
But you may have noticed that with our hot surface example, the nerve impulses don't make it to the brain like most impulses do, and the decisions are actually made by our spinal cord. Usually that's not the case, but with our reflexes, they need to be processed quickly so even though nerve impulses travel fast, there's still no time for it to go to the brain!
Reflexes require immediate action to protect us from harmful events, so your reflexes helped you not burn yourself.
Yup, you got it! Now let me help you get that cake out of the oven, and this time we'll use oven mitts.
I see! That makes sense. So, because this process involves our spinal cord and all those special neurons, this must be a function of our CNS, right?