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GSE Neurotransmitters

Nervous System 101

The nervous system is divided into two parts:

(1)  Central Nervous System (CNS) - brain and spinal cord

(2)  Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) – cranial and spinal nerves.

-    Sensory (afferent) Neurons - transmits impulses TO the CNS


-   Motor (efferent) Neuron System - transmits impulses FROM the CNS to effectors.

a) Somatic Nervous System – directs contraction of skeletal muscles

b)  Autonomic Nervous System – controls activities of organs and various involuntary muscles, such as cardiac and smooth muscles. Has 2 systems that generally target the same organs but are antagonistic.

  i.   Parasympathetic Nervous System “Rest and Digest”or “Brake” – activates tranquil functions. E.g. secretion of saliva or digestive enzymes.

  ii.  Sympathetic Nervous System “Fight or Flight”or “Accelerator” –    prepare body for action. E.g. increasing heart rate, increasing sugar release from liver to blood.

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