Nervous system (vertebrate)
Northcutt, R. Glenn Department of Anatomy, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.
Noback, Charles R. Department of Anatomy, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Kallen, Bengt Department of Embryology, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden.
Show previous versions
- Comparative morphology
- Spinal patterns
- Medullar patterns
- Cerebellar patterns
- Tectal patterns
- Diencephalic patterns
- Telencephalic patterns
- Comparative histology
- Connective tissue cells
- Comparative embryology
- Spinal cord
- Cranial nerves
- Spinal nerves
- Autonomic nervous system
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A coordinating and integrating system that functions in the adaptation of a vertebrate organism to its environment. The assemblages of cells that are specialized by their shape and function to act as the major coordinating organ of the body comprise the nervous system. Nervous tissue underlies the ability to sense the environment, to move and react to stimuli, and to generate and control all behavior of the organism. In general, an environmental stimulus causes a response in an organism when specialized structures (receptors) are excited. Excitations are conducted by nerves to effectors that act to adapt the organism to the changed conditions of the environment. With regard to the vertebrates, the nervous system (Fig. 1) consists of the brain, brainstem, spinal cord, cranial and peripheral nerves, and ganglia. The brain and spinal cord together comprise the central nervous system, whereas the nerves and ganglia that leave the brain and spinal cord constitute the peripheral nervous system. See also: Brain; Central nervous system; Cranial nerve; Ganglion; Nerve; Sensation; Sense organ; Spinal cord
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information