Topic – Your Nervous System

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Read about your nervous system, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

Your Nervous System

Feeling, seeing, hearing, moving, thinking. You can do all of these things at the same time, thanks to your nervous system. It is the control centre of your body. It automatically regulates many of your body’s processes.

The Brains Behind the Operation

The central nervous system is made up of your brain and spinal cord. They are linked to your body through a network of nerve cells.

Nerves use electricity and chemicals to transmit messages. These messages go to and from your brain.

Making Sense

You have five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and skin all send messages to your brain. The brain processes the messages and allows you to sense and react to your environment.

A Matter of Survival

Your nervous system is important for your survival. For example, if you touch something hot, you quickly move your hand away.
That reaction is automatic—a reflex. If you see a car racing toward you, your eyes send a message to your brain. Your brain delivers a message to your feet to start running.

Your Amazing Nervous System

There are thousands of kilometres of nerves in your body. Laid out end to end, your nerves would wrap around Earth twice! Nerves carry messages at the speed of 430 km/h.

There are nerve cells called neurons that run from your spinal cord to your toes. Neurons are the longest cells in your body. They are incredibly narrow, but are up to 1.2 m long.

Feed Your Brain

You sleep and do not eat during the night. Your brain needs fuel when you wake up. Experts have shown that “hungry” brains have trouble remembering things. They also have trouble learning new information. So do your brain a favour—eat breakfast! Protein foods are very good “brain foods” for breakfast. Protein foods include eggs and nuts. Oatmeal cereal and whole-grain bread are also good breakfast foods.

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