The Nervous System
Most of us can probably remember being told, when we were children, not to touch the stove or some other source of potential harm. Because children are curious, such warnings often go unheeded. The result? Touching a hot stove brings about an immedi-ate response of pulling away and a vivid memory of painful fingers. This simple and familiar experience illustrates the functions of thenervous system:
1. To detect changes and feel sensations
2. To initiate appropriate responses to changes
3. To organize information for immediate use and store it for future use
The nervous system is one of the regulating systems (the endocrine system is the other). Electrochemical impulses of the nervous system make it possible to obtain infor-mation about the external or internal environment and do whatever is necessary to maintain homeostasis. Some of this activity is conscious, but much of it hap-pens without our awareness.