Physiology Structure of the Nervous Research Paper

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These indications then proceed to the neuromuscular connections of skeletal muscles. From there, acetylcholine is released from the axon terminal knobs of alpha motor neurons and received by postsynaptic receptors of muscles, thereby communicating the stimulus to contract muscle fibers (Ihlen & Vereijken, 2010).

Psychological Influences

Research on patient's brains scanned by Positron Emmision Tomography have designated that the kind of thoughts people have influence the balance of brain chemicals, so by learning to think more positively and sensibly one can influence brain chemistry in a positive way, but other factors like an unloved, unsupported childhood can influence brain chemistry and physiology in such a way that it makes people less able to cope with stress in adulthood. If people think mainly negatively their brains secrete chemicals that can undermine their psychological and physiological health, whereas if they think more positively they can cause chemicals to be secreted that boost their psychological and physical well-being (Nervous system, n.d.).

People also need to be aware that they are not exact carbon copies of each other. People have subtle biochemical and physiological differences that partly influence how they react to stress. For instance, each person's nervous system can react quite differently to any given stimuli or situation. Some people's nervous systems are more sensitive than others; more easily set off by stress, and may also take longer to switch on the relaxation mode, once the stress response has done its job. There can also be dissimilarities in the amount of stress hormones that people secrete in response to a stressor. People who have more of a tendency to being what is known as Type A personality are more reactive to stress and can produce up to forty times more cortisol, they can produce four times as much adrenalin and also pump three times more blood to their muscles than the more laid back Type B personality. This does not mean however that there is nothing that the more biologically reactive Type A's can do to reduce their stress. Research on Type A personalities who had suffered a heart attack showed that if they were taught stress management techniques then they could radically reduce their risk of a second heart attack when compared to Type A personalities who had not been taught stress management techniques (Nervous system, n.d.).


Psychophysiology is the study of the interrelationships between the physiological and psychological parts of behavior. Psychophysiologists examine the physiological foundations of psychological processes which is the relationships/link between psychological events and mind/brain responses. These include:

how activation of one neural brain structure exerts an excitatory or inhibitory effect on another structure

Event Related Potentials (ERPs)

Electroencephalography (EEG)

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

Effects of stress on the cardiovascular system -- vasodilation or vasoconstriction, myocardial contractility, or stroke volume using parameters including:

Heart rate (HR)

Electrocardiography (ECG)

Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

Effect of one cardiovascular event on another cardiovascular or endocrine event


Skin conductance response (SCR)

Galvanic skin response (GSR)


Muscle activity

Electromyography (EMG)

Pupil diameter changes and eye movement


Electro-oculogram (EOG)

Respiration (Psychophysiology Studies, 2010).


As the most multifaceted system, the nervous system serves as the body control center and communications electrical-chemical wiring network. As a key homeostatic regulatory and coordinating system, it senses, construes, and reacts to alterations in internal and external circumstances. The nervous system incorporates innumerable bits of information and makes appropriate reactions by sending electrochemical impulses through nerves to effector organs such as muscles and glands. The brain and spinal cord are the central nervous system and the connecting nerve processes to effectors and receptors serve as the peripheral nervous system. Special sense receptors provide for taste, smell, sight, hearing, and balance. Nerves carry all messages exchanged between the CNS and the rest of the body.

It is the complicated make up of the nervous system that often makes figuring out what has gone wrong with it very hard. Problems with the nervous system can affect people on a physical level as well as a psychological one and sometimes can even cause's issues on both levels at once. This is why it is so important to know exactly what makes up the nervous system and exactly what it does. Because of the very nature of the system and its complex structure it is sometimes hard to determine exactly where a problem is stemming from. Neuroscience or the study of the human nervous system consists of understanding human thought, emotion, and behavior since all of these things are interconnected with each other and with the way that the body communicates with itself. Neuroscientists use tools like computers and special dyes in order to examine molecules, nerve cells, networks, brain systems, and behavior. It is from these studies, they learn how the nervous system develops and functions normally and what goes wrong when neurological disorders occur.


Dulleck, U., Ristl, A., Schaffner, M., & Torgler, B. (2011). Heart rate variability, the autonomic nervous system, and neuroeconomic experiments. Journal Of

Neuroscience, Psychology, And Economics, 4(2), 117-124.

El-Sheikh, M., Hinnant, J., & Erath, S. (2011). Developmental trajectories of delinquency symptoms in childhood: The role of marital conflict and autonomic nervous system activity. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120(1), 16-32.

Flaherty A. Brain illness and creativity: mechanisms and treatment risks. Canadian Journal

of Psychiatry. Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie [serial online]. March


Ihlen, E.F., & Vereijken, B. (2010). Interaction-dominant dynamics in human cognition:

Beyond 1/ƒ[sup]?[sup] fluctuation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,

139(3), 436-463.

Nervous System. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Psychophysiology Studies. (2010). Retreived from

Schoenberg, M.R., Marsh, P.J., & Lerner, A.J. (2011). Neuroanatomy primer: Structure and function of the human nervous system. In M.R. Schoenberg, J.G. Scott, M.R.

Schoenberg, J.G. Scott (Eds.), The little black book of neuropsychology: A

syndrome-based approach (pp. 59-126). New York, NY U.S.: Springer Science +

Business Media.

Sherman, D.K., Bunyan, D.P., Creswell, J., & Jaremka, L.M. (2009). Psychological

vulnerability and stress: The effects of self-affirmation on sympathetic nervous system responses to naturalistic stressors. Health Psychology, 28(5), 554-562.[continue]

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