Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 27, 2004
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the spinal cord and the brain. The spinal cord lies in the vertebral canal, whereas the brain is located in the cranial cavity. The functions of the CNS are to receive, identify, integrate, and interpret incoming sensory stimuli from the body's internal and external environments. It then produces electrochemical impulses that are transmitted to the body's effectors organs (muscles and glands) via the peripheral nervous system and autonomic nervous system to initiate appropriative responses to the stimuli (adaptation). These responses aim to satisfy an organism's physiological drives, such as survival, experience of positive or negative feelings, and learning to improve performance. Disorders of the CNS may result in a permanent impairment of sensory, memory, and motor functions, which affects animal well-being.