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1. Inside the Brain: Hacks 1–12 > 7. Get Acquainted with the Central Nervous Sy...

Get Acquainted with the Central Nervous System

Take a brief tour around the spinal cord and brain. What’s where, and what does what?

Think of the central nervous system like a mushroom with the spinal cord as the stalk and the brain as the cap. Most of the hacks in this book arise from features in the cortex, the highly interconnected cells that make a thin layer over the brain...but not all. So let’s start outside the brain itself and work back in.

Senses and muscles all over the body are connected to nerves, bundles of neurons that carry signals back and forth. Neurons come in many types, but they’re basically the same wherever they’re found in the body; they carry electric current and can act as relays, passing on information from one neuron to the next. That’s how information is carried from the sensory surface of the skin, as electric signals, and also how muscles are told to move, by information going the other way.


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