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Question Video: Recalling the Components of the Central Nervous System Biology

What are the components of the central nervous system?

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Video Transcript

What are the components of the central nervous system? (A) The brain and the spinal cord. (B) The brain and the cranial nerves. (C) The spine and the spinal nerves. (D) The nerves in the body outside of the brain and the spinal cord.

This question asks us about the central nervous system. Looking at the answer choices, they may seem confusing because they repeat some of the same components. So, to gain some clarity to choose the right answer, let’s review how the central nervous system is organized.

The nervous system is divided into two main parts: the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is further divided into the sensory and motor divisions. These divisions are made of the nerves in the body outside of the spinal cord, like the spinal nerves, and all of the cranial nerves which are outside of the brain.

Now, the central nervous system is further divided into the brain and the spinal cord. The brain, which is protected by the skull, serves as the command center of our body, because it processes and integrates the information from the peripheral nervous system. The spinal cord is protected by the spine and receives sensory information from the peripheral nervous system. It processes the information and transmits it up to the brain.

So, to identify the correct answer, we are looking for the answer choice that includes both the brain and the spinal cord. Several answer choices include the brain or the spinal cord. But since they only include one component of the central nervous system, they are not the correct answer choice. One answer choice describes the peripheral nervous system since it states all of the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord, making it incorrect. This process of elimination leaves us with the only answer choice that includes both components of the central nervous system.

So the components of the central nervous system are the brain and the spinal cord.

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