Central nervous system

Central nervous system
1201 Overview of Nervous System.jpg
Schematic diagram showing the central nervous system in yellow, peripheral in orange
LatinSystema nervosum centrale
pars centralis systematis nervosi[1]
Anatomical terminology

The central nervous system (CNS) is the part of the nervous system consisting primarily of the brain and spinal cord. The CNS is so named because the brain integrates the received information and coordinates and influences the activity of all parts of the bodies of bilaterally symmetric and triploblastic animals—that is, all multicellular animals except sponges and diploblasts. It is a structure composed of nervous tissue positioned along the rostral (nose end) to caudal (tail end) axis of the body and may have an enlarged section at the rostral end which is a brain. Only arthropods, cephalopods and vertebrates have a true brain, though precursor structures exist in onychophorans, gastropods and lancelets.

The rest of this article exclusively discusses the vertebrate central nervous system, which is radically distinct from all other animals.

  1. ^ Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary, Farlex 2012.

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