Neurons are amazing ...
advanced ... powerful. But they can't do anything by
themselves. Each individual cell needs to cooperate with others
to do its job and needs support from other types of cells to remain
healthy and functional.
A group of cells working
together is called a tissue. Here are some examples
of nervous tissue:
matter - cells without insulation, tightly packed in
your brain and in the inner part of your spinal cord. Gray matter
is like an integrated circuit, connecting and processing information.
matter - cells insulated by a substance called myelin.
White matter in the brain or in the outer portion of the spinal
cord usually carries messages faster and farther.
cells - these cells support and nourish the nerve cells.
They include astrocytes, which provide support; oligodendrocytes,
which form the myelin; and microglia, which produce antigens and
Tissues combine to form
organs. The nervous system is not just built from
neurons. There are also cells that don't communicate, but wrap around
the neurons to nourish and protect them, called Schwann cells. The
organs of the nervous system work together to coordinate body processes.
The spinal cord
conducts messages from all parts of the body. It also integrates
messages for quick response as simple reflexes.
integrates higher order messages and records them for short and
long term memory. The brain's hypothalamus communicates directly
with the glands of the endocrine system, so that nervous inputs
can result in chemical messages.
(like the eyes, nose, and tongue) receive specialized messages to
send them to the brain.