The nervous system consists of a central part and a peripheral part. The nerves arising from the spinal cord and the nodes of certain neurons in the body (ganglia, retina, and olfactory epithelium), serve to innervate the organs, muscles and skin and comprise the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The brain and the spinal cord are referred to as the central nervous system (CNS), whereby the spinal cord is the means through which the CNS is able to communicate with the PNS. The CNS receives input from the body and from the environment through sensory, auditory and visual organs as well as chemicals (including hormones). This information is processed and either generates an output in the form of bodily, emotional, cognitive and anticipatory reactions or is kept and stored as memory for future challenges. The individual brain acquires and accommodates these mechanisms in its developmental period, but these mechanisms remain subject to active self-organising and reorganising changes throughout life.
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