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What health-related functions are regulated by the nervous system?

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The nervous system plays a role in nearly every aspect of our health and well-being—from everyday activities such as waking up, to simple activities such as breathing, to complex processes such as thinking, reading, remembering, and feeling emotions.

Functions that are regulated by the nervous system include (but are not limited to):

  • Brain growth and development
  • Sensations (such as touch or hearing) and perception (the mental process of interpreting sensory information)
  • Thought and emotions
  • Learning and memory
  • Movement, balance, and coordination
  • Sleep
  • Healing and rehabilitation
  • Stress and the body's responses to stress
  • Aging
  • Breathing and heartbeat
  • Body temperature
  • Hunger, thirst, digestion
  • Puberty, reproductive health, and fertility

Neuroscientists study the nervous system to better understand both its healthy and diseased states. Studying and understanding the nervous system is important because it affects so many areas of human health and well-being.1


  1. Society for Neuroscience. (2013). What is Neuroscience? Retrieved May 1, 2013, from http://www.sfn.org/index.aspx?pagename=whatIsNeuroscienceExternal Web Site Policy [top]

Last Updated Date: 04/09/2014
Last Reviewed Date: 09/27/2013
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