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Nervous System Courses

Learn about the nervous system and more with online courses on edX!

What is the Nervous System?

Your nervous system coordinates actions and sensation through a complex network of nerve receptors that report back to the brain. It's made of two primary sections, the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (everything else). The PNS is divided into three further sections. The somatic nervous system is responsible for voluntary movement. The autonomic nervous system controls smooth muscle, namely organs and glands, and is divided into the parasympathetic nervous system and sympathetic nervous system. The enteric nervous system controls the gastrointestinal system. All sensory information passes through your nervous system from automatic and unconscious responses to controlled responses. It manages things you're aware of (your fingers moving, for example) to things you aren't consciously aware of (your internal organs).

Learn about the Nervous System

Whether you're curious about how your body works or you're in a research or healthcare field, it's helpful to understand the workings of the nervous system. With more research going into things like better prosthetic limbs and artificial intelligence, understanding the nervous system could create breakthroughs. EdX.org provides courses and certifications designed in partnership with trusted institutions. You'll learn all about the nervous system, including the latest research in the field.

Nervous System Courses and Certifications

You can take a foundational course in human anatomy from Hong Kong Polytechnic University. It's designed to teach you a case-based study of human anatomy through a stroke example. You'll learn the interplay of the different systems and parts of the body, including the functions of the nervous system. You have the choice of two X series courses. Michigan X offers an in-depth look at human anatomy, including a course series on human Neuroanatomy in their Anatomy X Series. You'll learn not only the way electrical signals inform sensory organs and run the automatic processes of the body but how this system fits into the overall makeup of the body. Harvard's X series, The Fundamentals of Neuroscience, is a deeper look at the different parts of the nervous system. You'll learn the fundamental properties of neurons, their electrical signals, and sensory input journeys. From there, you'll build on nervous tissue knowledge until you come to different parts of the brain, including the medulla oblongata, cerebral cortex, and midbrain.

Explore a Career in Neuroanatomy

Your knowledge of the nervous system from the spinal nerves and sensory nerves to the very motor neurons and nerve cells that make everything possible. Millions of years ago, our ancestors developed sensory neurons, and now we owe all movement and functions to the interplay of the human brain and different parts of the nervous system. With new research building better prosthetic parts, creating new treatments for degenerative diseases, and even imbuing robots with human-like sensory intelligence, you could use your understanding of things like skeletal muscles and cranial nerves to aid in this research. The human body owes everything to the nervous system, and you could uncover the next breakthrough.