Tuesday 1 October 2013

Modelling the nervous system

We are working through the Apologia book Exploring Creation through human anatomy and physiology. Recently, we have read the chapter about the nervous and endocrine systems.

Both systems are for messaging. A telephone, of the traditional type, resembles the nervous system with its need for wires (the long extensions, axons of nerve cells or neurons)

whereas the endocrine system, sending chemical messages, is more akin to the post.

The chapter suggested modelling neurons using clay. We used playdough as it is cheap to make and easy to manipulate.

Dendrites are in green, axon in red and cell body in green with a cream nucleus. We made neurons of various sizes but didn't attempt one with an axon long enough to reach from the spinal cord to the little toe.

The role of neurotransmitters carrying messages between an axon terminal of one neuron and the dendrites of the next was more easily understood when modelled. Again the dendrite is green, the axon terminal is red. The neurotransmitters are in cream.

Other posts related to learning about the human body:
the heart
blood cells