Advertisement

How does our internal electrical system work?

When we squeeze a door knob, or switch on a light, we are able to do so because our nervous system has sent signals to the brain.

When we talk about our brains telling our hands to squeeze the door knob, or about the nervous system sending "signals" to the brain, or about synapses "firing," we're really talking about electricity carrying messages between point A and point B.

It is somewhat like the digital cable signal, carrying the 1s and 0s, that delivers the program "Damages."

In our bodies, though, the electrons do not flow along a wire. Instead, an electrical charge jumps from cell to cell, until it reaches where it needs to go.

Our internal electrical system works by using the cells that have a built-up electrical gradient or energy that can be given off to other cells by direct/neuronal transfer. Neurohormones or transmitters activate the synapses (electrical junctions in the body) that stimulate the brain, nerves, and muscle cells to become active and communicate. This allows us to think, remember, act, and move.

Continue Learning about Functions of the Nervous System

How does my body react when faced with conflict or danger?
Dr. Marsha LucasDr. Marsha Lucas
Stephen Porges, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois, suggests that there ...
More Answers
What are neurotransmitter receptors?
Howard J. Shaffer, PhDHoward J. Shaffer, PhD
Neurotransmitter receptors are structures (usually proteins) on the surfaces of cells that recog...
More Answers
What does the parasympathetic nervous system do?
William B. Salt II., MDWilliam B. Salt II., MD
The parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) has nerve fibers that originate...
More Answers
What is a satiety center?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Think about what motivates us to work, to love, to parent, and to do all the things we need to do fr...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.