Things Your Nervous System Handles Automatically

No matter what you feel like you've accomplished (or not) today, your body has been working really hard. Even if you've spent the day lying on the sofa, your body has been directing, overseeing, and facilitating hundreds of complicated functions, keeping you safe, comfortable, and making split-second decisions that benefit you without you giving them a conscious thought.

These automated bodily functions are the work of your nervous system—a network of neurons that transmit signals all around your body, telling your organs exactly what they should be doing and when. Most of these neurons—around 100 billion—are in your brain, and each of the thousands of types of neuron serves a specific purpose. Together, those specific purposes contribute to one overall objective: keeping your body safe, well, and comfortable. Here's an introduction to how your body manages to support itself automatically.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The average person has 2.6 million sweat glands in their skin and can produce up to 3 liters (0.79 gallons) of sweat per hour. 00:25

  2. Sweat is odorless, but the bacteria that feast on it release smelly compounds. The best way to reduce this is to keep up with regular hygiene. 00:46

  3. 1.6% of humans have a genetic trait that keeps them from stinking when they sweat. 02:22

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The heart pumps blood in two phases: relaxation and contraction. 00:08

  2. Valves help the heart to avoid overfilling with blood. 00:38

Written by Curiosity Staff September 10, 2014

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