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Chimp Brain in a jar.jpg
A chimpanzee harn
TA A14.1.03.0025
FMA FMA:50801
Anatomical terminology

The harn is an organ that serves as the centre o the nervous seestem in aw vertebrate an maist invertebrate ainimals. Anly a few invertebrates such as sponges, jellyfish, adult sea squirts an starnfish dinna hae a brain; diffuise or localised nerve nets are present instead. The harn is locatit in the heid, uisually close tae the primary sensory organs for such senses as veesion, hearin, balance, taste, an smell. The harn is the maist complex organ in a vertebrate's bouk. In a teepical bouk, the cerebral cortex (the lairgest part) is estimated tae conteen 15–33 billion neurons,[1] each connectit bi synapses tae several thoosand ither neurons. Thir neurons communicate wi ane anither bi means o lang protoplasmic fibers cried axons, which carry trains o signal pulses cried action potentials tae distant pairts o the harn or bouk targetin speceefic recipient cells.

Pheesiologically, the function o the harn is tae exert centralised control ower the ither organs o the bouk. The brain acts on the rest o the bouk baith bi generatin patterns o muscle activity an bi drivin the secretion o chemicals cried hormones. This centralised control allaes rapid an coordinatit responses tsr changes in the environs. Some basic teeps o responsiveness such as reflexes can be mediatit bi the spinal cord or peripheral ganglia, but sophisticatit purposefu control o behaviour based on complex sensory input requires the information integratin capabilities o a centralised brain.

The operations o individual harn cells are nou unnerstuid in considerable detail but the way thay cooperate in ensembles o millions is yet tae be solved.[2] Recent models in modren neuroscience treat the harn as a biological computer, very different in mechanism frae an electronic computer, but similar in the sense that it acquires information frae the surroondin warld, stores it, an processes it in a variety o ways, analogous tae the central processin unit (CPU) in a computer.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Pelvig, DP; Pakkenberg, H; Stark, AK; Pakkenberg, B (2008). "Neocortical glial cell numbers in human brains". Neurobiology of Aging 29 (11): 1754–1762. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2007.04.013. PMID 17544173. 
  2. Yuste, Rafael; Church, George M. (March 2014). "The new century of the brain" (PDF). Scientific American 310 (3): 38–45. Bibcode:2014SciAm.310c..38Y. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0314-38. PMID 24660326.