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The brain, the largest and most complex part of the nervous system, contains nerve centers associated with sensory functions and is responsible for sensations and perceptions. It issues motor commands to skeletal muscles and carries on higher mental activities. It also functions to coordinate muscular movements, and it contains centers and nerve pathways necessary for the regulation of internal organs.
Twelve pairs of cranial nerves arise from the ventral surface of the brain and are designated by number and name. Although most of these nerves conduct both sensory and motor impulses, some contain only sensory fibers associated with special sense organs. Others are primarily composed of motor fibers and are involved with the activities of muscles and glands.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.