THE ENDOCRINE SYSTEM.


The Endocrine System Notes and Powerpoint

The Endocrine System Notes and Powerpoint

The Endocrine System Flashcards

The Endocrine System Flashcards

In this topic, the final of the unit, we will look at the endocrine system.
So far we have been looking at the nervous system as the main communication system of the body... receiving, processing and then distributing information. However, the nervous system is not the only system of communication that we have. The other is the endocrine system and it functions through the use of chemical signals known as hormones.
So, how we differentiate between the two systems? Imagine that the nervous system is like a cable television network. Signals are passed along wires that pass between the TV station (Headend in the diagram)and your television. The cable allows a direct physical link between all the individual systems involved. This is much like the nervous system of your body which relies on the nerves (cables) to pass the information between the receptors (sensory organs), brain and effectors (muscles).
CableSystemsDiagram.jpg



So, we can continue with this idea and imagine the endocrine system as a satellite television network. The information is sent from a distant location (a satellite in space). This information is not sent directly to each individual home by way of cables... it is beamed everywhere, all at the same time. So, right now while you are reading this, information is passing through to your location from space. So why can´t you watch satellite TV on this monitor?
The answer is because even though the information is available all around you, your computer screen probably doesn´t have the necessary hardware to process the data into a meaningful image... you need to have a specific receiver/ receptor for that particular signal. These receptors... receive the information and can decode it into a meaningful image that is then displayed on your television.
satellite-tv-4.jpg

In much the same way hormones are chemical signals that are produced at one location and are sent all around the body (via the blood) but they only affect the cells that have the proper receivers (receptor proteins on the cell membrane). So only specific cells and tissues are affected by these chemical signals.


Endocrine glands are not the only glands to be found within the body, there are also exocrine glands. A comaprison of the two may be viewed i the following link:
Endocrine vs exocrine

Below are a number of introductory videos, the first by Leslie Samuel provides information on the thalamus and hypothalamus.


Next we will have an introduction to hormones and the endocrine system.


















Finally the table below will allow you to summarise all the information:

endocrine.jpg



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