The sensory nervous system is a part of the nervous system tasked with processing senses (sensory) information. It is made up of sensory neurons, parts of the brain for perception and neural pathways. The main sensory systems include vision, touch, hearing, taste, balance, and smell. The sensory system is the center of decision making, coordination, response and communication in the body. Every creature, human beings included, requires senses for changes in behavior, synchronize activities, and maintain appropriate environs and response to imminent threats. The nervous system has to main divisions, a central nervous system (includes brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (McKeeff et al 2007). A peripheral nervous system consists of the network of spinal and cranial nerves which are linked to the brain through the spinal cord and brain vast system. PNS is further divided into the automatic and somatic nervous system. An automatic nervous system controls the involuntary internal organs, cardiac muscles and blood vessels whereas somatic nervous system controls the skin, joints, bones and skeletal muscle. (Sherrington, 1906)
Asked to enhance the ability of one sensory system, I would settle for the brain as the main part of the central nervous system. The brain is the center of the sensory stem. After sensory nerves have collected the information around the body, the brain is tasked to interpret and send the right coordinated reaction and interpretation of the information. The brain has three main segments which include the midbrain, forebrain and the hindbrain. I will major with the forebrain which consists of the cerebrum, thalamus, and the hypothalamus. According to Brynie, 2009, the Cerebral cortex is the largest of them all. It is responsible for thoughts and actions. It is further segmented into four lobes, parietal, occipital, temporal and frontal lobes.
Due to the technological advancements globally, interpretation of the sensory information can be improved further. At times, slow interpretation of the sensory information can hamper the response time. Having this in mind, replacing the cerebral cortex with a neuron technological function would greatly increase the reaction time. A brain can be damaged due to several factors which lead to slow responses. Having a neuron technological function would reduce the time taken for the sensory nerves to transmit the senses to this part of the brain and the time to react to the senses.
Increasing the functionality of the cerebral cortex would greatly impact on the hypothalamus which is responsible for upholding the body homeostasis (body status quo). This is because the hypothalamus not only controls the automatic nervous system but also its responsible for the production of hormones into the pituitary front lobe. This enhances the control of the emotions, feelings, and moods. Having a more efficient cerebral cortex would mean that the neurotransmitters would be able to efficiently and on timely basis send the sensory information to the pituitary gland which to facilitate the release of thyroid hormone. Improving the bran and giving up the spinal vast network of nerves then this would call for immediate replacement of the spinal cord. (Kolb, 2003)
Giving up the spinal cord implies that we will lose the pathway that connects the brain and the peripheral nervous system. The spinal cord enables the sensory currents to travel through tot eh brain, sending signals that help the brain to interpret the environment and action required thus enabling the body to communicate with the bran. It also controls muscles contraction and coordination during walking. The spinal cord is responsible for reflexes which are the involuntary responses resulting from stimuli from the brain, peripheral nervous system, and the spinal cord.
The nervous system is a full system consisting of the brain and the spinal cord. Even though scientists suggest that one can be improved and do without the other, nothing can be far from the truth but no such advanced studies have been fronted. It is, therefore, my submission that no part of the nervous system would function alone. They are interconnected and reliable. Having brain without the spinal cord, then it means the brain is unable to receive or relay the signal to the other parts of the body as it is in cases of paralysis due to a spinal injury.
Brynie, F.H. (2009). Brain Sense: The Science of the Senses and How We Process the World Around Us. American Management Association.
Kolb & Whishaw: Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology (2003)
McKeeff, T. J.; Tong, F. (2007). “The timing of perceptual decisions for ambiguous face stimuli in the human ventral visual cortex. [Article]”. Cerebral Cortex. 17 (3): 669–678.
Sherrington C. The Integrative Action of the Nervous System. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1906.