GCSE level School Biology Notes: An introduction to how the nervous system works

Use the page sub-index, take time to study the content or [Use the website search box] re-edit 20/04/2023

An introduction to the human nervous system

including the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), peripheral nervous system, and including the reflex arc and response time experiments

Doc Brown's biology exam revision study notes

 This page will answer many questions e.g.  

What do we mean by a sensory organ?   What are your five sense organs?   How are signals from sensory organs sent to the brain?   

What is a synapse? What is a sensory neuron?


Sub-index for this section on the nervous system

(1) Introduction to the nervous system

(2) Reminder - comparing two control systems (hormones and nerve cells)

(3) Function and types of receptor cells

(4) The structure and function of the central nervous system (CNS)

(5) The central nervous system and reflex actions - the reflex arc

(6) Simple physical response tests - how fast is your reaction time!

See also The brain - what the different parts do and the dangers if damaged

See also The brain - what the different parts do and the dangers if damaged


Any practical work and investigations you did should also be revised

(which should also be revised, helps in understanding 'how science works' and context examination questions):

reaction times measuring reaction times using metre rules, stop clocks or ICT,

using forehead thermometers before and after exercise,

demonstrating the speed of transmission along nerves by candidates standing in a semi-circle and holding hands and squeezing with eyes closed,

designing an investigation to measure the sensitivity of the skin,

demonstrating the knee jerk reaction,

investigation to measure the amount of sweat produced during exercise,


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General HUMAN BIOLOGY revision notes

Introduction to the organisation of cells => tissues => organs => organ systems (e.g. in humans)

Examples of surfaces for the exchange of substances in animal organisms  

See also Enzymes - section on digestion and synthesis 

The human circulatory system - heart, lungs, blood, blood vessels, causes/treatment of cardiovascular disease

Homeostasis - introduction to how it functions (negative feedback systems explained) 

Homeostasis - control of blood sugar level - insulin and diabetes 

Homeostasis - osmoregulation, ADH, water control, urea and ion concentrations and kidney function, dialysis

Homeostasis - thermoregulation, control of temperature 

The brain - what the different parts do and the dangers if damaged

An introduction to the nervous system including the reflex arc 

Hormone systems - Introduction to the endocrine system - adrenaline & thyroxine hormones 

Hormone systems - menstrual cycle, contraception, fertility treatments 

Respiration - aerobic and anaerobic in plants and animals. 

Keeping healthy - communicable diseases - pathogen infections  

Keeping healthy - non-communicable diseases - risk factors for e.g. cancers  

Keeping healthy - diet and exercise 

Keeping healthy - defence against pathogens, infectious diseases, vaccination, drugs, monoclonal antibodies

See also Culturing microorganisms like bacteria - testing antibiotics/antiseptics 

Food tests for reducing sugars, starch, proteins and lipids 

The eye - structure and function - correction of vision defects 

Optics - lens types (convex, concave, uses), experiments, ray diagrams, correction of eye defects (gcse physics)


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