The Neuroscience Of Answering The Phone

893 WordsApr 2, 20164 Pages
The Neuroscience of Answering the Phone Answering the phone appeared at first glance to be a simple prospect. The average working man or woman does it several times a day without even thinking about it. What many take for granted is that the nervous system contains 86-100 billion neurons, required in order to operate the body’s control systems (Pastorino & Doyle-Portile, 2015). Few truly appreciate just how biologically impressive an everyday action can be. The neural processes required to answer a simple phone call may provide a decent benchmark for just how hard the brain works to make all human function possible. To provide lay readers with a point of reference on how the nervous system works, the following essay will demonstrate that answering the phone is actually three processes rolled into one: hearing the phone ring, picking it up, and speaking to the person on the other end. The neural processes required to hear a phone ring may surprise some people. The neuron’s cell body (the part of the neuron which contains the nucleus) contains branch-like structures known as dendrites, which receive information from the axon—a long tail-like portion of the neuron. This information then travels to other neurons via chemicals called neurotransmitters (Pastorino & Doyle-Portile, 2015). The axon is coated by a wax-like substance called myelin, composed of segments known as myelin sheaths. Corrosion of the myelin sheaths may adversely affect a sensory input, in this case
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