Functions of nervous and endocrine systems and Effects on Human behavior


 Hi. Today just came up with an article on endocrine and nervous systems and how they affect human behavior. You know this is an assignment  given to us the December 2021 intake Psychology students, Chalimbana university. 

Functions of nervous system and how it affects human behavior

The central nervous system (CNS) controls most functions of the body and mind Two sections make up the central nervous system: the brain and the spinal cord. The brain, the interpreter of our external world, and the root of influence over body movement, is the center of our thoughts.
In the regulation of actions, the central nervous system has a fundamental function. 

The central nervous system comprises the brain and the spinal cord, all of which are encased in the bone. The brain and spinal cord both receive signals from afferent neurons and transmit signals through efferent neurons to muscles and glands.

 As humans develop into maturity, among other things, the nervous system may have significant effects on their ability to see, hear, read, and communicate emotions. In the scientific community, some perspectives begin to diverge after the maturation of the nervous system, since this is the stage where the nervous system sustains itself and influences cognitive functioning, learning, and behavior. 

Much of the body's structures and organs regulate only one thing, but at the same time, the central nervous system does several jobs. Both voluntary movements, such as speech and walking, and involuntary movements, such as blinking and breathing, are regulated. It is the center of our emotions, perceptions, and feelings and behavior as well.

The behaviors that are generated by the nervous system.

We have overt (visible) behavior and covert (non-visible) behavior. The nervous system seems to produce both forms of behaviors.

1.Movements. this is an observable behavior involving the human action to move either the whole body from one place to the other of part of the body. This behavior is initiated by the brain through its motor functions to the muscles. Eating (moving jaws up and down), raising hand running are examples of behaviors in this category. Cerebellum controls the course motor function while the fine co-ordination is done by the cerebrum.  

2. Memorizing. This one is a mental process and is a non-visible behavior that is also a function of the brain. Memory processing (retrieval and storage) occurs in the hippocampus.

3. Learning. A behavior that psychologists can shape or control in a human through subjecting the human to certain stimuli.

4.Emotions and feelings. These are mental processes that can affect how next a human will react. The stimuli will cause emotions or feelings then later the feelings can proceed to causing another behavior depending on the nature of the feeling or emotion. When someone feels hunger, they will eat, when the anger emotion hits them, it maybe lead to beating or some other bad behavior.

Functions of the endocrine system and how it affects human behavior

Your endocrine system continuously monitors the amount of hormones in your blood. Hormones deliver their messages by locking into the cells they target so they can relay the message.

The pituitary gland senses when your hormone levels rise, and tells other glands to stop producing and releasing hormones. When hormone levels dip below a certain point, the pituitary gland can instruct other glands to produce and release more. This process, called homeostasis, works similarly to the thermostat in your house.

 Parts of the endocrine system?

The endocrine system is made up of organs called glands. Glands produce and release different hormones that target specific things in the body. You have glands all over your body, including in your neck, brain and reproductive organs. Some glands are tiny, about the size of a grain of rice or a pea. The largest gland is the pancreas, which is about 6 inches long. 

The main glands that produce hormones include:

Hypothalamus: This gland is located in your brain and controls your endocrine system. It uses information from your nervous system to determine when to tell other glands, including the pituitary gland, to produce hormones. The hypothalamus controls many processes in your body, including your mood, hunger and thirst, sleep patterns and sexual function.

Pituitary: This little gland is only about the size of a pea, but it has a big job. It makes hormones that control several other glands such as the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, ovaries and testicles. The pituitary gland is in charge of many different functions, including how your body grows. It’s located at the base of your brain.

Thyroid: Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. It’s responsible for your metabolism (how your body uses energy).

ParathyroidThese four tiny glands are no larger than a grain of rice. They control the level of calcium in your body. For your heart, kidneys, bones and nervous system to work, you need the right amount of calcium.

AdrenalYou have two adrenal glands, one on top of each kidney. They control your metabolism blood pressure, sexual development and response to stress.

Pineal: This gland manages your sleep cycle by releasing melatonin, a hormone that causes you to feel sleepy.

Pancreas: Your pancreas is part of your endocrine system, and it plays a significant role in your digestive system too. It makes a hormone called insulin that controls the level of sugar in your blood.

OvariesIn women, the ovaries release sex hormones called estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Women have two ovaries in their lower abdomen, one on either side.

TestesIn men, the testes (testicles) make sperm and release the hormone testosterone. This hormone affects sperm production, muscle strength and sex drive.


Effects of Hormones on human behavior


Growth and development.

The hormones Oestrogen and testosterone affects sexual development in females and males respectively.

Girls when they reach puberty have changes in body structures and the behavior, they start to have mentalities of attracting the person of opposite sex.  Boys become muscular and shows the defensive behavior because of the testosterone effects.

Mood changes and emotions

In females the hormone progesterone has influence in mood changes. High blood concentration of progesterone in females makes them low mood and sleepy. This is what happens in pregnancy when a woman has high blood level of progesterone. Once the progesterone level goes low the woman may be irritable or feeling of anxious.

Sexual behavior.

Hormones, estrogen and testosterone increases sexual behavior when in high quantities in the body. Women too have testosterone in small amount but towards their fertile period these 2 hormones increase in quantity making a women express sexual activities in dressing and the way they relate with the person of opposite sex.

Men too when testosterone level increases, they tend to be more sexual.


Men have higher levels of testosterone that is why they are naturally aggressive. People who have much higher the amount of testosterone are more aggressive than those with lower amount of the hormone. Example those people who use artificial testosterone like the wrestlers and body builders tend to be more aggressive than an ordinary person.

Emotions and mood.

Sometimes glands produce too much or not enough of a hormone. This imbalance can cause health problems, such as weight gain, high blood pressure and changes in sleep, mood and behaviour. Many things can affect how your body creates and releases hormones. Illness, stress and certain medications can cause a hormone imbalance.


Remember, we call pituitary gland the 'master gland'. Am hoping as psychology students you have learnt something here. All the best see you in April for residential.


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