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How do Nerves Work? – TEDed Video

In this video from TEDed, the fundamental concept of how neurons work is explained in just five minutes. This should help you make sense of how your nervous system works – which is important when considering the science of exercise, practice, and pain (to name just a few topics often discussed on bboyscience.com).

Check it out!

Of course, here are a few comments and clarifications:
(I suppose it’s hard to mention important nuances in a 5 min video)

  • Nerves and neurons are not the same thing. Neurons are the individual cells, and a nerve is a bundle of neuron axons. Think of when you cut a thick wire – there are always many little thin ones inside. Neurons are microscopic, while many nerves are actually visible (on dissection, of course).
  • This video does a good job explaining how a neuron works to send a signal, but it oversimplifies what the signals end up meaning.
  • For example: If someone isn’t afraid of spiders (or even likes them, like a spider scientist or something), then would they react the same way? Probably not. And there are lot’s of examples when it comes to pain.
  • The brain makes the final decision of whether you feel pain, anxiety, or pleasure (the three examples in the video). And that decision is influenced by many other factors, like experience, beliefs, context, etc.

The video provides a great overview of how nerves produce signals, which is very useful science to understand. For example, it helps when learning how many pain relievers work.

Hope you enjoyed it!

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