2. The Central Nervous System

The central nervous system (CNS) is the control center of the body. Its two main constituents, the brain and spinal cord, function in sensory reception, response coordination, and musculoskeletal reflexes, as well as information processing and homeostasis. The CNS provides the brain and spinal cord several layers of protection. The outermost layer is the hard bone encasing the organs, the cranium, and the vertebral column. Beneath the bone are layers of tissue called the meninges; the pia mater rests directly atop the brain, followed by the arachnoid mater and the dura mater. Cerebrospinal fluid fills the subarachnoid space between the pia and arachnoid matter.

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