Understanding Afferent Fibers in the Human Nervous Systems

A recent student concluded that 1 in every 20 children in the United States deals with sensory processing issues. 

When a body can’t properly send signals to the brain, it can be difficult to understand the information coming from the senses. 

If you are worried about these conditions or want to know more, you should understand how afferent fibers play a role.

Continue reading to discover how afferent fibers impact the body so you can understand the conditions that people face. 

Think of Transportation

One of the best ways to describe afferent fibers is with transportation on the roads.

When you think about a vehicle, you know that it starts in one place, the person drives, and goes towards another destination. The fibers in your nervous system work much like the roads since they are transporting the information. 

The word afferent describes of process a conductor going inward or toward something to relay sensations. When people have a sensory nerve disorder, the messages aren’t able to get transferred. 

Connects Your CNS & Spinal Cord

Have you ever wondered for regions of the brain can get information from your fingertips?

Afferent fibers conduct impulses from the brain and spinal cord to the central nervous system. Your senses bring information in and transfer it to the brain and spine, this impacts your central nervous system. The CNS is responsible for processing information that you will remember and use in the future. 

All Senses Are Involved 

Axons act as the electrical impulse when sensations are getting transferred to your mind. 

When you touch a hot stove, it takes a moment to react, since the axons and fibers must take the pain and heat information to the brain. Afferent fibers impact all 5 senses and help people better understand the world and their surroundings. 

Some people that have been infected with COVID have dealt with afferent fiber issues. For example, it is common for those diagnosed with COVID to lose the sensations of taste and smell. This virus interferes with the body’s ability to transfer this information. 

Impacts the PNS

The parasympathetic nervous system works with afferent fibers and results in either a flight or fight response. 

If someone got punched in the face, the afferent fibers and axons would take in the painful sensation and transfer that information to the brain. The brain would then register the punch as painful and you will get triggered to fight or flight. Sensations create this natural response to help protect you mentally and physically. 

Afferent nerves work throughout the body and help communicate incoming and outgoing stimuli. Learning more about a parasympathetic nervous-system can help you improve your health.

You Can Understand Afferent Fibers 

Once you understand that afferent fibers work much like vehicles, the topics aren’t as intimidating. 

These fibers carry crucial information from your senses to the brain and spine to get processed. Not only can these fibers trigger a flight or fight response, but they are completely normal. All 5 senses are involved, which helps connect the CNS and PNS.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor if you are concerned about sensory issues. 

Be sure to check out our blog for more articles about how the brain works and how to maintain your health!