What is the Difference Between Nervous Coordination and Chemical Coordination

The key difference between nervous coordination and chemical coordination is that nervous coordination of the body is done by the nervous system via nerve impulse transmitted through neurons, while chemical coordination of the body is done by the endocrine system via chemical messengers called hormones sent through the bloodstream.

Nervous coordination and chemical coordination are two types of regulations occurring in the body in order to maintain homeostasis. The functions of different organs in the body are under the control of nervous and chemical coordination. The nervous system controls nervous coordination, while the endocrine system controls chemical coordination. The nervous system uses nerve impulses travelling along the neurons while the endocrine system secretes hormones into the bloodstream.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Nervous Coordination 
3. What is Chemical Coordination
4. Similarities – Nervous Coordination and Chemical Coordination
5. Nervous Coordination vs Chemical Coordination in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Nervous Coordination vs Chemical Coordination

What is Nervous Coordination?

Nervous coordination is the coordination of different organs in the body by the nervous system. Functionally, the nervous system is the main controlling, regulating, and communicating system in the body. The nervous system consists of a complex network of neurons and Glial cells and uses nerve impulses to send signals. There are two main parts of the nervous system as central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system.

Figure 01: Nervous System

There are millions of neurons or nerve cells working for nervous coordination. Different organs respond to the information receiving from the central nervous system and act accordingly. This information comes through the neurons as electrical impulses. Therefore, neurons carry messages from the central nervous system to different body parts. Likewise, our nervous system processes the information of the entire body and coordinates the activity of the whole organism.

What is Chemical Coordination?

Chemical coordination is the coordination of the actions of different organs by the endocrine system. The endocrine system secretes chemical messengers called hormones. Different endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones travel through the blood and influence the growth, development, and different metabolic activities of the organism. Therefore, blood carries hormones to the target organs. Hormonal action is slow and more generalized. Moreover, the effects of hormones are long-lasting.

Figure 02: Endocrine System

There are more than 20 endocrine glands distributed throughout the human body. For example, the pancreas, thyroid gland, and adrenal gland are some of the endocrine glands in the human body. The pancreas secretes insulin in order to coordinate glucose metabolism. The thyroid gland secretes thyroxine, which is one of the major hormones that regulates the overall body metabolism. The adrenal gland secretes adrenaline, cortisol, and aldosterone.

Similarities Between Nervous Coordination and Chemical Coordination

  • Nervous coordination and chemical coordination are two main processes that regulate and maintain body homeostasis.
  • These two processes are extremely vital in the regulation of the entire body.
  • Both processes work simultaneously to control bodily functions.
  • These two processes are carried out by the two main organ systems in the body.

Difference Between Nervous Coordination and Chemical Coordination

Nervous coordination is the regulation of different organs by the nervous system through electrical impulses, while chemical coordination is the regulation of the different organs by the endocrine system through hormones. So, this is the key difference between nervous coordination and chemical coordination. Moreover, the effects of the nervous system are short-lived, while the effects of hormones are long-lasting.

The below infographic lists the differences between nervous coordination and chemical coordination in tabular form for side by side comparison.

Summary – Nervous Coordination vs Chemical Coordination

The nervous system, together with the endocrine system, regulates the activities of the body. The nervous system carries out nervous coordination via electrical impulses transmitted along the neurons, while the endocrine system carries out chemical coordination via hormones secreted to the bloodstream. However, the nervous coordination is very quick and not localized into a particular organ. In contrast, chemical coordination is slow and localized to a particular organ. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between nervous coordination and chemical coordination.