how does our body differentiate between nerve signals since they are all just an action potential?

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how does our body differentiate between nerve signals since they are all just an action potential?

In: Biology
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Nerves are attached to different places in your brain or spinal cord, so it’s not hard at all to differentiate their signals.

Imagine a display in front of you with a half-dozen lightbulbs. Let’s say that this display tells you what animal is in front of you.

All the lights are the same colour, but beneath each one is a label. The labels say, “Dog”, “chicken”, “horse”, “cow”, “cat”, and “zebra”.

When the lightbulb above “cow” lights up, you know that a cow has appeared in front of you. Even though that lightbulb is the same colour as the one for “zebra”, you can’t easily mix them up, because of the way the display is arranged.

That is kind of how your nerves work. Your brain does a lot of interpreting the signals based on where they come from, and what “labels” those signals have been assigned by your brain. Your brain gives your nerves these labels as you learn how to move your body and what sensation comes from which part of you. You can watch babies doing this, it’s fascinating.