A level Biology exam revision resources written by A level Examiners


The nervous system comprises nerve cells. The hormonal system (also called the endocrine system) is made up of glands that produce hormones.

Both of these systems are involved in internal communication in animals. Their role in internal communication is information transmission. They both play roles in responding to stimuli. Although there are differences in the way they work, they are not independent and often both systems are involved in the response to certain stimuli. Table 1 below shows the main features of each system.

Table 1 : Comparing the nervous and hormonal systems
Comparing the nervous and hormonal systems - · Information transmitted as electrical impulses (action potentials) by specific neurone cells· Action potentials targeted on specific cells· Fast-acting (effects produced in milliseconds to seconds)· Effects usually short	· Information transmitted by hormone molecules transported by the circulatory system· Hormones carried throughout circulatory system but only effect  target cell containing specific hormone receptors· Slow-acting (effects produced in minutes to hours)· Effects usually long lasting

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