Difference Between Sensory and Motor Nerves

Sensory vs Motor Nerves

The nervous system controls all activities of the body, both voluntary and involuntary. The somatic nervous system regulates all the voluntary controlled activities such as walking, talking etc. while the autonomic nervous system controls the activities under involuntary control, such as digestion, dilation etc. (Read more: Difference Between Somatic and Autonomic Nervous System) All the activities of the body are regulated basically through a nerve network with connecting nerve fibers, which originates from the central nervous system and make the peripheral nervous system. (Read more: Difference Between Central and Peripheral Nervous System)

There are three types of nerve fibers; sensory nerves, motor nerves, and connecting nerves. These nerves are allowed to transfer sensory and motor impulses within the nervous system.

Difference Between Sensory and Motor Nerves

Copyright ©1999 The McGraw-Hill Companies.


Sensory Nerves

Sensory nerves are quite complex and responsible to carry sensory information from sensory organs to the central nervous system. There are many types of sensory nerves in human nervous system. One type makes the retina of the eye, thus responsible for vision. Another type is responsible for the hearing and balancing mechanisms in the ear. Others are located within the skin, muscles, joints, lungs, and other organs. There are special sensory nerves to detect sensation such as heat, cold, position, motion, pressure, pain, balance, light, taste etc.  The sensory nerve receptors detect the sensation and transmit via sensory nerves to the central nervous system. This process is coordinated by the sensory neurons, which are situated along the nerve conducting pathway.                                                  

Motor Nerves

Motor nerves connect the central nervous system and muscles in the body, through the motor neurons, where the motor nerves are originated. The cell body for each nerve lies in the spinal cord. Each motor nerve connects a specific muscle in the body, and it carries impulses, which causes the muscle to contract. 

What is the difference between Sensory and Motor Nerves?

• Sensory nerves carry sensory impulses from the body to the central nervous system, whereas motor nerves carry motor impulses from the central nervous system to muscles of the body.

• Sensory nervous arise from sensory neurons, whereas motor nerves arise from motor neurons.

• Sensory nerves carry impulses toward the central nerve system while motor nerves carry impulses from the central nerve system.


You may also be interested in reading:

1. Difference Between Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System

2. Difference Between Afferent and Efferent Neurons

3. Difference Between Neural and Neuronal


Image Source: http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/ap/histology_mh/nervous.gif