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An interacting network of neurons that conveys electrochemical information throughout the body
Central nervous system (CNS)
The part of the nervous system that is composed of the brain and spinal cord
Peripheral nervous system (PNS)
The part of the nervous system that connects the central nervous system to the body's organs and muscles
Somatic nervous system
A set of nerves that conveys information between voluntary muscles and the central nervous system
What triggers the increase in your heart rate when you feel threatened?
The sympathetic nervous system
Autonomic nervous system (ANS)
A sera of nerves that carries involuntary and automatic commands that control blood vessels, body organs and glands
Sympathetic nervous system
A set of nerves that prepares the body for action in challenging or threatening situations
Sympathetic nervous system affects the body by
- Dilating the eyes
- Relaxing bronchi in lungs
- Accelerating heartbeat
- Inhibiting digestive activity
- Stimulates glucose release in liver
- Stimulates secretion of epinephrine/norepinephrine in kidney
- Relaxes bladder
- Stimulates ejaculation in males
- Contracts pupils
- Constricts bronchi
- Slows heartbeat
- Stimulates digestive activity
- Stimulates gallbladder
- Contracts bladder
- Allows blood flow to sex organs
Parasympathetic nervous system
A sera of nerves that helps the body return to a normal resting state
Simple pathways in the nervous system that rapidly generate muscle contractions
The pain withdrawal reflex
Withdrawing from pain doesn't require brain, the painful sensations travel directly to the spinal cord via sensory neuron, which issue an immediate command to motor neurons to retract the hand
What important functions does the spinal cord perform on its own?
- The pain withdrawal reflex
- Walking/muscle movement
Regions of the spinal cord
- Spine is divided into four main sections, each controls different parts of the body.
- Damage higher on the spinal cord usually means greater impairment.
- From top to bottom C1-C7, T1-T12, L1-L5, S1-S5
Four main sections of the spinal cord
- Cervical Nerves
- Thoracic Nerves
- Lumbar Nerves
- Sacral Nerves
Cervical Nerves section of the spinal cord control the
- Head and neck
- Deltoids, biceps
- Wrist extenders
Thoracic Nerves section in the spinal cord control the
- Chest muscles
- Abdominal muscles
Lumbar Nerves section of the spinal cord control the
Sacral Nerves section of the spinal cord control the
- Bowel, bladder
- Sexual function
Neurons make up nerves which
In turn form the human nervous system
The nervous system is
Divided into the peripheral and central nervous systems.
The peripheral nervous system connects the
Central nervous system with the rest of the body, and it is itself divided into the somatic nervous system and the Autonomic nervous system
The somatic nervous system, which
Conveys information into and out of the central nervous system, controls voluntary muscles, whereas the Autonomic nervous system automatically controls the body's organs
The Autonomic nervous system is divided into
The sympathetic and Parasympathetic nervous system, which complement each other in their effects on the body.
The central nervous system is composed of the
Spinal cord and the brain.
The major divisions of the brain
- The brain can be organized into three parts
- Hindbrain: Cerebellum, brainstem
- Midbrain: Tectum and tegmentum
- Forebrain: Rest of the brain
An area of the brain that coordinates information coming into and out of the spinal cord
An extension of the spinal cord into the skull that coordinates hear rate, circulation and respiration
A brain structure that regulates sleep, wakefulness, and levels of arousal
A large structure of the Hindbrain that controls fine motor skills
A brain structure that relays information from the cerebellum to the rest of the brain
A part of the Midbrain that orients an organism in the environment
A part of the Midbrain that is involved in movement and arousal
The outermost layer of the brain, visible to the naked eye and divided into two hemispheres
Areas of the Forebrain housed under the cerebral cortex near the very center of the brain
The Hindbrain coordinates
- Information coming into and out of the spinal cord and controls the basic functions of life.
- Medulla, cerebellum and pons
The Midbrain is important for
- Orientation and movement.
- Tectum and tegmentum
A Subcortical structure that relays and filters information from the senses and transmits the information to the cerebral cortex
A Subcortical structure that regulates body temperature, hunger, thirst and sexual behvaior
The Forebrain is the
- Highest level of the brain and is critical in complex cognitive, emotional, sensory and motor functions.
- Fore brain is divided into two parts; cerebral cortex and the underlying Subcortical structures
There cerebral cortex, the outermost layer of the brain is
Divided into two hemispheres, connected by the corpus callosum.
The Subcortical structures include the
Thalamus, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, Amygdala, and hippocampus
How is the Thalamus like a computer
- It receives inputs from all the major senses except smell which has direct connections to the cerebral cortex
- It works like a network server, taking in multiple inputs and relaying them into a variety of locations.
Why are you likely to remember details of a traumatic event?
- The Amygdala attaches significance to previously neutral events that are associated with fear, punishment or reward.
- When we are in emotionally significant situations the Amygdala stimulates the hippocampus to remember many detail surrounding the situation
A set of Subcortical structures that directs intentional movements
A thick band of nerve fibers that connects large areas of the cerebral cortex on each side of the brain and supports communication of information across the hemispheres
A region of the cerebral cortex whose functions include processing information about touch
What is the part of the somatosensory cortex relating to the lips bigger than the area corresponding to the feet?
Because the lips are more sensitive than the feet and a larger part of the somatosensory cortex maps are dedicated to the more sensitive areas of the body.
The corpus callousum connects the two hemispheres and supports communication between them
Cerebral cortex and Lobes
Four major lobes of the cerebral cortex are the Occipital lobe (back), the parental lobe (top middle), the temporal lobe (bottom) and the frontal lobe (front)
A region of the cerebral cortex responsible for hearing and language
A region of the cerebral cortex that has specialized areas for movement, abstract thinking, planning, memory, and judgment
Areas of the cerebral cortex that are composed of neurons that help provide sense and meaning to information registered in the cortex
Neurons that are active when an animal performs a behavior, such as reaching for or manipulating an object, and are activated when another animal observes that animal performing the same behavior
What types of thinking occur in the frontal lobe?
Abstract thinking, planning, memory retrieval, imagining, and anticipation
What does it mean to say the brain is plastic?
Functions that were assigned to certain areas of the brain may be capable of being reassigned to other areas of the brain to accommodate changing input from the environment
Somatosensory and Motor cortices
The motor cortex, a strip of brain tissue in the frontal love, represents and controls different skin and body areas on the contralateral side of the body. Directly behind the moot cortex, in the parental lobe lies the somatosensory cortex. Like the motor cortex the somatosensory cortex represents skin areas of particular parts on the contralateral side of the body
The Hindbrain generally
Coordinates info coming into/out of the spinal cord with the Medulla, Reticular formation, cerebellum and the pons.
Breathing and heart rate
Reticular formation regulates
Sleep and arousal levels
Fine motor skills
The pons communicates
The information from the rest of the Hindbrain and cerebellum to the cortex
The structures of the Midbrain, the tectum, and tegmentum generally
Coordinates functions such as orientation to the environment and movement and arousal toward sensory stimuli
Neurons in the brain cane be
Shaped by experience and the environment. Making the human brain amazingly plastic
The Forebrain generally coordinates
Higher level functions, like perceiving, feeling and thinking
The Forebrain houses
Subcortical structures, like the Thalamus, hypothalamus, limbic system (including hippocampus and Amygdala), and basal ganglia. All of these perform a variety of functions related to motivation and emotion
In the Forebrain, the
Cerebral cortex, composed of two hemispheres with four lobes each (Occipital, parental, temporal and frontal) performs tasks that help make us fully human: thinking, planning, judging, perceiving and behaving purposefully and voluntarily
What are the stages of development in the embryonic brain?
- ~20 days in it starts with a ridge on the sphere of the embryo that builds up at its edges to become a deep groove
- The ridges fold together and fuse to enclose the groove, forming a structure called the neural tube which will become the spinal cord
- The tube expands at the opposite end and 3 basic levels of the brain are apparent
- The Forebrain and Hindbrain further differentiate
- The Forebrain expands t form the cerebral hemispheres
- Each subdivision folds onto the next one and begins to form the structures easily visible to the eye.
Ontogeny of the brain
How it develops within a given individual
Phylogeny of the brain
How it developed within a particular species
The major unit of hereditary transmission
Strands of DNA wound around each other in a double helix configuration
Why do dizygotic twins share 50% of their genes just like siblings born separately
Because they come from two sets of sperm and eggs just like regular siblings
Environmental influences that determine whether or not genes are expressed or the degree to which they are expressed, without altering the basic DNA sequences that constitute the genes themselves
Chemical modifications to DNA that can turn genes on or off
Adding a methyl group to DNA
Adding chemical modifications to proteins called pistons that are involved in packaging DNA
A measure of the variability of behavioral traits among individuals that can be accounted for by genetic factors