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Biosci chap7 (nervous system notes)

Biosci chap7 (nervous system notes)

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Published by: Man Dejelo on Oct 20, 2010
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Nervous system master controlling and communicating system of the body 3 overlapping functions: 1. Uses its sensory receptors to monitor changes (stimuli) inside and outside the body. Sensory input gathered information 2. Processes and interprets the sensory input and decides what should be done at each moment (integration) 3. Effects a response by activating muscles or glands via motor output




The sensory division keeps the CNS constantly informed of events going on both inside and outside the body Motor/efferent division carries impulses FROM the CNS to effector organs, the muscles, and glands. These impulses activate muscles and glands 2 subdivisions: (1) somatic nervous system allows voluntarily control our skeletal muscles; voluntary nervous system (2) autonomic nervous system regulates events that are automatic, or involuntary, such as the activity of smooth and cardiac muscles and glands; involuntary nervous system (sympathetic & parasympathetic)

Structural Classification
2 subdivisions 1. Central nervous system y Brain and spinal cord which occupy the dorsal body cavity and act as the integrating and command centers of the nervous system y Interpret incoming sensory information and issue instructions based on past experience and current conditions 2. Peripheral nervous system y Outside the CNS; consists mainly of the nerves that extend from the brain and spinal cord y Spinal nerves carry impulses to and from the spinal cord; cranial nerves carry impulses to and from the brain; these nerves serve as communication lines and link all parts of the body by carrying impulses from the sensory receptors to the CNS and from the CNS to the gland or muscle

y Neuroglia nerve glue ; includes many types of cells that support, insulate, protect delicate neurons; glia

Functional Classification
y 1. Concerned only with PNS structures; divides them into 2 principal subdivisions Sensory/afferent division consists of nerves that convey impulses TO the central nervous system from sensory receptors Sensory fibers delivering impulses from the skin, skeletal muscles, and joints are called somatic sensory fibers; those transmitting impulses from the visceral organs are called visceral sensory fibers


The CNS glia include the ff: 1. Astrocytes o abundant star-shaped cells that account for nearly half of the neural tissue o form a living barrier between capillaries and neurons and play a role in making exchanges between the two o help protect neurons from harmful substances that might be in the blood; help control the chemical environment in the brain by mopping up leaked potassium ions and recapturing released neurotransmitters 2. Microglia o Spiderlike phagocytes that dispose of debris including dead brain cells and bacteria 3. Ependymal cells o Line the central cavities of the brain and spinal cord o The beating of their cilia helps to circulate the cerebrospinal fluid that fills those cavities and forms a protective cushion around the CNS 4. Oligodendrocytes o Produce fatty insulating coverings called myelin sheaths


Glia are not able to transmit nerve impulses; glia never lose their ability to divide; most brain tumors are gliomas, or tumors formed by glial cells

y y y

Supporting cells of PNS 1. Schwann cells form the myelin sheaths around nerve fibers 2. Satellite cells act as protective, cushioning cells


*ANATOMY y Neurons nerve cells; transmit messages from one part of the body to another; all have a cell body (which contains the nucleus and is the metabolic center of the cell) and one or more processes extending from the cell body Cell Body y Metabolic center of the neuron y Its transparent nucleus contains a conspicuous nucleolus y The rough ER (Nissl substance) and neurofibrils (intermediate filaments that are important in maintaining cell shape) are particularly abundant in the cell body Processes y Armlike; fibers y Dendrites neuron processes that convey incoming messages TOWARD the cell body y Axons neuron processes that generate nerve impulses and typically conduct them AWAY the cell body y Neurotransmitters chemicals found in tiny vesicles in terminals y When impulses reach the axon terminals, they stimulate the release of neurotransmitters into extracellular space y Synaptic cleft tiny gaps from where each axon terminal is separated; synapse functional junction; neurons never touch other neurons Myelin Sheaths y Myelin most long nerve fibers are covered with this whitish fatty material; waxy appearance; protects and insulates the fibers and increases the transmission rate of nerve impulses y Myelin sheath tight coil of wrapped membranes; encloses the axon

Neurilemma part of the Schwann cell external to the myelin sheath Myelin sheaths have gaps of indentions (nodes of ranvier) Although the myelin sheaths formed by the oligodendrocytes and those by Schwann cells are similar, the CNS sheaths lack a neurilemma which plays an important role in fiber regeneration (*) Multiple sclerosis the myelin sheaths around the fibers are gradually destroyed, converted to hardened sheaths called scleroses; electric current is short-circuited; lose the ability to control muscles; autoimmune disease in which a protein component of the sheath is attacked

Terminology y cell bodies are found in the CNS clusters called nuclei (essential to the well-being of nervous system) y ganglia small collections of cell bodies; found in a few sites outside the CNS in the PNS y tracts bundles of nerve fibers running through CNS y nerves bundles of nerve fibers running through PNS y White matter consists of dense collections of myelinated fibers y Gray matter contains mostly unmyelinated fibers and cell bodies *CLASSIFICATION Functional classification y Groups neurons according to the direction the nerve impulse is traveling relative to CNS y Sensory/afferent neurons neurons carrying impulses from sensory receptors to the CNS; keep us informed about what is happening inside and outside the body; outside the CNS y The dendrite endings of the sensory neurons are usually associated with specialized receptors that are activated by specific changes occurring nearby; cutaneous sense organs sensory receptors seen in the skin; proprioceptors sensory receptors found in muscles and tendons; detect amount of stretch/tension in skeletal muscles, their tendons, joints; send information to the brain to maintain balance and normal posture y The pain receptors are the least specialized of the cutaneous receptors; most numerous



because pain warns us that some type of body damage is occurring or about to occur Motor/efferent neurons neurons carrying impulses from the CNS to the viscera and/or muscles and glands; always located IN the CNS Interneurons/association neurons connect the motor and sensory neurons in neural pathways; IN the CNS



Autonomic reflexes regulate the activity of smooth muscles, the heart, and glands; secretion of saliva (salivary reflex) and changes in size of pupil (papillary reflex); regulate digestion, elimination, blood pressure, sweating Reflex arcs have 5 elements: sensory receptors, effector organ, sensory neurons, motor neurons, CNS integration center

Structural Classification y Basaed on the number of processes extending from cell body y Multipolar neuron several processes extending; motor and association neurons are multipolar y Bipolar neurons neuron with 2 processes (axon & dendrite); rare in adults, found only in some special sense organs (eyes, nose) y Unipolar neurons single process emerging from the cell body; very short and divides almost immediately into proximal and distal processes; only the small branches at the end of the peripheral processes are dendrites; the remainder of the peripheral process & the central process function as axons y Axon conducts nerve impulses both toward and away from the cell body; sensory neurons found in PNS ganglia are unipolar *PHYSIOLOGY Nerve impulses y Irritability ability to respond to a stimulus and convert it into a nerve impulse y Conductivity ability to transmit the impulse to other neurons, muscles, glands a) Resting membrane electrical conditions b) Stimulus initiates local depolarization c) Depolarization and generation of an action potential d) Propagation of the action potential e) Repolarization f) Initial ionic conditions restored Reflexes y Reflexes rapid, predictable and involuntary responses to stimuli; one-way, same direction y Reflex arcs neutral pathways where reflexes occur y Somatic reflexes reflexes that stimulate the skeletal muscles

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM Functional anatomy of the brain
1. y y CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES Collectively called cerebrum; most superior part of the brain The entire surface of the cerebral hemispheres exhibits elevated ridges of tissue called gyri (twisters), separated by shallow grooves called sulci (furrows) Fissures less numerous, deeper grooves; separate large regions of the brain Cerebral hemispheres are separated by a single deep fissure, the longitudinal fissure

y y

Cerebral Cortex y Functions: Speech, memory, logical, and emotional response, consciousness, interpretation of sensation, voluntary movement y Primary somatic sensory area located in the parietal lobe posterior to the central sulcus; Impulses traveling from the body s sensory receptors are localized and interpreted in this area of the brain; allows you to recognize pain, coldness, light touch y Occipital lobe where visual area is located (posterior), temporal lobe auditory area, bordering the lateral salcus, deep inside the temporal lobe is the olfactory lobe y Primary motor area allows us to consciously move our skeletal muscles; anterior to the central sulcus is the frontal lobe y The body is represented upside down and the pathways are crossed y Broca s area involved in our ability to speak; found at the base of the precentral gyrus y Areas involved in higher intellectual reasoning and socially acceptable behavior are believed to be in the anterior part of the frontal lobes; complex memories appear to be stored in the temporal and frontal lobes


The cell bodies of neurons involved in the cerebral hemisphere functions named above are found only in the outermost gray matter of the cerebrum, the cerebral cortex

Cerebral white matter y Composed of fiber tracts carrying impulses to, from, or within the cortex y Corpus callosum large fiber tract; connects the cerebral hemispheres Basal Nuclei y Islands of gray matter; basal ganglia y Buried deep within the white matter of the cerebral hemispheres y Help regulate voluntary motor activities by modifying instructions sent to the skeletal muscles by the primary motor cortex y (*) Huntington s disease & Parkinson s disease problem with basal nuclei; unable to walk normally or carry out other voluntary movements in the usual normal way 2. y y DIENCEPHALON Interbrain; sits atop the brain stem and is enclosed by the cerebral hemispheres rd Thalamus encloses the shallow 3 ventricle of the brain; relay station for sensory impulses passing upward to the sensory cortex; we have crude recognition of whether the sensation we are about to have is pleasant or unpleasant Hypothalamus floor of the diencephalon; plays a role in regulation of body temperature, water balance, metabolism; center of many drives and emotions; regulates pituitary gland; Thirst, appetite, sex, pain, pleasure centers Epithalamus forms the roof of the 3rd ventricle; important parts are the pineal body (part of endocrine system) and the choroid plexus (knots of capillaries within each ventricle that form the cerebrospinal fluid) of the 3rd ventricle BRAIN STEM Provides a pathway for ascending and descending tracts; has many small gray matter areas; associated with cranial nerves and control vital activities such as breathing and blood pressure

Midbrain y Extends from the mammillary bodies to the pons inferiorly y Cerebral aqueduct tiny canal that travels rd through the midbrain and connects the 3 th ventricle of the diencephalon to the 4 ventricle below; anteriorly, the midbrain is composed primarily of 2 bulging fiber tracts (cerebral penduncles) y Dorsally located are 4 rounded protrusions called corpora quadrigemina; these bulging nuclei are reflex centers involved with vision and hearing Pons y Rounded structure that protrudes below the midbrain; bridge; mostly fiber tracts; has an important nuclei involved in the control of breathing Medulla Oblongata y Most inferior part of the brain stem; important fiber tract area; contains many nuclei that regulate vital visceral activities; contains centers that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, swallowing, vomiting y 4th ventricle lies posterior to the pons and medulla and anterior to the cerebellum Reticular formation y The neurons of the reticular formation are involved in motor control of the visceral organs y Reticular activating system plays a role in consciousness and the awake/sleep cycles; damage to this area can result in permanent unconsciousness 4. y y CEREBELLUM Large cauliflower-like; projects dorsally from under the occipital lobe of the cerebrum Has 2 hemispheres and a convoluted surface; has an outer cortex made up of gray matter and an inner region of white matter Provides the precise timing for skeletal muscle activity and controls our balance and equilibrium; body movements are smooth and coordinated



3. y


Protection of the CNS
Meninges y 3 connective tissue membrances covering and protecting the CNS structures




Dura mater outermost layer, leathery, tough or hard mother; double-layered membrane where it surrounds the brain Arachnoid mater middle meningeal layer, weblike; threadlike extensions span the subarchanoid space to attach it to the innermost membrane called pia mater (clings tightly to the surface of the brain and spinal cord) (*) Meningitis inflammation of the meninges



31 pairs of spinal nerves arise from the cord and exit from the vertebral column to serve the body area close by Cauda equina collection of spinal nerves at the inferior end of the vertebral canal; looks so much like a horse s tail

Cerebrospinal fluid y Continually formed from blood by the choroid plexuses; the CSF in and around the brain and cord forms a watery cushion that protects the fragile nervous tissue from blows and other trauma y It circulates from the 2 lateral ventricles (in the cerebral hemispheres) into the 3rd ventricle (in the diencephalon) and then through the cerebral aqueduct of the midbrain into the 4th ventricle dorsal to the pons and medulla oblongata y (*) Hydrocephalus if something obstructs its drainage, CFS begins to accumulate and exert pressure on the brain Blood-brain barrier y Composed of the least permeable capillaries in the whole body y Of water-soluble substances, only water, glucose, and essential amino acids pass easily through the walls of these capillaries; metabolic wastes (urea, toxins, proteins, most drugs) are prevented from entering the brain tissue; Nonessential amino acids and potassium ions not only are prevented from entering the brain

Gray matter of the spinal cord & spinal roots y Butterfly; letter H in a cross section y 2 posterior projections: dorsal/posterior horns; 2 anterior projections: ventral/anterior horns y Gray matter surrounds the central canal y If the dorsal root or its ganglion is damaged, sensation from the body area served will be lost y The ventral horns of the gray matter contain cell bodies of motor neurons of the somatic nervous system, which send their axons out the ventral root of the cord; the dorsal and ventral roots fuse to form the spinal nerves White matter of the spinal cord y Composed of myelinated fiber tracts y Divided into 3 regions: Dorsal, lateral, and ventral columns; each of the columns contains a number of fiber tracts made up of axons with the same destination and function

y Consists of nerves and scattered groups of neuronal cell bodies from outside the CNS

Structure of a Nerve
y y Nerve bundle of neuron fibers found outside the CNS Endoneurium delicate connective tissue sheath that surrounds each fiber; Perineurium coarser connective tissue wrapping that bounds groups of fibers to form fiber bundles called fascicles; Epineurium tough fibrous sheath that bounds all fascicles together to form a cordlike nerve Mixed nerves nerves carrying both sensory and motor fibers (all spinal nerves); Sensory/afferent nerves nerves that carry impulses toward the CNS only; motor/efferent nerves only carry motor fibers


Blood-brain barrier is virtually useless against fats, respiratory gases, and other fat-soluble molecules that diffuse easily through all plasma membranes


Spinal cord
y Approximately 17in

Cranial Nerves
y 12 pairs; serve the head and neck; only one pair (vagus nerves) extends to the thoracic and abdominal cavities All are mixed nerves except OPTIC, OLFACTORY, and VESTIBULAR NERVES (sensory nerves) Oh, oh, oh, to touch and feel very good velvet, ah I. II. III. Olfactory purely sensory; sense of smell Optic purely sensory; vision Oculomotor supplies fibers to 4 muscles (superior, inferior, medial rectus, inferior oblique) that direct to the eyeball, eyelid, internal eye muscles controlling lens shape and pupil size Trochlear supplies motor fibers for one external eye muscle (superior oblique) Trigeminal conducts sensory impulses from the skin to the face and mucosa of the nose and mouth; contains motor fibers that activate the chewing muscle Abducens supplies motor fibers to the lateral rectus muscle; rolls the eye laterally Facial activates muscles of facial expression and the lacrimal and salivary glands; varies sensory impulses from the taste buds Vestibulocochlear purely sensory transmits impulses for the sense of balance (vesticular branch); transmits impulses for the sense of hearing (cochlear) Glossopharyngeal supplies motor fibers to the pharynx that promote swallowing and saliva production; carries sensory impulses from the taste buds of the posterior tongue and from pressure receptors of the carotid artery Vagus fibers carry impulses from & motor impulses to the pharynx, larynx, and abdominal and thoracic viscerals Accessory mostly motor fibers that activate the sternocleidomastoid & trapezius muscles Hypoglossal motor fibers control tongue movement; sensory fibers carry impulses from the tongue



y y

Damage to a spinal nerve or either of its rami results both in loss of sensation and flaccid paralysis of the area of the body served The ventral rami of all other spinal nerves from complex networks of nerves called plexuses, which serve the motor and sensory needs of the limbs I. II. III. IV. Cervical phrenic nerves Brachial axiallary, radial, median, musculocutaneous, ulnar nerves Lumbar femoral, obturator nerves Sacral sciatic, superior and inferior gluteal nerves

IV. V.

Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)
y y y Motor subdivision of the PNS that controls body activities automatically Make adjustments to best support body activities Involuntary nervous system




Somatic and Autonomic Nervous Systems Compared y Patterns of their motor pathways differ; In the SOMATIC DIVISION the cell bodies of the motor neurons are inside the CNS and their axons extend all the way to the skeletal muscles; In the AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM has a chain of 2 motor neurons preganglionic axon, postganglionic axon y 2 arms: sympathetic division mobilizes the body during extreme situations (fear, exercise, rage); parasympathetic division allows us to unwind and conserve energy Anatomy of the Parasympathetic Division y Craniosacral division y Form pelvic nerves Anatomy of the Sympathetic Division y Thoracolumbar division Autonomic Functioning y Cholinergic fibers (parasympathetic) y Adrenergic fibers (sympathetic) 1.






Spinal Nerve and Nerve Plexuses
y 31 pairs of spinal nerves; each spinal nerve divides into dorsal and ventral rami; ½ inch long

release norepinephrine

Sympathetic division o Fight or flight system

o o


Excited, emergency, threatening situations Signs: pounding heart, rapid/deep breathing, cold/sweaty skin, prickly scalp, dilated eye pupils Increases heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar levels


Parasympathetic division o Most active when body is at rest o Resting and digesting system o Promoting normal digestion, conserving body energy

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