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The neural system coordinates and integrates functions as well as metabolic and homeostatic activities of all the organs. Human neural system It is divided into two parts 1. The central nervous system (CNS) It includes brain and spinal cord. 2. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) It includes all the nerves of the body associated with brain and spinal cord. The nerve fibers of the PNS are of two types 1. afferent fibers The afferent fibers transmit impulses from tissues or organs to the CNS. 2. efferent fibers The efferent fibers transmit impulses from the CNS to the concerned peripheral tissues or organs. The peripheral nervous system is divided into two divisions 1. somatic neural system Somatic neural system relays impulses from the CNS to the skeletal muscles. 2. Autonomic neural system (ANS) Autonomic nervous system transmits impulses from the CNS to the involuntary organs and smooth muscles of the body. ANS is classified into sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic system. NEURONS The neural system of all animals is composed of highly specialized cells called neurons. Neurons are the structural and functional unit of nervous system. Structure of neurons Neurons are formed of mainly 3 parts cell body, dendrites and axon. The cell body contains cytoplasm with typical cell organelles. Nissls granules These are the granular bodies present in the cytoplasm of neurons. Dendrites Short fibers which branch repeatedly and project out of the cell body are known as dendrites. Axon This is the long fiber in the neuron. Schwan cells The special type of cells which cover the axon. Synaptic knob The bulb like structure present at the end of dendrites. These knobs contain synaptic vesicles, which contains neurotransmitters. Based on the number of axon and dendrites, the neurons are classified into 3 types. 1. multipolar neurons These are neurons with one axon and two or more dendrites. 1

Eg . Neurons in the cerebral cortex. 2. bipolar neurons Neurons with one axon and one dendrite Eg. Neurons in the retina of eye. 3. unipolar neurons Cell body with one axon only. These types of neurons are found only in the embryonic stage. Myelinated nerve fibre Some neurons have a covering of myelin sheath around the schwan cells of axon are known as myelinated nerve fibers . Eg. Nerve fibers of the spinal and cranial nerves . Non myelinated nerve fibre Nerve fibers without myelin sheath around the axon . Eg. Nerve fibers in the somatic and autonomous systems . Nodes of Ranvier The gap between two adjacent myelin sheath is called nodes of Ranvier .

GENERATION AND CONDUCTION OF NERVE IMPULSE Resting potential In a resting neuron , the axonal membrane bears an electrical charge . Normally , the external surface of the membrane is positively charged and the inner surface is negatively charged . The positive charge of external membrane is due to the high concentration of Na+ ions . The inner axoplasm contains K+ ions and negatively charged organic proteins . The organic proteins are greater than K+ ions , hence inside of the axonal membrane has negative charge . At this resting stage , neurons posses an electrical potential known as resting potential . The normal resting potential is -70mV . 2

Sodium potassium pump The outside of the axonal membrane contains more Na+ ions and inside has more K+ ions The cell membrane is more permeable to K+ ions and nearly permeable to Na+ ions . However , some Na+ ions enter into the axoplasm and these ions are pumped out actively by a mechanism known as sodium potassium pump . This pump maintains the resting potential by pumping out three Na+ ions and pumping in two K+ ions at a time . Depolarization When a stimulus is applied to a neuron at resting potential , the polarity of the cell membrane changes. The sodium potassium pump upsets for a moment , and the cell membrane becomes highly permeable to Na+ ions . The heavy influx of Na+ ions into the membrane leads to the reversal of polarity and outside of the membrane become negatively charged and inside positively charged . This change in polarity is called depolarization . Repolarisation The change in polarity due to nerve impulse extremely short lived . The sodium potassium pump quickly regains its activity and pumps out Na+ ions and K+ ions accumulate inside and resting potential is regained . This recovery is called repolarisation . Action potential The momentary depolarization and repolarization of the axonal membrane is called action potential . The action potential can be called as the nerve impulse . The propagation of the nerve impulse is due to the alternate depolarization and repolarisation of the membrane or the conduction of the action potential . Impulse conduction through an axon

TRANSMISSION OF NERVE IMPULSES SYNAPSE Synapse is the junction between two neurons . A nerve impulse is transmitted from one neuron to another through synapse . The neuron which bring impulse to synapse is the presynaptic neuron and the neuron which receive impulse is the post synaptic neuron . The gap in the synapse is the synaptic cleft . Two types of synapse are present electrical synapse and chemical synapse .

1.Electrical Synapse Here , the membranes of pre and post synaptic neurons are very close . Electrical current can flow directly from one neuron into the other across these synapses . Impulse conduction in electrical synapse is always faster than chemical synapse . 2. Chemical Synapse Here , the membranes of the pre and post synaptic neurons are separated by fluid filled space called synaptic cleft . In chemical synapses , impulse conduction occurs through chemical substances in the synapse called neurotransmitters . The axon terminals contain vesicles filled with neurotransmitters . When an impulse (action potential) arrives at the axon terminal , it stimulates the synaptic vesicles to break . The synaptic vesicles break to release the neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft . The neurotransmitters bind to the specific receptors of the post synaptic neurons . This binding opens ion channels and through these channels action potential reach the post synaptic neuron . Axon terminal and synapse

CENTRAL NEURAL SYSTEM Brain is the central information processing organ of our body , and act as the command and control system . Brain controls voluntary movements , balance of the body , functioning of involuntary organs , thermoregulation , hunger , thirst , circadian rhythms of our body , activities of endocrine glands , controls vision ,hearing , speech , memory , intelligence , emotions , thoughts etc. Meninges Inside the skull brain is protected by a covering known as meninges. Meninges has three layers outer layer is duramater , a very thin middle layer called arachnoid and an inner layer called piamater . The brain can be divided into three major parts1. Forebrain 2. midbrain 3.hindbrain 4

FOREBRAIN The forebrain consists of cerebrum , thalamus and hypothalamus CEREBRUM Cerebrum is the major part of the brain . Cerebrum is divided longitudinally into two halves , termed as the left and right cerebral hemispheres Corpus callosum The group of nerve fibers which connect the two cerebral hemispheres are called corpus callosum . Cerebral cortex The layer of cells which cover cerebrum externally are called cerebral cortex . The neuron cell bodies are concentrated in the cortex and it has grey in colour , so called grey matter . Cerebral medulla The inner layer of cerebrum is medulla . Medulla contains nerve tracts which are covered with myelin sheath , which give an opaque white appearance to the layer and hence , called white matter . Areas of cerebrum 1. sensory area These are concerned with perception and identification of impulses from sense organs . 2. motor area give out motor information to effects organs. 3 . association area responsible for complex functions like intersensory associations , memory and communication . THALAMUS Thalamus is the major coordinating centre for sensory and motor signaling It functions as the relay centre of impulses to and from the cerebrum. HYPOTHALAMUS Hypothalamus lies at the base of thalamus . It controls body temperature , urge for eating and drinking etc. The neurosecretary cells of hypothalamus secrete oxytocin and vasopressin .

Limbic system The inner parts of cerebral hemisphere and a group of associated deep structures like amygdala , hippocampus etc. form a complex structure called the limbic lobe or limbic system . It is involved in the regulation of sexual behaviour , expression of emotional reactions like excitement , pleasure ,fear , motivation etc. MIDBRAIN Midbrain is located between the forebrain and hindbrain. Cerebral aqueduct is the canal which passes through the midbrain. Dorsal portion of the midbrain consists four round swelling called corpora quadrigemina HINDBRAIN The hindbrain consists of pons , cerebellum and medulla Pons consists of nerve tracts that interconnect different regions of the brain . Medulla is connected to the spinal cord . Medulla oblongata controls respiration , cardiovascular reflexes and gastric secretions . REFLEX ACTION AND REFLEX ARC Reflex action is the involuntary response towards a nervous stimulation without the involvement of entire part of the central nervous system . The reflex pathway consists of 1. afferent neuron (receptor) which receives the stimulus from a sensory organ and transmits it to the spinal cord via dorsal nerve root . 2. efferent neuron (effector or excitor)- which carries signals from the spinal cord to the effetor organ. 3. interneuron - which connect afferent and efferent neuron . The stimulus and response of the reflex pathway together known as reflex arc. Knee jerk reflex is an example for reflex action .


Eyes are located in the sockets of the skull called orbits . The eye ball is composed of three layers 1. sclera external layer , composed of dense connective tissue . 2. choroid middle layer , contains many blood vessels and looks bluish in colour . 3. retina - inner layer , contains photosensitive cells .

cornea The anterior portion of sclera is transparent called cornea . Ciliary body The anterior part of the choroid layer is thick and called ciliary body . Iris The ciliary body continues forward to form a pigmented and opaque structure called the iris . Pupil The aperture in the iris is called pupil . The diameter of the pupil is regulated by the muscles fibers of iris . Rods and cones These are photoreceptor cells in the retina Rods Rods contain the light sensitive pigment rhodopsin or visual purple , which contains a derivative of vitamin A. Rods help in twilight vision or scotopic vision Cones Cones help in day light vision or photopic vision and colour vision . They contain the pigment iodopsin . Three type of cone cells which respond to red , green and blue lights are present . Different colours are produced by the combination of these colours . Equal stimulation of cones produce white colour

Blind spot In the retina , at the point where the optic nerve leave the eye , rod and cone cells are absent . This spot is called blind spot . Fovea or yellow spot (macula lutea) Above the blind spot there is a yellowish pigmented spot which contains densely packed cone cells . This is the region of keenest vision . Aqueous chamber The space between the cornea and the lens is called the aqueous chamber and it contains a thin watery fluid called aqueous humor . Vitreous chamber The space between the lens and the retina is called the vitreous chamber and is filled with a transparent gel called vitreous humor. MECHANISM OF VISION Light enters through the cornea and lens focus the light on the retina . The rods and cones in the retina are stimulated by the light rays . These photo pigments has a protein known as opsin and an aldehyde of Vitamin A known as retinal . Light induces the dissociation of the retinal from opsin resulting a change in potential difference in the photoreceptor cells . This produces an action potential in the ganglion cells through bipolar cells. These action potentials are transmitted by the optic nerve to the visual cortex of the brain. Visual cortex analyses the neural impulse and image is recognized . Flow chart of mechanism of vision Light enters the cornea lens focus the light to the retina photo pigments stimulated dissociation of opsin and retinal action potential generated action potential reach visual cortex through optic nerve image recognized . THE EAR Ear is the organ for hearing and balancing . Ear has three regions outer ear , middle ear and the inner ear . Outer ear Outer ear consists of the pinna , external auditory meatus (ear canal) , and tympanic membrane (ear drum) . Pinna collects the sound and ear canal leads the sound waves to ear drum The minute hairs , and wax secreted by the sebaceous glands in the ear canal prevent the entry of dust and foreign bodies into the ear . Middle ear Middle ear contains three bones malleus , incus and stapes attached one after the other . Malleus is attached to the tympanic membrane . Stapes is attached to the oval window of the cochlea . Eustachian tube connect the middle ear cavity with the pharynx . It helps in equalizing the pressure on either side of the ear drum .

Inner ear Inner ear is formed of membranous labyrinth and bony labyrinth . The bony labyrinth is filled with a fluid called perilymph . The membranous labyrinth lies in this perilymph and it is formed of two portions called vestibular apparatus and cochlea .

Vestibular apparatus It is composed of three semicircular canals and the otolith organ consisting of the saccule and utricle. Each semicircular canal is swollen at the base called ampulla . Ampulla contains a projecting ridge called crista ampullaris which has hair cells . The saccule and the utricle contain projecting ridge called macula . The crista and macula are the specific receptors responsible for the maintenance of balance of the body and posture . Cochlea The coiled portion of the membranous labyrinth is called cochlea . The cochlea has three longitudinal chambers upper scala vestibuli , middle scala media and the lower scala tympani . Scala vestibuli is separated by scala media by a membrane called Reissners membrane . Scala media is separated from scala tympani by Basilar membrane . Scala vestibuli and scala tympani are filled with perilymph and scala media is filled with endolymph . Organ of Corti is the structure located on the basilar membrane which acts as auditory receptors . Organ of corti contains sensory hair cells arranged in rows . The basal end of the hair cells is in close contact with the optical nerve fibre . The apical part of the hair cells posses a large number of process called stereo cilia . Above the rows of the hair cells a thin elastic membrane called tectorial membrane is present . 9

Mechanism of hearing Pinna collects sound waves and direct them to the ear drum through auditory canal . The vibrations of ear drum vibrates the ear ossicles malleus , incus and stapes . Vibration of the stapes vibrates the oval window and it vibrate the fluid in the cochlea . Vibrations of the fluid vibrate the basilar membrane. Movement of the basilar membrane bend the hair cells, pressing them against tectorial membrane . Now, nerve impulses are generated and these impulses are carried by the optic nerve to auditory cortex . Auditory cortex analyses the impulse and the sound is recognized . Flow chart of mechanism of hearing Pinna collects sound waves tympanic membrane vibrates ear ossicles vibrates oval window vibrates fluid in the cochlea vibrates basilar membrane vibrates cochlear hair cells vibrates nerve impulse generates auditory nerve carry the impulses to auditory cortex sound recognized . Notes Prepared by BIJU T L HSST Zoology GHSS Mylachal, Tvpm