Nervous System Lab Report

Julia Harwell

The following lab report covers nerve impulses, and the functions and structures of the
Central Nervous System and the Peripheral Nervous System. Nerve impulses, signals being
transmitted, are continually happening along a nerve fiber. Action potential is a quick change in
the electrical potential on the surface of a neuron. Nerve impulses are the same as action
potentials. They both can stimulate a change in polarity in another neuron or cause a muscle cell
to contract. These neurotoxins and neurotransmitters can either open or block channels that affect
the nerve impulses(see table 1). The Nervous System is divided into two different sections, the
Central Nervous System and the Peripheral Nervous System. The Central Nervous System is
composed of the brain and the spinal cord. This part is the complex of nerve tissues that controls
the activities of the body. Each part of the brain has a certain function that helps the whole body
function daily(see figure 1). The other part, the spinal cord, is cylindrical bundle of nerve fibers
and tissue that is inside the spine and connects almost all parts to the brain(see figure 3). Now the
other part, the Peripheral Nervous System is composed of cranial nerves and spinal nerves. There
are twelve pairs cranial nerves that come directly from the brain and connect to other parts of the
body(see figure 2a and 2b). Each of these twelve pairs are either sensory nerves, motor nerves, or
both as well as have their own function which help our body work day in and day out(see table
2). The spinal nerve is a mixed nerve, which carries motor, sensory, and autonomic signals.
There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves, but in the pictures below only 20 were found and labeled(see
figure 4a and 4b). These 31 spinal nerves, if hit correctly, will allow the human body to have
reflexes to see if those nerves work correctly there are tests that can be performed(see table 3).
There are senses that come along with the systems of the body especially with the Nervous
System. The eyes let us have our sight. The dissected sheep eye allows us to know the functions
of each structure and for us to study the passage of light through the eye for cornea to optic
nerve(see figure 5). The Nervous System is near to the most complicated out of the human body
systems and this is just touching the surface.
Table 1. Neurotoxins or Neurotransmitters Table. In the first case study these were found in the
paragraphs as well as a matching animal to toxin page. Below are these with the effects they
have on a body.
Action Potential Interrupter Effects

Maculotoxin Blocks sodium channels.

Latrotoxin Enhances acetylcholine release.

Bungarotoxin Blocks acetylcholine (nicotinic) receptor.

Tetrotoxin Blocks sodium channels.

Apamin Blocks potassium channels.

Charybdotoxin Blocks potassium receptors.

Conotoxin One type will block voltage sensitive calcium
One blocks voltage sensitive sodium channels
& one blocks ACh receptors

Abnormality of the Sodium Protein Channel Produces channels that are not functional

Synthetic Toxin Destroys the myelin sheath covering the optic
nerves and motor neurons

Batrachotoxin Can cause voltage gated sodium channels to
open at a more negative membrane potential
and also stops their inactivation

Dendrotoxin K Blocks voltage gated potassium channels

General Anesthetic Opens more potassium channels in neurons of
the reticular formation in the brainstem

Potassium Causes depolarization to glial cells and causes
irritation to the cell

Abnormality of Sodium Channel Alters voltage sensitivity of the sodium
channel so that it only opens at more positive
membrane potentials
Figure 1a.
Figure 1b.

Figure 1a and 1b. Labeled Sheep Brain Structures with Functions. During this lab, the sheep
brain was cut in half to make it as symmetrical as possible to identify each of the 13 parts. Photos
by Author.
Figure 2a.

Figure 2b.

Figure 2a and 2b. Sheep Brain with Cranial Nerves Labeled. Using the same sheep brain from
the first lab for the parts, the 12 nerves were found and tested over. Photos by Alexis Magre.
Table 2. Cranial Nerve Assessment Results Table. In a mock clinical, tests were performed to exam if
each of the nerves were a motor or sensory nerve, where does it come from, and if they were normal or
Cranial Nerve Motor, Where does the Test Performed? Results Assessment
Sensory, nerve innervate? of Test of Nerve
or Both? Function

Olfactory(I) sensory Upper nasal Smelled coffee with +,+ Normal
cavity each nostril

Optic(II) sensory Retina Read eye chart 20/20 on Normal

Oculomotor(III) motor Eyes Moved q-tip up, +,+ Normal
down, & inward till
able to see

Trochlear(IV) motor 5th pair of Moved q-tip inward +,+ Normal
external eye & downward till
muscle able to see

Trigeminal(V) both Eye, mouth, and Touched areas of +,+ Normal
jaw face with cotton

Abducens(VI) motor Orbit of eye Moved q-tip left to +,+ Normal
right for eyes to

Facial(VII) both Side of the face Smiled & closed yes Normal
eyes tightly

Vestibulocochlear sensory Inner ear Tuning fork & +,+ Normal
(VIII) walked in a straight

Glossopharyngeal both Pharynx, tonsils, Said a-h-h-h. Did not Normal
(IX) posterior third of move.
tongue to brain

Vagus (X) both Neck, chest, Swallowed + Normal

Accessory(XI) motor Soft palate, Shoulder shrug & +,+,+ Normal
pharynx, larynx neck rotating

Hypoglossal (XII) motor tongue Stick out tongue for No Normal
deviation deviatio

Figure 3. Mink Spinal Cord Labeled. Cut between two of the body of vertebra to get to see and identify
the parts of the spinal cord. Photo by Hannah Hux.

Figure 4a. Upper Mink Spinal Nerves Labeled. Photo by Alexis Magre
Figure 4b. Lower Mink Spinal Nerves Labeled. Photo by Alexis Magre

Table 3. Reflex Assessment Results Table. A mock clinical was performed to test with a reflex
hammer to test certain muscles in our body by hitting the nerves to see if there was a reflex.
Test Results Results/Comments Tests for?

Left Right

Biceps + + Slight movement C5 & C6

Triceps - - No movement C7 & C8

Brachioradialis - - No movement C5 & C6

Hoffman’s + + No movement Pyramidal Tract Lesions

Patellar + + Good movement L2, L3, & L4

Achilles + + Good movement S1 & S2

Babinski - - Negative response, toes curled L4, L5, mainly S1 & S2
Crossed - + Left hand moved, right did not C5 & C6

Glabellar + + Eyes fluttered C1 & C2

Figure 5. Sheep Eye Labeled. Dismembered each part of the eye to see how the light goes into
the eye starting at the cornea and ending at the optic nerve. Photo by author.