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Physiology analyzers. Higher nervous activity of man

126. Visual sensory system, its structure and function?

The accessory structure structures of the eye:

1. Eyelids
2. Eyebrows and eye lashes
3. Lacrimal Apparatus: consists of lacrimal glands, lacrimal puncta, lacrimal canals, lacrimal sac and nasolacrimal
4. Extrinsic eye muscles: there are 6, the superior rectus, inferior rectus, lateral rectus, medial rectus,
superior/inferior oblique. They are innervated by oculomotor (III), facial (VII) and trochlear nerve (IV)

The eyeball is composed of 3 layers:

1. External layer (tunica fibrosa) that consists of sclera and cornea,

2. Middle layer (vascular layer or uveal tract) which consists of the choroid, ciliary body, and iris;
3. Inner layer of nerve tissue, which consists of an outer pigment epithelium and an inner retina propria.

The lens of the eye is biconvex transparent structure, which is attached to the ciliary body by the suspensory ligament.

Partly covering the anterior surface of the lens is pigmented expansion of the middle layer called iris. The round hole in
the middle of the iris is the pupil

The eye contains 3 compartments:

1. Anterior chamber is space between the cornea and the iris and the lens;
2. Posterior chamber lies between the iris and the lens; y
3. Vitreous space.

Both the anterior and posterior chambers contain fluid called aqueous humor. The vitreous space is filled by a gelatinous
substance called the vitreous body.

FIBROUS TUNIC Cornea: admits and refracts (bends) light
Sclera: Provides shape and protects inner part

Vascular Tunic Iris: regulates the amount of light that enters the eyeball
Ciliary body: consists of ciliary muscle and ciliary process, it secrete aqueous humor and alters
the shape of the lens for near or far vision i.e. accommodation
Choroid: provide blood supply and absorbs scattered light

Retina Receives light and converts it into receptor potential and nerve impulses. Output to brain is via
axons of ganglion cells which form the optic (II) nerve. There are 3 distinct layers of retinal
neurons: 1. The photoreceptor layer (rods or cones), the bipolar cell layer and the ganglion cell

Lens Refracts light

Anterior Cavity Contains aqueous humor that help maintain the shape of the eyeball and supplies oxygen and
nutrients to lens and cornea
Vitreous Chamber Contains vitreous body that helps to maintain the shape of eyeball and keeps the retina
attached to the choroid

127. The basic visual functions and methods of their study?

Optic system:

1. Cornea
2. Anterior chamber humor
3. Lens
4. Posterior chamber humor
5. Vitreous body

Aqueous humor is produced in the posterior chamber and circulates through the ligament of the lens and papilla of the
eye to the anterior chamber

Accommodation apparatus: (accommodation takes place in near vision i.e. ciliary muscles contract)

1. Lens
2. Ciliary muscles
3. Suspensory ligaments

There are two types of refraction:

1. Physical: bending of light

2. Chemical:
a. emertropia: far point: ∞ and near point: 7cm
b. Myopia: far 25cm and near 5cm
c. Hyperopia: far ∞ and near 25 cm

Image formed in the eye retina:

1. Small
2. Real
3. Inverted

128. Physiological mechanisms of pain?

Pain warns the body about potential or actual injuries or diseases so that protective actions can be taken. Noxious
signals sends impulse to the spinal cord which relays information to the brain, the brain interprets the information as
pain, localize it and sends instructions for the body to react.

Pain sensation is mediated by nociceptors which are present in the skin, superficial tissues and all organs except the
brain. These receptors are nerve endings of first order neurons in the pain pathway. The axons can be:

 Myelinated (A type): conduct at fast speed 12-30m/s and are responsible for the initial sharp pain perceived at
the time of injury
 Unmyelinated (type C): conduct at slower speed (0.5-2m/s) and are responsible for longer lasting dull diffusing
1st order neurons travel by way of spinal nerves to the spinal cord where they synapse with 2nd order neurons in the
dorsal horn where, these 2nd order neurons cross over to the other side (Contralateral) of the cord before ascending to
the brain, this is how information of pain on the left side of the body is transmitted to the right side of the brain and vice

There are 2 major pathways that carry pain signals from the spinal cord to the brain:

1. Spinothalamic tract: 2nd order neurons travel up within the spinothalamic tract to the thalamus where they
synapse with 3rd order neurons. 3rd order neurons then project to their designated locations in the
somatosensory cortex. This pathway is involved in the localization of pain
2. Spinoreticular tract: 2nd order neuron ascend to the reticular formation of the brainstem before running to the
thalamus, hypothalamus and the cortex. This tract is responsible for the emotional aspect of pain.

Pain signal from the face follow a different route to the thalamus. 1st order neurons travel mainly via the trigeminal
nerve to the brainstem where they synapse with the 2nd order neurons which ascend to the thalamus and 3rd order
neuron to the cortex.

Pain from skin, muscle and joints is called somatic pain while pain from the internal organs is known as visceral pain.
Visceral pain is often received at a different location in a phenomena know as refered pain e.g. heart pain may be felt in
left shoulder.

Trauma: stimulates the enzyme phospholipase A2 which metabolizes phospholipids into Arachidonic acids. Arachidonic
acids are acted upon a number of enzymes such as cyclo-oxygenase 2 COX 2 forming Endoperoxides which are
converted into prostaglandins. Prostaglandins cause inflammation and stimulation of free nerve endings resulting in pain

129. Opiate and nonopiat antinociceptive and body systems and their importance? 130. Physiological mechanisms of

Non-Opioids / Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): e.g. Ibuprofen or Paracetamol act to block the action
of COX2 providing relief from mild to medium severity pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs which alleviate pain by reducing
local inflammatory response by reducing the release of prostaglandins e.g. Ibuprofen it has a ceiling effect – increase in
dose does not increase analgesia but increase side effects

Opioids (e.g. morphine) block the transmission of pain: by acting on a number of sites to block the transmission of
severe pain by reducing the amount of neuropeptides and neurotransmitter such as substance P and Glutamate.

Opioid receptors are G-coupled receptors and there are 3 subtypes: delta, Kappa and mu (µ) and sigma.

• When opioid bind to µ1 receptor they cause analgesia and physical dependence

• When opioid bind to µ2 receptors they cause respiratory depression, Miosis (excessive constriction of pupil),
Euphoria and reduced GI motility

Opioids have no ceiling effect.

131. Auditory sensory system, its structure and function?

Auditory system is composed of 3 parts:

1. Outer ear: pinna and auditory canal down to the level of the tympanic membrane
2. Middle ear: contains the malleus, incus and stapes bones - known as the ossicles
3. Inner ear: contains the membranous and bony labyrinths, and the cochlea
The sound waves are picked up by the ear pavilion of the outer ear, they are then amplified abd transmitted to the
middle ear through the external ear canal. This causes the eardrum to vibrate. These vibrations are transmitted to the
ossicles located in the middle ear. The ossicles are composed of:

1. Malleus: transmits vibration to incus

2. Incus: transmits vibrations to stapes
3. Stapes: acts as a piston that compresses the inner fluid of the ear

The cochlea is the main organ of auditory perception it contains between 15-20000 hair cells that detect vibrations of
the liquid and generate nerve impulses that are send to the brain via the auditory nerve.

Innervations: Sensory innervation to the inner parts of the ear is provided by the vestibulocochlear nerve (CN VIII).
Innervation to the muscles of the middle ear: The tensor tympani muscle is innervated by the pterygoid nerve, which is a
branch of the mandibular nerve, itself being the third branch of the trigeminal nerve (CN V)

132. The functions of the external and middle ear?

Role of external ear

 External ear consists of auricle and external auditory meatus. Function of external ear is collection of sound
 External auditory meatus conducts sound waves from auricle to tympanic membrane.
 External ear also helps in protection of middle and internal ear. It provides constant temperature and humidity
near tympanic membrane and mechanical defense also.

Role of middle ear

 Middle ear occupies tympanic cavity. Tympanic membrane forms lateral wall of tympanic cavity. Handle of
malleus attaches to point of maximal concavity of tympanic membrane on its inner surface. Other end of
malleus is bound to incus by ligaments. Opposite end of incus articulates with stem of stapes.
 Faceplate of stapes lies against membranous labyrinths in oval window, where sound waves are conducted into
cochlear. Auditory ossicles increase pressure exerted by sound waves on fluid of cochlear. Thus provides
impedance matching between sound waves in air and sound vibrations in fluid of cochlear.
 Tympanic cavity is filled with air. Besides auditory ossicles tympanic cavity also contains tensor tympani muscle
and stapedius muscle. There are two windows in medial wall of tympanic cavity, round window and oval window

133. The inner ear structure and function?

The organ of corti is located in the cochlea which is a spiral 3 chamber snail like structure within a bony matrix. The
organ of corti extends from the anterior part of the vestibule and coils for about 2 and a half turns around a bony pillar
called modiolus.

The Scala Media: houses the organ of corti which is referred to as the receptor organ of hearing. The scala media is filled
with endolymph and contains structures such as:

1. Tectorial membrane:
2. Basilar membrane:
3. Hair cells: sense mechanical forces, there are 2 types of hair cells, inner and outer hair cells. 95% of afferent
fibers are from inner hair cells. Outer hair cells mostly receive efferent input.

Sound enter the cochlea as stapes transfer the vibration through the oval window. From there the sound moves to the
round window. High frequency sounds are encoded at the base while low frequency sounds are encoded at the apex,
hence there is a tonotopic map along the basilar membrane.

The basilar membrane vibrate in response to sound. The hair cells are located between the tectorial and basilar
membranes and are stimulated by the shearing force between the 2 caused by the pivot points between the 2

1. Depolarization: upward phase- K+ in apex

2. Repolarization: downward phase – K+ out of base

The apical portion of the hair cell is bathed in high K+ solution and the base of the hair cell is bathed in low K+ solution.
Hair cells convert vibrations into neural impulses sent to the auditory cortex of the brain in the temporal region

134. Function of vestibular analyzer?

It’s the sense of balance and orientation. The vestibular system is made up of:

1. Semicircular canals: Anterior, posterior and horizontal corresponding to the x, y and Z axis: these canals are
filled with endolymph and as the head moves in the x, y and z axis the movement of endolymph provide sensory
input to head rotation
2. Otolithic organs: includes the Utricles and Saccule which help to detect linear acceleration and head positioning.
Macula is the sensory organ of utricle and saccule. Macula of utricle determines orientation in respect to
direction of gravitational or accelerating forces, this is done as the hair cells have Calcium carbonate attached to
them which pull the hair cell during acceleration causing the generation of action potentials which are
transmitted via the vestibular nerve (of the vestibular cochlear nerve CN VIII)

Macula of saccule detects certain types of sounds and detects equilibrium when head is not in vertical position

135. Taste sensor system, its structure, functions and methods?

Taste innervation:

1. 1ST order gustatory neuron:

a. Anterior 2/3 of the tongue: chorda tympani of Facial nerve (VII)
b. Posterior 1/3 of tongue: Glossopharyngeal nerve (IX)
c. Throat, epiglottis: Vagus nerve X

The 1st order neurons go transmit action potentials to the gustatory nucleus in the medulla then to the thalamus where
it synapse with 2nd order neuron. The 2nd order neuron transmits the action potential to the primary gustatory area of
cerebral cortex in the parietal lobe. Different types of tastes are processed in different areas of the primary gustatory

Taste buds: taste buds are mostly located in the anterior part of the tongue. There are 3 types of taste buds:

1. Fungiform taste buds: in anterior part of tongue

2. Foliate taste buds: mostly on the side
3. Circumvallate taste buds: on posterior of tongue

Note: that all taste buds can taste all types of taste i.e. sour, sweet, bitter, salty and umami (glutamate). The threshold fr
each type of taste is different, the threshold for bitter taste is the lowest.

136. Olfactory sensory system, its structure and function?

Olfactory transduction:

Binding of an odorant molecule to an olfactory receptor protein activates a G protein and adenylate cyclase resulting in
the production of cAMP. Cyclic AMP opens sodium ion channels and Na+ enter the olfactory receptor. The resulting
depolarization may generate an action potential which propagates along the axon of the olfactory receptor
Note: different olfactory receptors for different odorous compounds
The olfactory pathway:

137. Somato-sensory system, its structure and function?

Somato sensory cortex: post central gyrus


A somatosensory pathway will typically consist of three neurons: primary, secondary, and tertiary.
1. In the periphery, the primary neuron is the sensory receptor that detects sensory stimuli like touch or
temperature. The cell body of the primary neuron is housed in the dorsal root ganglion of a spinal nerve or, if
sensation is in the head or neck, the ganglia of the trigeminal or cranial nerves.
2. The secondary neuron acts as a relay and is located in either the spinal cord or the brainstem. This neuron’s
ascending axons will cross, or decussate, to the opposite side of the spinal cord or brainstem and travel up the
spinal cord to the brain, where most will terminate in either the thalamus or the cerebellum.
3. Tertiary neurons have cell bodies in the thalamus and project to the postcentral gyrus of the parietal lobe,
forming a sensory homunculus in the case of touch. Regarding posture, the tertiary neuron is located in the


The somatosensory system functions in the body’s periphery, spinal cord, and the brain.

1. Periphery: Sensory receptors (i.e., thermoreceptors, mechanoreceptors, etc.) detect the various stimuli.
2. Spinal cord: Afferent pathways in the spinal cord serve to pass information from the periphery and the rest of
the body to the brain.
3. Brain: The postcentral gyrus contains Brodmann areas (BA) 3a, 3b, 1, and 2 that make up the somatosensory
cortex. BA3a is involved with the sense of relative position of neighboring body parts and the amount of effort
being used during movement. BA3b is responsible for distributing somatosensory information to BA1 and shape
and size information to BA2.

EXAMPLE: Physiology and anatomy of pain

Pain is felt when pain receptors (Nociceptors) in the peripheral nerve fibers are stimulated sending impulses to the
dorsal root ganglion of the spinal cord. The secondary neuron then decussates and ascends in the spinothalamic tract
and finally synapsing to the tertiary neuron at the thalamus. The tertiary neuron then transmits the impulse to the
somatosensory cortex.
138. Mechanisms of conditioned reflexes, their differences of course?

Conditioned reflex: is learned, based on previous experience e.g. stress in exams like dry mouth

Unconditioned reflex: it’s natural, unlearned, autonomic in nature e.g. salivation hen seeing food

Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS): An event that consistently and automatically elicits an unconditioned response.

Unconditioned Response (UCR): An action that the unconditioned stimulus automatically elicits

Conditioned Stimulus (CS): Formerly the neutral stimulus, having been paired with the unconditioned stimulus, elicits
the same response. That response depends upon its consistent pairing with the UCR.
Conditioned Response (CR): The response elicited by the conditioned stimulus due to the training. Usually it closely
resembles the UCR

Reflexes VS voluntary action

Reflex Action Conditional reflex Voluntary Action

(1) Inborn , instinctive Acquired via experience / learning Acquired via thinking / reasoning

(2) Cerebrum not involved Cerebrum involved Cerebrum involved

(3) Involuntary & unconscious Voluntary & less conscious Voluntary & conscious

(4) Fast action Slow action Slow action

(5)Same stimulus same response Unrelated stimulus same response Same stimulus different response

Components of Classical Conditioning

Unconditioned stimulus: a stimulus that elicits a response without training

Conditioned stimulus: A stimulus that elicits a response because it has been repeatedly paired with an unconditioned

Unconditioned response: An innate response elicited by an unconditioned stimulus; usually either a reflex or an
emotional response

Conditioned response: Term used to refer to a reflex response after learning has occurred to elicit the response by a
conditioned stimulus

There are two different stimuli:

1. the unconditioned stimulus, which elicits the response reflexively, without an training [the smell of food]
2. the conditioned stimulus, which can only elicit the response after training [the sound of the bell]

There is only one response [salivation]. What the response is called depends on which stimulus elicited it:

 It is the unconditioned response when elicited by the unconditioned stimulus [the smell of food]
 It is the conditioned response when elicited by the conditioned stimulus [the sound of the bell]

139. Age aspects of higher nervous activity in humans?

As you age, your brain and nervous system go through natural changes. Your brain and spinal cord lose nerve cells and
weight (atrophy). Nerve cells may begin to pass messages more slowly than in the past. Waste products can collect in
the brain tissue as nerve cells break down. This can cause abnormal changes in the brain called plaques and tangles to
form. A fatty brown pigment (lipofuscin) can also build up in nerve tissue.

Breakdown of nerves can affect your senses. You might have reduced or lost reflexes or sensation. This leads to
problems with movement and safety.

Slowing of thought, memory, and thinking is a normal part of aging. These changes are not the same in everyone. Some
people have many changes in their nerves and brain tissue. Others have few changes. These changes are not always
related to the effects on your ability to think.
140. Type of higher nervous activity?

Higher nervous activity is a complex form of the nervous system, based on the totality of conditioned reflexes that
ensures the perfect adaptation of animals and humans to changing environmental conditions. Higher nervous activity is
the result of joint activities of various parts of the brain - the cerebral cortex and subcortical structures,

Pavlov classifies types of higher nervous activity according to several attributes that considered as most reliable indices
of higher nervous activity. These were intensity of the excitation and inhibition, the ratio of these processes in central
nervous system and their mobility, that is rate at which excitation was replaced by inhibition and wise versa. In
experimental practice the following four principle types of higher nervous activity are met:

1) strong unbalanced type, characterized by predominance of excitation over inhibition;

2) strong well-balanced active type, characterized by high mobility of nerve processes;

3) strong well-balanced passive type, characterized by low mobility of nerve processes;

4) weak type, characterized by extremely weak development of both excitation and inhibition, which cause fatigue and
low workability

141. Sleep, its types, phase electrical activity of the cortex, physiological mechanisms?

4 Types of brain waves:

1. Alpha waves: disappear during sleep, aware and resting with eyes closed 8-13Hz
2. Beta waves: sensory input or mental activity 14-30Hz
3. Theta waves: during emotional stress 4-7Hz
4. Delta waves: during sleeping, normal in infants 1-5hz