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The Cellular Structure of Nerves
HSB 2007 Rudolph
The cells of nervous tissue are called neurons; each neuron has a typical cell structure, i.e. a large nucleus in a mass of cytoplasm, with the whole bounded by a membrane; this part is the cell body, illustrated in the photograph in Fig. 1
Neurons differ from other cells in having long outgrowths, called processes; there are two kinds of processes, axons and dendrites. dendrites.
Figure 1: A Neuron
Cell membrane Nucleus Cytoplasm Long process
A neuron has only one axon, but can have none, one or several dendrites (see Fig. 2). impulses travel away from the cell body along the axon, and to the cell body along the dendrites
Figure 2: Diagram of a Neuron
The dendrites branch repeatedly at their, ends (known as arborization) and are usually short- in length; the axon does not shortalways branch, and is usually long; it can be up to a metre or so in length
The processes of a neuron are called nerve fibres.At the end of an axon. fibrils connect it with other tissues. fibres. HSB 2007 Rudolph . They often have a protective sheath.
HSB 2007 Rudolph .Nerves A nerve consists of a bundle of nerve fibres. surrounded by a protective sheath of connective tissue (see Fig. Each nerve fibre originates in a different neuron. 3).
Figure 3: A Nerve neuron Nerve Protective sheath HSB 2007 Rudolph .
The most common is a medullated fibre.There are two types of nerve fibre. shown in Fig. named from their protective sheath. and also shown in diagram form in Fig. 2. 4. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
The inner. HSB 2007 Rudolph . This sheath acts as an insulating layer for the conduction of nervous impulses. giving the fibre a white appearance. medullary sheath is composed of fatty substances.
Figure 4: Medullated Nerve Fibres HSB 2007 Rudolph .
tubulartubular-shaped cells. HSB 2007 Rudolph .The outer layer is composed of flattened. The presence of these protective cells gives the fibre a segmented appearance (see Fig. and acts as a protective layer. 4).
at this node. HSB 2007 Rudolph . the medullary layer is interrupted. Lymph nourishes the nerve fibre at these nodes.The point at which two cells join is called a node of Ranvier.
and is grey in appearance. such fibres are less common and are usually found in nerves leading to the viscera. HSB 2007 Rudolph . the part furthest from the cell body dies. If a fibre is cut.The second type of nerve fibre is nonnonmedullated.
Fibres without a medullary sheath do not regenerate in this fashion.The stump which is left grows away from the cell body in the medullary sheath. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
HSB 2007 Rudolph . and along the axon (see Fig. association. 5). and motor neurons. through the cell body. sensory. which are electrical in nature. from the dendrites. The impulses travel in one direction only. There are three types of neurons. and which arise from a stimulus received by a sense organ. or nerve ending.Function of neurons A nerve fibre conducts impulses.
Figure 5: Diagram of Neuron Functions HSB 2007 Rudolph .
(Motor neurons conduct impulses. HSB 2007 Rudolph . away from the central nervous system and usually to muscles.Sensory neurons conduct impulses from sense organs to the central nervous system. dendrite. An alternative description is an afferent neuron. they possess a long. and a short axon. they are also known as efferent neurons. received from the association neurons. single.
Association neurons are situated in the central nervous system and link sensory and motor neurons. HSB 2007 Rudolph .Another type of efferent neuron is a secretory neuron which conducts impulses to glands.
HSB 2007 Rudolph .Synapses A synapse is a junction where fibrils of an axon are in contact with the dendrites of another neuron. There is no continuity between the fibrils and the dendrites. neither do they touch. The impulse from one neuron must jump this gap to pass to the second neuron. but they are close together.
from an axon to a dendrite.Impulses pass one way only across a synapse. HSB 2007 Rudolph . A neuron possessing several dendrites can receive impulses from several axons (see Fig. 6).
Figure 6: Diagram of Synapses HSB 2007 Rudolph .
through synapses.Similarly. HSB 2007 Rudolph . with the dendrites of several neurons. Thus several alternative paths are available for the conduction of impulses. an axon may connect.
The rate of transmission of an impulse is slowed down at a synapse. HSB 2007 Rudolph . Increased use of the synapse increases the speed of transfer. shows fatigue. when used repeatedly. and the speed of transfer then decreases. but the same synapse.
or even unconsciousness.Some drugs act on synapses to increase or decrease the ease of transfer of impulses. HSB 2007 Rudolph . Anaesthetics decrease the ease of transfer and cause lack of sensation.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . (See Fig.Ganglia A ganglion is a collection of cell bodies of neurons associated with a particular nerve. and appears as a bulbous swelling of a nerve. 7).
S Axon from neuron in ganglion synapse HSB Sheath of ganglion Rudolph 2007 .Figure 7(a): Section of a nerve with a ganglion (diagram) Cell body of Neuron in ganglion nerve nerve Axon from neuron in C.N.
Figure 7(b): Ganglion HSB 2007 Rudolph .
the brain and the spinal cord. HSB 2007 Rudolph . the latter being a continua-tion of the former. This system coordinates all impulses. received from receptors.The central nervous system The central nervous system comprises two parts. which have been initiated by stimuli.
HSB 2007 Rudolph .It interprets the impulses and produces a motor or secretory response.
It contains grey matter on the inside and white matter on the outside. HSB 2007 Rudolph .Description of the spinal cord The spinal cord is a long. the tube is swollen in the neck and abdominal regions. thick-walled tube thickextending from the brain to the coccyx.
The white matter runs the whole length of the cord. two left and two right with two dorsal (towards the back) and two ventral (towards the front). Hforming four horns.In section the grey matter is H-shaped. but the grey matter stops before the coccygeal portion. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
both fissures run the whole length of the cord. HSB 2007 Rudolph . this canal is filled with cerebro-spirial fluid.A narrow central canal passes through the middle of the spinal cord. cerebroThere is a narrow dorsal fissure and a wider ventral fissure.
HSB 2007 Rudolph .The cord is surrounded by three membranes. carries blood vessels and lymph vessels. the pia mater. the arachnoid. The inner membrane. it is surrounded by cerebro-spinal fluid cerebrocontained by a thin filmy membrane.
tough membrane. the ventral fissure also contains blood and lymph vessels.The dura mater is an outer. but the pia mater lines the ventral fissure. HSB 2007 Rudolph . The membranes pass over the dorsal fissure.
See Fig. the tissue of the spinal cord is bathed and nourished by cerebrocerebro-spinal fluid. Across the pia mater. HSB 2007 Rudolph . 8 and 9 to follow this description.
Figure 8: Section of a spinal cord central canal Dorsal fissure Dorsal horn Grey matter Central canal White matter ventral fissure Ventral horn HSB 2007 Rudolph .
8) Central canal Dorsal fissure Grey matter White matter Dorsal horn Treble protective layer Ventral horn Pia mater Connective tissue with blood vessel Ventral fissure HSB 2007 Rudolph .Figure 9: Diagram of a spinal cord (from Fig.
The nerve fibres. or axons.Structure of the spinal cord The grey matter consists of the cell bodies of neurons. 5 Arts HSB 2007 Rudolph . are grouped together in six tracts. and the white matter consists of axons running along the spinal cord.
and descending from. a higher level of the spinal cord. lower levels of the spinal cord.Two tracts contain nerve fibres ascending to. The last two tracts contain nerve fibres descending to. Two tracts contain nerve fibres ascending to. and descending from. and ascending from. HSB 2007 Rudolph . the brain.
The spinal cord is divided into different levels by paired spinal nerves. Similarly. HSB 2007 Rudolph . or from any part of the spinal cord. Impulses can be sent from one level to the brain. impulses can be received from the brain. or to any other part of the spinal cord.
which enter. Each nerve has two roots.Insertion of paired spinal nerves Thirty one pairs of spinal nerves join the spinal cord. respectively. HSB 2007 Rudolph . Look at Fig. the dorsal and ventral horns of the grey matter. a dorsal and a ventral root. 10 for a diagram of a pair of spinal nerves. dividing it into levels.
Figure10: Paired Spinal Nerves Afferent nerve Dorsal root Dorsal root ganglion Cell bodies Axons Sensory nerve fibre Mixed nerve Motor axons in ventral root Efferent nerve HSB 2007 Motor axons Rudolph Ganglion .
The dorsal root contains the dendrites of sensory neurons (forming a sensory. containing both sensory and motor nerve fibres. HSB 2007 Rudolph . The two roots unite to form a mixed nerve.The dorsal root has a ganglion. or afferent pathway) and the cell bodies of the sensory neurons are contained in the dorsal root ganglion.
The dendrites and cell bodies of motor neurons are contained in the ventral horn of grey matter.Axons of the sensory neurons leave the ganglion and enter the dorsal horn of grey matter. or efferent. HSB 2007 Rudolph . and the axons of the motor neurons form the ventral root. The ventral root is thus a motor. pathway.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . through which passes the spinal cord.Protection of the spinal cord The spinal cord is enclosed by a bony channel formed by the vertebrae of the backbone. 11). and the bony structure protects the cord. (See Fig. Each vertebra (Skeletal system) has a neural arch.
Figure 11: Spinal Cord and Backbone Vertebra Pia mater Dorsal root Dorsal root ganglion HSB Rudolph Ventral2007 root .
The dorsal and ventral roots join to form the spinal nerve before the nerve leaves through a foramen. a hole formed between two vertebrae. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
A stimulus is perceived by a nerve ending. The simple reflex arc is shown in diagrammatic form in Fig. and an efferent neuron.The simple reflex arc The neuron is the structural and metabolic unit of nervous tissue. HSB 2007 Rudolph . an afferent an association. but the smallest functional unit is a reflex arc. 12 . which involves two or three neurons. which is a receptor.
Figure 12: Simple Reflex Arc
The receptor initiates an impulse intnedendrite of the sensory (or afferent) neuron, which is conducted to the sensory cell body in the dorsal root ganglion, and passes on to the sensory axon. The endings of the axon form a synapse with dendrites of an association neuron. The cell body of the association neuron is in the dorsal horn of grey matter.
HSB 2007 Rudolph
The impulse is conducted by the association neuron to its axon, which forms a synapse with the dendrites of a motor (or efferent) neuron. The cell body of the motor neuron is in the ventral horn of the grey matter. The impulse is conducted by the motor axon to its endings in a muscle (or a gland); this is the effector. The muscle contracts, causing an action.
HSB 2007 Rudolph
The reflex arc involves a definite circuit along which the impulses are conducted. For simplicity, only one neuron in each type of nerve has been considered; in an actual reflex arc, many neurons, in the same nerve, are involved.
The muscular contraction only takes place while the impulse is conducted by the nerve fibres. Sometimes (as is shown in the diagram) an association neuron is not present. when the impulse ceases. HSB 2007 Rudolph . contraction of the muscle stops.
described above. HSB 2007 Rudolph . and a reflex action causes the hand to be quickly withdrawn.Simple reflex actions The simple reflex arc. when a hot object is touched by a hand. For example. the heat acts as a stimulus to nerve endings in the skin. causes purely involuntary actions.
The pupil of the eye contracts when the stimulus of a bright light causes a reflex action. a reflex action of blinking takes place.When an object approaches the eyes. the leg is jerked. When the bone of the knee cap is tapped. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
the knee and the ankle joints bend to remove the foot. HSB 2007 Rudolph . Other reflex actions will be discussed later.If the sole of the foot is pricked.
the arachnoid.The basic structure of the brain The brain is situated in a hard. their structure is exactly the same as for the spinal cord. with cerebro-spinal cerebrofluid contained between the pia mater and the arachnoid. the pia mater. It is surrounded by three membranes. cranial cavity of the skull. and the dura mater. bony. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
HSB 2007 Rudolph . supplying. CerebroCerebro-spinal fluid is also found in the ventricles. the cells with nourishment.The pia mater dips into all the fissures of the brain. of the brain. these are spaces ventricles. between different parts of the brain.
mid-. The brain is divided into a fore-.midhindbrain. insulating the nervous tissue against shock. the hindmedulla and the cerebellum. HSB 2007 Rudolph . it performs the same function in the spinal cord. The hind-brain includes two main sections.CerebroCerebro-spinal fluid acts as a cushion against shocks for the delicate brain cells. and hindfore.
and hindmidforehindbrains and is very small in comparison with the other two parts. HSB 2007 Rudolph . The fore-brain has a main section. the forecerebrum. which is by far the largest section of the brain.The mid-brain joins the fore.
grey matter is on the outside of the brain. Grey matter (just as in the spinal cord) is a mass of cell bodies of neurons. and white matter on the inside. White matter consists of medullated (myelinated) axons. HSB 2007 Rudolph .In the cerebrum and the cerebellum.
Fig. and Fig. 13 shows the brain viewed from underneath.Other portions of the brain have a structure similar to the spinal cord. HSB 2007 Rudolph . 14 shows the relation of the structures in a vertical plane.
Figure 13: Base of Brain. viewed from below Frontal lobes Olfactory bulbs Optical chiasma Pituitary gland Pons Cerebellum Medulla oblongata HSB 2007 Rudolph Occipital lobes .
and it forms a swelling at the top of the spinal cord.The medulla The medulla is a cone-shaped body. HSB 2007 Rudolph . Its structure is similar to that of the spinal cord with white matter outside and grey matter inside. with coneits base upwards.
those reflex actions which are purely involuntary and vital to the functioning of the body. HSB 2007 Rudolph .It is the centre of vital reflexes such as those which control the rate of respiration and the rate of heart beat. that is.
and vomiting are located here. coughing. HSB 2007 Rudolph . The least injury to this part of the brain is fatal as its nerve centres control the most vital body functions.The medulla controls blood pressure by expanding or contracting blood vessels. sneezing. The reflexes for swallowing.
Figure 14: The Brain cerebrum HSB 2007 Rudolph .
Figure 14: The Brain HSB 2007 Rudolph .
The surface of the cerebellum is furrowed. and is roughly oval in shape. It consists of a narrow central strip with two lobes on either side. HSB 2007 Rudolph . and consists of grey matter. white matter fills the inside.The cerebellum The cerebellum is situated below the cerebrum and dorsal to the medulla.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . with some grey matter intermixed. which also connects the cerebellum to the medulla and to the rest of the brain. mainly white matter. The pons is a bridge of nerve fibres.The lobes of the cerebellum are connected through the pons.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . Its function is especially important in locomotion to ensure that the human body is balanced at all times on two legs.The function of the cerebellum is to coordinate all muscular action in order to control balance.
For this reason. the cerebellum is more highly developed in man than in other animals. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
which are on top of. The two hemispheres are separated by a deep fissure. HSB 2007 Rudolph . and overlap on both sides. it consists of two cerebral hemispheres.The cerebrum The cerebrum fills most of the cranial cavity. the other brain structures.
while the inner region is filled with white matter. the cortex. HSB 2007 Rudolph . consists of grey matter. The cerebral cortex is much folded into convolutions with fissures between different parts. The greater the degree of folding of the cerebrum.The outer region of the cerebrum. the greater the mental activity of which the brain is capable.
and in so doing exhibits the mental activity called intelligence. and memory. HSB 2007 Rudolph .The cerebrum is the seat of all conscious action. it controls all mental activity such as reasoning. emotion.
The cerebrum interprets stimuli received from receptors and causes a voluntary action in response to the environment through spinal nerves by motor nerve fibres. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
15. and these areas are shown diagrammatically in Fig.There is a quantitative difference between man and other animals in the functioning of the cerebrum which differentiates man from all other animals. HSB 2007 Rudolph . The functions of the body are associated with particular areas of the cerebrum.
The parts of the brain HSB 2007 Rudolph .
Figure 15: Localisation of Functions in Cerebrum HSB 2007 Rudolph .
Figure 15: Localisation of Functions in Cerebrum HSB 2007 Rudolph .
of the brain stem. the cerebellum. HSB 2007 Rudolph . apart from the medulla.The brain stem All structures. This is a continuation of the spinal cord. and the central canal runs through the brain stem. are part. and the cerebrum.
and they are continuous. which are filled with cerebro-spinal fluid. being joined by small openings or slender canals. cerebroand the presence of the ventricles give the brain a hollow structure.The canal forms ventricles in the brain. There are four ventricles. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
midhind-. and fore-brain. fore- HSB 2007 Rudolph . mid-.The human brain has evolved from a single spinal cord with three spinal vesicles. these latter developing into the hind.
The hind-brain hindThis contains the medulla. and pons. the latter being the fore-part of forethe hind-brain. cerebellum. hind- HSB 2007 Rudolph .
Figure 16(a): Longitudinal Section Through One Hemisphere of Brain optic lobe cerebrum Corpus callosum HSB 2007 Rudolph .
Figure 16(b): Vertical Section Through Brain HSB 2007 Rudolph .
HSB 2007 Rudolph . and has the thalami and the optic lobes attached to it.The mid-brain midThe brain stem bends forward into a horizontal position.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . and the cerebrum. endocrine).The fore-brain foreThis contains the thalami. and attached to this part is the pituitary gland (see p. The brain stem ends blindly in front. The cerebral hemispheres originate from the brain stem before it reaches the terminal end. the olfactory lobes.
They extend tailwards past the mid-brain. HSB 2007 Rudolph . but. these are the midthalami. in midfact. hindforeA bar of transverse nerve fibres connects the two thalami. are joined to the hind-part of the fore-brain.The thalami Two large ovoid-shaped structures are situated ovoidon either side of the mid-brain.
and relay the impulses to the cerebral hemispheres.The thalami receives all the sensory nerve fibres from the hind-brain and the spinal hindcord. There is a two-way association between twothe thalami and the cerebral hemispheres. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
This is a centre for many important reflex actions. it controls the temperature regulating mechanism of the body. HSB 2007 Rudolph . hunger and satiety.Below the two thalami is situated the hypothalamus. it regulates sleep.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . which latter determines the intensity of an emotion. by modifying the reactions and mental activity of the cerebral cortex. this is does in conjunction with the thalamus.It also causes the external manifestations of emotions.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . water excretion and many other body functions which are controlled automatically and without thought.The hypothalamus The floor of the ventricle just below the thalami is the hypothalamus which regulates body temperature.
dorsal to the brain stem. They control the muscles of the eyeballs and relate the movements of the eyeballs to the impulses received from the retinas of the eyes. Their main function is the interpretation of sight.The optic lobes These are paired lobes. HSB 2007 Rudolph . and below the thalami.
situated at the base of the cerebrum.The olfactory lobes These are paired lobes ventral to the brain stem. HSB 2007 Rudolph . each lobe lying close to the central deep fissure dividing the two cerebral hemispheres.
They are small in size. and their function is to interpret the sense of smell. As this sense is not of such great importance in man. HSB 2007 Rudolph . they are not so well developed as in other animals.
The impulses from the olfactory lobes are relayed through the thalamus to the cerebral hemispheres. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
HSB 2007 Rudolph . 16 shows the location of the parts of the brain.Corpus callosum The deep fissure between the cerebral hemispheres reaches down to the corpus callosum. Fig. The nerve fibres in the corpus callosum connect the two cerebral hemispheres and provide association tracts for the cerebral cortex in each hemisphere. which is a mass of white matter.
Association tracts The different regions of each cerebral hemisphere are connected by tracts of nerve fibres. HSB 2007 Rudolph . forming the white matter on the inside of the cerebrum.
one region of the cerebrum is connected with association.In addition. in this part of the cerebral cortex are the cell bodies which connect with all other parts of the brain and form the associations for the interpretation of stimuli. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
HSB 2007 Rudolph .The Peripheral Nervous System The nervous tissue outside the brain and spinal cord forms the peripheral nervous system.
Spinal nerves Paired mixed nerves arise from the spinal cord. HSB 2007 Rudolph . as described previously. 17. finally they cover the body with a whole network of nerves. the branches join other nerves. and then rebranch. These nerves branch. The arrangement of spinal nerves is shown in diagram form in Fig.
The nerve connections in the spinal cord are made with nerves on the same side of the body. HSB 2007 Rudolph .Each nerve splits. and to. so that nerves from. 12). the right side of the body are connected to the left side of the brain (and vice versa). The nerve tracts in the spinal cord cross over. near its end. into a sensory and a motor branch (see the simple reflex arc described previously and Fig. mainly in the medulla.
Cranial nerves Twelve pairs of cranial nerves leave through small holes in the skull (the foramina). connected to the ear. the auditory nerves. The upper pairs are connected with the sensory and motor reactions of the head. and nerves connected to the tongue for taste and sensation of touch. here are the optic nerves. the olfactory nerves. HSB 2007 Rudolph . connected to the nose. connected to the eyes.
the tongue. the cheek. and the neck. the jaw. Motor nerves are connected to the muscles of the eyeball.Sensory nerves convey the sense of touch. pain. heat. HSB 2007 Rudolph . from areas of skin on the head.
and for the reactions of the sense organs to the environment.These motor muscles are responsible for speech. stopped HSB 2007 Rudolph . The cranial nerves also cross over in the brain. so that nerves serving the left hand side of the head originate in the right hand side of the brain.
the vagus.The 10th cranial nerve is a large mixed nerve. 19). HSB 2007 Rudolph . and carries the important parasympathetic fibres (see autonomic nervous system below) to the heart and the viscera (see Fig.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . Notice also that organs which receive para-sympathetic innervation by fibres in the cranial nerves also receive sympathetic innervation by fibres from the sympathetic chain (sympathetic nerve cord) as explained below.The cranial nerves are all paired (right and left).
Figure 17: Periphereal Nervous System HSB 2007 Rudolph .
HSB 2007 Rudolph . Such muscular activities as peristalsis and glandular secretions are controlled by the autonomic system. these actions are collectively known as visceral reflexes.The Autonomic Nervous System This system of nerves controls the normal body activities of which a person is not normally aware.
Normally there is no sensation involved. Afferent pathways from the viscera. the heart and the blood vessels travel to the brain.The system is composed of two separate networks of nerves. HSB 2007 Rudolph . motor. Each system contains sensory. the sympathetic and the parasympathetic systems. and secretory neurons in addition to association neurons.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . the person may be aware of pain from these organs. and along the sympathetic pathway in the accelerator nerve. Efferent pathways from the brain provide each of the organs with a double innervation ² for example.Only if there is excessive stimulation. nerve impulses to the heart travel along the parasympathetic pathway in the vagus nerve.
Every organ which is controlled by the autonomic nervous system is like this. HSB 2007 Rudolph .Activity in the parasympathetic outflow causes the heart to slow down. and receives a nerve supply from both the parasympathetic and the sympathetic systems. while activity in the sympathetic outflow increases its rate of beating.
HSB 2007 Rudolph .Their effects are opposite. In Fig. 18. parasympathetic pathways are shown on the left and sympathetic pathways on the right. in order to make the diagram more simple.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . Thus there are two vagus nerves (right and left) and two sympathetic nerve cords (right and left). and what is shown in this diagram is actually only half of each system.But there are nerves on both sides of the body.
where the cords unite in the pelvic ganglion. on each side of the cord. HSB 2007 Rudolph . and ventral to the spinal cord.The sympathetic system A pair of nerve cords run parallel to. Each nerve cord extends from the skull to the pelvis.
20. the ganglia are thus paired as are the spinal nerves. Fig.There are ganglia on both cords. HSB 2007 Rudolph .19 is a diagram of the relationship between a spinal nerve and a sympathetic ganglion. and each ganglion is associated with a spinal nerve.
Sympathetic fibres from the spinal cord connect with the ganglion. these are both sensory and motor fibres. HSB 2007 Rudolph . the ganglion. and leaving from. In the ganglia are synapses which connect the various sympathetic fibres arriving at.
external receptors. and from the viscera. or efferent. HSB 2007 Rudolph . fibres. including glands. and also to ganglia at higher and lower levels of the nerve cord. Motor. lead to the viscera.Sensory (afferent) fibres arrive from the spinal cord.
the viscera. and coming from. pass through a plexus.The fibres between the ganglia and the spinal cord are medullated. HSB 2007 Rudolph . The nerve fibres going to. the remaining sympathetic fibres are unmedullated. which is a knot of cell bodies and nerve fibres.
allowing alternative paths for the nervous impulses.In the plexus are numerous synapses. The largest plexus is the solar plexus. each with a related function. which can be taken as an example. Each plexus is connected to several organs. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
18). It thus controls the viscera associated with digestion and absorption of food. HSB 2007 Rudolph .The solar plexus is connected to ganglia at the thoracic level of the spinal cord (see Fig. it is also connected to the stomach. the small and large intestines and the adrenal gland.
18. There are also other plexuses in the cardiac and abdominal regions. and dorsal to the stomach. as shown in Fig.The solar plexus is ventral to the aorta. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
and sacral regions of the spinal column. HSB 2007 Rudolph . the spinal nerves are numbered for the thoracic.In the diagram. lumbar.
HSB 2007 Rudolph .Figure 18: Diagram of Autonomic Nervous System. Half of parasympathetic system shown on left. half of sympathetic system shown on right. Organs all receive double innervation.
HSB 2007 Figure 19: Relationship between Spinal Cord and Rudolph Sympathetic System .
HSB 2007 Rudolph . A stimulus is perceived by a sense organ. and this initiates an impulse which is interpreted by the brain. or other receptor.Functions of the sympathetic system The system firstly reacts to the environment through its connection with the spinal cord.
to the relevant ganglia.The brain produces an involuntary reflex action. HSB 2007 Rudolph . and finally to the viscera. 18). which is a visceral reflex. and from there to the relevant plexus. (See Fig. by connections through the motor tracts of the spinal cord.
inhibits the flow of saliva. These visceral reflexes are quite involuntary. HSB 2007 Rudolph . danger dilates the pupils. inhibits the secretory flow of juice in the stomach and slows down or stops peristalsis.For example.
indicate pain. under conditions other than normal. or discomfort. through the afferent nerves.The viscera. HSB 2007 Rudolph . The impulses reach the brain by very indirect routes. the exact location of the original stimulus is often uncertain. and when the brain interprets the impulses.
and is uncertain of the exact location. HSB 2007 Rudolph .For example. the brain may only be conscious of a pain in the abdomen.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . Fig.The parasympathetic system Most of the nerve fibres in this system are in the paired cranial nerves. 18 shows only four actual cranial nerves with Roman numerals to indicate which of the twelve cranial nerves is in the parasympathetic system.
and it connects the medulla with most of the viscera. HSB 2007 Rudolph . Three spinal nerves from the sacral vertebrae are also part of the system.The most important nerve of the system is the tenth cranial nerve (labelled X in the diagram). it is the vagus nerve.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . the sight of food stimulates a reflex outflow along the ninth cranial nerve and increases the flow of saliva.Functions of the parasympathetic system The system promotes the ordinary visceral reflexes which maintain the normal upkeep of the body functions. For example.
Almost all of these are unconscious reflexes. and acts through these nerves. The medulla controls the vital functions.Look at the functions of the medulla as described. and cannot be influenced by voluntary action. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
Every organ of the body is supplied with neurons from each system.Autonomic system The sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are mutually antagonistic. and this causes a balance in the functioning of an organ. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
the parasympathetic system stimulates peristalsis. and the needs of the organ in relation to the immediate environment. a normal need of the body when food is present in the alimentary canal. For example. HSB 2007 Rudolph .The balance depends on the normal needs of the body for the functioning of an organ.
or danger.Excitement. When the danger is removed. HSB 2007 Rudolph . the body returns to normal and the vagus nerve stimulates peristalsis. so that blood is not used in digestive absorption but is available for muscular activity. perceived by sense organs from the immediate situation. inhibit peristalsis.
The balance obtained in the peristallic movement depends on the interpretation of the situation by the brain. The sympathetic system is also intimately connected with hormones secreted by the system of ductless glands (endocrine). HSB 2007 Rudolph .
The Sense Organs HSB 2007 Rudolph .
20 is a section through the optic nerve of an eyeball. better developed in man than in other animals. except for birds.The eye This is a specialised organ of sight. Fig. The interpretation of nervous impulses by the brain of man is better than in other animals. HSB Rudolph 2007 .
Figure 20: Section Through Optic Nerve of Eyeball HSB Rudolph 2007 pial sheath of optic nerve .
.on the inside is the retina. a tough. on the outside is the sclerotic coat (also called the sclera). 21). (Look at Fig. which contains light-sensitive sense lightorgans. .Structure of the eye The eyeball is roughly spherical in shape with a bulge in the front. It is covered with three layers.in the middle is the choroid coat a black pigmented layer. HSB 2007 Rudolph . opaque layer composed of connective tissue.
Figure 21: Horizontal Section Through Right Eye HSB 2007 Rudolph .
The choroid contains some of the blood vessels for supplying the eye with blood. a thinner transparent layer. forming the bulge in front. the sclerotic coat becomes modified to form the cornea. In the front part of the eye. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
Behind the cornea. or hole. the choroid is modified to form the iris and the ciliary body. The iris is a circular sheet of coloured muscle in which is a central aperture. HSB 2007 Rudolph . forming the pupil of the eye. the iris is the pigmented portion of the eye.
the crystalline lens of the eye is attached to the ciliary muscles by the suspensory ligaments. HSB 2007 Rudolph .The ciliary body p contains the ciliary muscles. The nervous tissues of the retina stop just behind the ciliary body.
The optic nerve enters the dorsal side of the eyeball. The large dorsal chamber of the eyeball. HSB 2007 Rudolph . at its point of entry there is no nervous tissue of the retina. between the retina and the lens. jellyvitreous humour. and is connected to the retina. is filled with a transparent jelly-like substance. the.
between the lens and the cornea. the aqueous humour. is filled with a watery fluid. front of the eye is covered with a thin transparent membrane. HSB 2007 Rudolph .The small ventral chamber. which is a continuation of the lining of the eyelid. the conjunctiva. The.
protection to the eye is given by the frontal bone above. and by the jaw bone beneath and to the side.External features of the eye The eyeball is situated in the eye socket surrounded by hard bones of the skull. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
a pad of fat richly supplied with blood and lymph vessels. There are three pairs of muscles attached to the sclerotic coat. HSB 2007 Rudolph . they are situated between the eyeball and the orbit.Inside the eye socket is the orbit. Its function to cushion the eyeball against shock.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . situated at the top and bottom of the eyeball. move it up and down. turn it left and right. situated left and right eyeball.Two pairs of muscles are called rectus muscles. one pair. the other pair.
22 and 23). (Look at Figs. their function is to prevent sweat. and steady the eye in its upward and downward movements. HSB 2007 Rudolph . The eyebrows are two arched raised eyebrows portions of skin. both thickly covered with hair.The third pair of muscles are placed obliquely. and dust entering the eye.
Figure 22: Eye Socket HSB 2007 Rudolph .
Figure 23: Movement of Eyeball (vertical section of right eye) Top rectus muscle Right internal muscle Bottom rectus muscle Oblique muscle HSB 2007 Rudolph .
When closed. being provided with ajnuscle for retraction.The eyelids are two thin. movable folds of skin. the eyelids unite and provide protection for the eyeball. HSB 2007 Rudolph . the upper eyelid is larger and more movable.
when the lids are closed. thus cleaning the cornea of dust and grit. curved hairs. The eyelids blink every few seconds. bodies entering the eye. the conjunctiva forms a closed pouch.Eyelashes grow from the free ends of the eyelids. they are thick. providing protection against small foreign. HSB 2007 Rudolph . short. The conjunctiva lines both eyelids.
this appears.A lachrymal gland is situated on the upper and outer side of the orbit. or emotion. causes the lachrymal gland to secrete a copious flow of fluid. Severe irritation of the eye. HSB 2007 Rudolph . it secretes a watery fluid which washes the surface of the eye. as tears.
The fluid bathing the eye is drained through small canals at the inner corner of inner the eye. leading into the nasal cavity. 24) shows the location of the parts described. and the cornea covers the iris and pupil. HSB 2007 Rudolph . A full view of the eye (Fig. into a nasal duct. the white of the eye is the sclerotic coat.
Figure 24: The Eye HSB 2007 Rudolph .
The functions of the eye parts The conjunctiva admits light and is a protective covering against germs entering the eye. HSB 2007 Rudolph . The cornea.e. bends) light. admits and refracts (i.
The choroid coat carries blood vessels supplying the eye with oxygen and food. parts of the eye. and protects the more delicate. inner.The sclerotic coat gives. shape to the eyeball. HSB 2007 Rudolph . and its black pigment absorbs light. thus preventing any reflection which would interfere with.
The iris controls the amount of light to the retina by altering the size of the aperture (pupil of eye) to admit more or less light through the lens.The retina perceives light nays. HSB 2007 Rudolph . while the optic nerve conducts impulses from the retina to the brain.
it is held in place by the suspensory ligaments. The aqueous humour and the vitreous humour maintain the shape of the eye. HSB 2007 Rudolph .The crystalline lens focusses the rays of light on the retina. The ciliary muscles control the curvature of the lens.
The vitreous humour further refracts light. aiding the lens in forming an image on the retina. In fact. HSB 2007 Rudolph . the cornea and the vitreous humour play a greater part in refraction of light than does the lens.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . The yellow spot is the point of most acute vision. there is no vision. as there is no nervous tissue on the eyeball at that place.The blind spot occurs where the optic nerve enters the eyeball. and light is normally focused there. the best colour vision is obtained there.
Vision When the ciliary muscles are at rest. the lens bulges and becomes thicker. the eye is relaxed. and the eye is focussed on infinity. HSB 2007 Rudolph . and the eye focusses on near objects. When the ciliary muscles contract. the crystalline lens is thin. i. on distant object.e.
known as rods and cones. 25. HSB 2007 Rudolph . its effects are shown diagrammatically in Fig. (See Fig. The retina contains light-sensitive lightreceptors of two types. named from their shape.This alteration in the thickness of the crystalline lens is called accommodation. 27).
Figure 25: Accommodation of Crystalline Lens HSB 2007 Rudolph .
HSB 2007 Rudolph . Move the book towards and away from the eye. look at the cross in Fig.There are no rods or cones at the blind spot. 26 with the right eye only. To demonstrate the blind spot.
Figure 26: The Blind Spot Exercise + HSB 2007 Rudolph .
Figure 27: Retina Showing Rods and Cones HSB 2007 Rudolph .
Ciliary Muscle HSB 2007 Rudolph .Figure 28: Crystalline Lens.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . at the periphery of the retina.The spot will disappear when its image is on the blind spot. there are only rods. between these two places there is a mixture of rods and cones. At the yellow spot there are only cones.
a protein and vitamin A. while. a red-coloured chemical redsubstance. which is decomposed by light to form. HSB 2007 Rudolph . an impulse of energy is initiated in the rod for onward transmission by nerve fibres. after two changes. visual purple. at the same time.Rods are more sensitive to light than cones. Rods contain.
particularly at night or in dim light. vision is impaired. the cells of the retina synthesize visual purple from the protein and vitamin A. HSB 2007 Rudolph . Without an adequate supply of vitamin A.In the dark.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . the eye looks away from object so that the image is formed on the periphery of the retina. the eye does not look directly at the object as this would focus it on the yellow spot.The greater sensitivity of rods is evident when looking at an object at night. instead.
which are respectively sensitive to red. these are the three primary colours. and any other colour can be formed additively from a combination of them. HSB 2007 Rudolph .There are three types of cones. The interaction of the impulses from the different cones produces the range of colours interpreted by the eye. green and blue light.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . can only distinguish light and dark. who are totally colour-blind. such people fail to distinguish all the colours of the spectrum. and some even.Colour blindness occurs inindividuals who possess defects in their cones.
Colour blindness is inherited and is not a form of disease. stereoscopic vision permits distances to be judged. The possession of two eyes gives stereoscopic vision from the two images formed on the retinas when the brain interprets the impulses it receives. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
The optic nerve contains bundles of these sensory nerve fibres which transmit the impulses to the central nervous system. The optic nerves from each eyeball meet at the optic chiasma (see Fig. HSB 2007 Rudolph . produce impulses which are conveyed by the sensory nerve branches to the optic nerve.Interpretation of vision The rods and cones of the retina when stimulated by rays of light. 13).
e. HSB 2007 Rudolph . but the sensory nerve fibres from the temporal (i. and in front of the pituitary body. outside) area of each retina do not cross over each other.The optic chiasma is situated on the ventral side of the thalamus. The sensory nerve fibres from the nasal area of each retina cross over in the optic chiasma.
and end in tractsthe visual areas-of.The sensory nerve fibre leave the optic chiasma by the optic tracts. areasThe visual areas of the cerebrum interpret the impulses in conjunction with the association-areas² association-areas²of the cerebrum. the cerebrum.. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
The right cerebral hemisphere receives impulses from the nasal area of the left retina and from the temporal area of the right retina. Each cerebral hemisphere thus receives impulses from one half of the retina of each eyeball. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
HSB 2007 Rudolph . The optic lobes control movements of the eyeballs from an interpretation of the impulses received from the retinas. while the cerebral hemispheres interpret vision from coordination with other areas of the cerebrum and with the whole central nervous system.The optic tracts also have nerve fibres originating in the optic lobes.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . and similarly for the left side of the body being connected with the right cerebral hemisphere.The optic chiasma provides an example of cranial nerves crossing over each other so that the sensory organs of the right side of the body are connected with the left cerebral hemisphere.
Fig.Defects of the eye Defects of the eye are due to defects in structure and are not associated with illillhealth or disease. 28 shows the crystalline lens and ciliary muscle. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
so when viewing a near object the image comes to a focus behind the retina (see Fig. HSB 2007 Rudolph .Long sight The eyeball is too short for the crystalline lens. 29). the image approaches the retina. As the distance of the object increases.
near objects cannot. or converging.Distant objects can be brought into focus. LongLong-sighted persons use spectacles for reading or for viewing near objects. A convex. No lens is needed for distant objects. HSB 2007 Rudolph . lens is used when viewing near objects to correct the defect.
and may be focussed on it. so when viewing a distant object the image comes to a focus in front of the retina.Short sight The eyeball is too long for the crystalline lens. the image approaches the retina. HSB 2007 Rudolph . As the object distance decreases. (See Fig. 30).
Figure 29 and 30: Long Sight and Its Correction and Short Sight and Its Correction HSB 2007 Rudolph .
HSB 2007 Rudolph . so short-sighted shortpersons need spectacles for viewing all objects. or diverging. Different lenses are needed for near and for distant objects. lens is used to correct the defect. A concave. but distant objects cannot.Very near objects can be brought into focus.
horizontal lines on an object may be in focus. but vertical lines are not. HSB 2007 Rudolph . so an object is brought to a different focus in different planes. For example.Astigmatism The curvature of the cornea is not uniform.
which is a lens in one plane only. a cylindrical lens. This type of lens offsets the differences in curvature of the cornea in two planes. HSB 2007 Rudolph . and plain glass at right angles to it.This defect is corrected by a special lens.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . so a convex lens is used as in long sight. The eye cannot accommodate to view near objects.Lack of accommodation Elderly people lose the power of accommodation due to weakening of the ciliary muscles and to inelasticity of the crystalline lens.
A stimulus affects the nervous system to produce an automatic response such as the stimulus for the autonomic nervous system. The simple reflex arc leads to an involuntary action. HSB 2007 Rudolph .Involuntary actions The brain is not conscious of an involuntary action. which produces an involuntary visceral reflex.
Complex reflex arc Many actions are reflex and involuntary. HSB 2007 Rudolph . but at the same time the external stimulus initiates an impulse which is conducted to the brain by the spinal cord.
the simple reflex action withdraws the hand but the brain records the sensation of heat and pain. usually after a small period of time has elapsed since the reflex motor action.For example. HSB 2007 Rudolph . on touching a hot object.
level of the spinal cord can also. or lower. also- HSB 2007 Rudolph .initiate further reflex actions. A higher.The brain can thus inhibit the final stages of the reflex action.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . The circuits for such a reflex action are shown in Fig. 31.This sequence of events whereby the sensory impulse produces further motor action at other levels of the central nervous system forms a complex reflex action.
Additional voluntary response Sensation experienced Figure 31: Complex Reflex Action Additional reflex receptor effector Voluntary effector HSB 2007 Rudolph -------------- afferent efferent pathway .
and are almost entirely muscular actions. are connected to the cerebral cortex through the thalami. olfactory receptors. ear.Voluntary actions These are actions initiated by the motor centres of the cerebral cortex. All the important sense organs. taste buds. HSB 2007 Rudolph . such as the eye.
The sensations have then to be interpreted by the cerebral cortex. and coordinated by the thalami before action is taken. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
For example. and controlled by the cerebral cortex.Any subsequent muscular action is also coordinated with supporting action by the cerebellum. the cerebellum produces the additional muscular activity to ensure the body remains balanced. HSB 2007 Rudolph . throwing a ball is a voluntary action.
forms a pattern of behaviour. Unlearned behaviour. HSB 2007 Rudolph . which can vary from simple reflex actions to quite complicated activities. is hereditary.Behaviour A group of actions in response to a given stimulus. or stimuli. and has developed because of the survival value to the animal concerned.
and a swallowing reflex. it involves coordination of head movements. lip and tongue action.A complicated activity which is an example of unlearned behaviour is the sucking reflex of a new born baby. HSB 2007 Rudolph . Unlearned behaviour is never forgotten. Learned behaviour depends on the mental capabilities of the animal.
such as is shown by a rat finding its way through a series of obstacles to obtain food. HSB 2007 Rudolph . whereby the results of possible actions are considered before the action is taken.The simplest method of learning is by trial and error. A more advanced method of learning depends on reasoning.
This introduces the concepts of memory and habit.Once having successfully performed the series of actions. the next attempt is much easier. HSB 2007 Rudolph . which are essentially the same thing.
Memory is used for skill with words. With repeated use the behaviour pattern becomes easier to follow. and habit for skill with motor actions. with lack of use the behaviour pattern is forgotten. HSB 2007 Rudolph . Forgetting is the opposite of memory and habit.
Conditioned reflex One of the earliest experiments on conditioned reflexes was made by Pavlov. He rang a bell each time he fed a dog. and after several days of this treatment the bell was rung. the normal reflex response to the stimulus of food. the dog's salivary glands produced saliva. but no food was given. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
The stimulus of the bell had replaced the stimulus of food. and a conditioned reflex had been established. the dog had learned new associations and formed a habit. In this reflex action. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
After a period of absence of the bell stimulus, the dog forgot the conditioned reflex action, showing that learned behaviour is readily forgotten. Most animal behaviour consists of conditioned reflexes learnt mainly by trial and error.
HSB 2007 Rudolph
Man has the advantage of speech to communicate errors to others so that time is not wasted in trial and error as a method of learning.
Learning, whether with words or with actions, necessitates the formation of associations in the brain; it has been shown that repetition increases memory, which is the formation of associations.
Hence in any learning process which is based on both memory and understanding, it is best to work little and often, i.e. three separate work periods of one hour, spaced over a day or two producing a better memorisation than one work period of three hours.
the actual process of selecting the facts to produce a flow of relevant facts is called reasoning. and this ability varies from person to person.Reasoning Intelligence is connected with the ability to associate facts. HSB 2007 Rudolph .
is needed to perform a voluntary action.When facts for a necessary action are in opposition. HSB 2007 Rudolph . as it is called by psychologists. or intention. then an expression of will. Hunger is a primitive form of "drive". This requires a "drive".
HSB 2007 Rudolph .A more advanced "drive" is the desire for approval. Human beings usually learn faster when in competition with each other. usually present in most human beings. as a result of the desire for approval.
The highest activity of the brain is in abstract thought. coupled with the ability to reason. HSB 2007 Rudolph . differentiates man from all other animals. in which the facts are far removed from the immediate biological environment. The ability to retain experience. especially by recording the experience in speech or in writing.
Biological irritability Man is aware of his environment through his sense organs. HSB 2007 Rudolph . and these are connected to a very efficient and extremely complex nervous system. The stimuli from the environment produces a series of involuntary and voluntary actions which enable the individual to survive in his environment.
The highly developed brain allows the immediate actions to anticipate future changes in the environment. Man thus shows a better developed biological irritability than other animals. HSB 2007 Rudolph . and thus increases the chances of survival.
Describe the structure. 2. with the aid of labelled diagrams. Distinguish between a nerve and a nerve fibre. Make a fully labelled diagram of a neuron. How is the spinal cord protected? 5. afferent nerve fibre. efferent nerve fibre. 4. synapse. HSB 2007 Rudolph . ganglion. Give a brief account of paired spinal nerves.QUESTIONS 1. 3. of the spinal cord. Explain the following terms.
Make a labelled diagram showing the relation of the basic parts of the human brain. HSB 2007 Rudolph . What is a simple reflex arc? 7. 8. Describe the structure and functions of the medulla of the human brain.6.
11. using the heart as an example. d) association tracts. Give a brief description of the structure and functions of the sympathetic nervous system. HSB 2007 Rudolph .9. b) the hypothalamus. 10. Write short notes on: a) the thalami. c) the corpus callosum. Explain the method of antagonistic working of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
HSB 2007 Rudolph . 14. How is the size of the pupil altered? What useful purpose does this serve? Explain the functions of rods and cones in the retina. c) the sclerotic coat. e) lachrymal glands.12. Write short notes on: a) the choroid. d) eyelashes. 15. Describe the structure of the parts of the eye which focus an image on the retina. b) the retina. Explain the mechanism of focussing of the eye. What relation is there between vitamin A and these functions? 13.
d) perilymph. HSB 2007 Rudolph How in 19. 18. f) cochlea. What organs in the body help in maintaining his balance? Give a description of the following: a) Organ of Corti. . c) Eustachian tube. Describe the function of the optic chiasma. Name three defects of eyes and the manner which they can be corrected. b) utricle. A man balances on a piece of rope.16. e) oval window. does this assist in stereoscopic vision? 17.
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