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Unit 1D: The Central Nervous System

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1 Unit 1D: The Central Nervous System

2 Protective Tissues The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord
The CNS is surrounded by layers of protective tissue known as the meninges. Swelling of the meninges due to bacterial or viral infection is known as meningitis.

3 CSF and the Ventricles The brain has a series of internal chambers that make and distribute CSF. They are known as the ventricles. CSF is made from blood in the ventricles and resembles blood plasma The CSF: Supports weight of brain (makes it neutrally buoyant) Cushions it (protects from injury) Maintains chemical balance If there is a blockage to the draining of the CSF, brain damage can result

4 Spinal cord Long cable of axons that connects the brain to the peripheral nervous system. Runs down the inside of the vertebral column Size: As thick as your pinkie finger Only 2/3 the length of the vertebral column (17-18in) Function Carries information through motor neurons from brain to muscles and glands Carries information through sensory neurons from sense organs to brain Creates some reflexes

5 Spinal Nerves (PNS) Nerves branch off of the spinal cord at each vertebral joint. These nerves follow blood vessels and carry sensory and motor neuron axons The extent of damage from injury can be determined by location of injury

6 Hindbrain The hindbrain is responsible for life-saving functions common to all vertebrates. Major areas: Cerebellum Receives visual, auditory, vestibular and somatosensory information and coordinates it. Works to make muscle movement smooth and coordinated.

7 Hindbrain (cont) Pons Involved in sleep, respiration, swallowing, bladder control, hearing, equilibrium, taste, eye movement, facial expressions, facial sensation, and posture Also controls switch from inhalation to exhalation Damage to this area can lead to “locked-in syndrome” Aware and awake but unable to communicate!

8 Hindbrain (cont) Medulla
Regulates vital functions such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, etc. It is the brain’s connection to the spinal cord.

9 Midbrain Functions: primary processing of auditory and visual information (before it is passed to thalamus and cortex) In lower vertebrates, these are the only processing areas. Motor functions Species-typical behaviors Sleep/arousal

10 Forebrain Thalamus Major relay center of information coming into the brain from the senses Regulates states of sleeping and wakefulness

11 Forebrain Hypothalamus
rests below the thalamus and above the pituitary It is the link between the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system It is responsible for maintaining homeostasis hunger, thirst, body temp, sleep

12 Forebrain Basal Ganglia Involved in movement selection and initiation
Allows muscles to relax in motion

13 Forebrain Amygdala Hippocampus
Responsible for fear, aggression, emotion Hippocampus Responsible for formation of long-term memories

14 Forebrain Cerebrum: Cerebral Cortex
Largest part of human brain (most evolved) Where conscious “thinking” takes place Cerebral Cortex Outer 3mm of cerebrum (surface area = 2.5ft2) Highly convoluted (2/3 of area is in folds) Mostly made of cell bodies of neurons (grey matter) The rest of the cerebrum is made of the myelinated axons of these neurons and the fat makes this area look white - “white matter”

15 Regions of the Cortex In all cases:
the “primary cortex” area for a sense receives input directly from sense organs Damage causes loss of sense The “association areas” get input from primary cortex areas and process it. Also where memories tied to those senses are stored. Damage causes loss of understanding With the exception of taste and smell, the cortex receives information from the contralateral side of the body

16 Regions of the Cortex Visual Cortex and Association Area
Sight Auditory Cortex and Association Area Sound Motor Cortex and Prefrontal Cortex (Motor Assoc. Area) Controls movement and planning for movement Specific areas control specific body parts.

17 Regions of the Cortex Somatosensory Cortex and Association Area
Strip that transects the cerebrum is divided into areas that respond to specific body parts (touch, feel, etc.) The more input and processing required for a region, the more area it is given Tongue/mouth and thumb/hand get most

18 Regions of the Cortex The Cerebral Cortex is often divided in lobes based upon the bones on top of the areas: Frontal lobe Higher thinking, morality, decision making Parietal Lobe Integrates sensory info and determines spatial sense and navigation Temporal Lobe Auditory and visual processing, speech and long-term memory Occipital Lobe Vision and dreams

19 Regions of the Cortex Some tasks are shared equally by the hemispheres, and some tasks are lateralized. Each hemisphere has a majority of responsibility for the following: Left: Sequence Analysis Details Talking Understanding Reading Writing Right Synthesis Perceiving shape and size Read maps Building objects Creativity The Corpus Callosum bridges the gap between the two hemispheres.

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