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Master system for control and communication Communicates with electrical signals called nerve impulses 3 major functions: Sensoryreceptors monitor changes inside & outside the body Integrationprocesses and interprets sensory input and decides what action needs
to be taken Motoractivates muscles or glands

The bodys other control system is the endocrine system Communicates by chemical messengers called hormones Nervous system acts rapidly Endocrine system more slowly
Structural classification of the nervous system: 1. Central nervous system (CNS)brain and spinal cord

Located in dorsal body cavity Center for integration and command

2. Peripheral nervous system (PNS)

Nerves extending to and from the spinal cord & brain Spinal nerves connect to the spinal cord Cranial nerves connect directly to the brain Functional classification of the PNS nerves: Sensory (afferent) divisionbring impulses from various sensory receptors into the

Somatic sensory fibers bring impulses from skin, skeletal muscles & joints Visceral sensory fibers bring impulses from internal organs Motor (efferent) divisioncarries impulses from the CNS out to effector organs,
which are muscles and glands

Somatic nervous system sends voluntary impulses to skeletal muscleswe

consciously control these

Autonomic nervous system sends involuntary impulses to smooth muscle,

cardiac muscle & glandsnot under our conscious control &may not even notice them 2 divisions are the sympathetic and the parasympathetic

Nervous tissue consists of 2 types of cells: Neurons Supporting cells

Supporting cells of the CNS are called neuroglia (or just glia)
Support, protect and insulate the neurons Types of CNS neuroglia: Astrocytesstar-shaped cells that support neurons and anchor them to capillaries;
also help regulate what substances can leave the blood & enter brain cells Microgliaphagocytic clean-up cells

Ependymal cellsline cavities in brain & spinal cord; produce & help circulate
cerebrospinal fluid

Oligodendrocytes produce myelin sheaths for CNS axons Glial cells do not generate or transmit nerve impulses Neuroglia do have the ability to divide (neurons do not) In the PNS, there are 2 types of supporting cells: Satellite cells act as cushioning cells in clusters of neurons outside the CNS Schwann cells myelinate PNS axons Neurons (nerve cells) are highly specialized to generate and conduct nerve impulses Cell bodymain central part of the cell with the nucleus and most of the organelles Rough ER in neurons is called Nissl substance and is present in large amounts Neurofibrils (intermediate filaments) help maintain cell shape Neurons have extensions of the cell body called processes or fibers Length of these can be anywhere from microscopic up to several feet long Processes that bring impulses toward the cell body are called dendrites Processes that conduct impulses away from the cell body are called axons

A neuron may have a number of dendrites but only one axon Axons travel to the muscle, gland, or neuron they are supposed to communicate with As they get very near, they divide into small branches called axon terminals Each axon terminal has a tiny swelling called a synaptic end bulb at its tip Neurotransmitters are chemicals released from the synaptic end bulbs Acetylcholine is one neurotransmitter The synaptic end bulb does not quite touch the cell it communicates with There is a microscopic gap called the synaptic cleft The neurotransmitter diffuses across the gap to reach a muscle cell, a gland, or
another neuron

Many axons are covered by a whitish wrapping called the myelin sheath This is formed by neuroglia Schwann cells in the PNS
between Schwann cells Gaps are called nodes of Ranvier

Individual Schwann cells wrap around the axon, with tiny gaps of bare axon

Oligodendrocytes send out processes to myelinate CNS axons Terms: Nucleuscluster of nerve cell bodies in the CNS Ganglioncluster of nerve cell bodies in the PNS Tractbundle of nerve fibers running together in the CNS Nervebundle of nerve fibers running together in the PNS In the CNS: White matterdense collections of myelinated fibers Gray matterunmyelinated fibers and nerve cell bodies Functional classification of neurons classifies them according to the direction their
nerve impulses travel:

Sensory (afferent) neuronscarry impulses from sensory receptors into the CNS Motor (efferent) neuronscarry impulses from the CNS out to effectors Association neurons (interneurons)connect motor and sensory neurons

Structural classification of neurons is based on the number of processes Multipolar neuronsone axon and several dendritesmost common typeall
motor & association neurons

Bipolar neuronsone axon and one dendritefound only in some special sense
organs Unipolar neuronssingle process that dividesmost are sensory neurons

Two major properties of neurons: Irritabilityability to respond to a stimulus and convert it to a nerve impulse Conductivityability to transmit the impulse to other neurons, muscles, or glands Conditions in a resting neuron: Membrane is polarizednegative on inside edge; positive outside edge Resting conditions change as the neuron responds to a stimulus Different neurons respond to different stimuli When the proper stimulus arrives, the neuron opens channels for Na+ Due to the concentration gradient and the charge gradient, Na+ ions rush into the cell,
changing the net charge from negative to positive This is depolarization

Depolarization causes the neuron to generate and conduct a nerve action potential
(also called a nerve impulse) Immediately after entry of Na+ ions and depolarization, the neurons plasma membrane becomes highly permeable to K+ ions & impermeable to Na+ ions Due to the K+ concentration gradient, K+ ions rush out, removing enough positive charges so that the cell becomes negative inside again This is repolarization

The Na+/K+ pump (an active transport mechanism) quickly returns the K+ ions to the
inside of the cell and the Na+ ions to the outside These events most often begin in the dendrite, spread across the nerve cell body, and then continue down the axon to the axon terminals

Conduction down the axon is also called propagation of the nerve impulse Conduction down the axon is much faster if the axon is myelinated

When the action potential reaches the axon terminals, synaptic vesicles containing
neurotransmitter release the chemical into the synaptic cleft

Some neurons communicate with muscles and glands Neuromuscular junction is where communication with muscles occurs Neuroglandular junction is where communication with glands occurs Many neurons communicate with other neurons This communication occurs at a synapse Neurotransmitter released from axon terminals diffuses across the synaptic cleft and
binds to receptors on the dendrite of the second neuron

This causes generation of a nerve impulse in the next neuron

SYNAPSE Similar to neuromuscular junction in many ways

Reflexesrapid involuntary responses to stimuli The pathway of a reflex is called a reflex arc Somatic reflexes stimulate skeletal muscles Autonomic reflexes regulate activity of smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and glands Some are noticed, some not Parts of a reflex arc: Sensory receptorresponds to stimulus Sensory neuronconducts impulse to CNS Integrating centerbrain or spinal cord Motor neuronconducts impulse to muscle or gland Effectormuscle or gland which responds Common reflexes: Patellar reflextap tendon of quadriceps muscle just below the knee, which causes
the quadriceps to contract Flexor reflexjerks arm or leg away from a painful stimulus These are 2 examples of spinal reflexes, which are integrated in the spinal cord without involvement of the brain (spinal reflexes)

Cranial reflexes are integrated in the brain Constriction of the pupil when exposed to bright light Blinking the eye when an object approaches it

Reflexes are often used to evaluate the condition of the nervous system Reflexes that are overactive, underactive, or absent indicate a disorder of the nervous
system CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM Brain and Spinal Cord

The brain is made of 4 major areas: Cerebrum Diencephalon Brain stem Cerebellum
CEREBRUM The cerebrum is the largest part of the human brain Its outer surface develops ridges with grooves in between

Folds are called gyri Grooves are called sulci if shallow; fissures if deep The longitudinal fissure separates the cerebrum into 2 halves called hemispheres Each cerebral hemisphere is divided into 4 lobes, which are named for the bones that
cover them
Frontal Parietal Temporal Occipital

The central sulcus separates the frontal lobes from the parietal lobes The outer surface of the cerebrum is made of a thin layer of gray matter This layer is called the cerebral cortex Functions of the cerebral cortex: Speech Memory Logic

Emotional response Consciousness Interpretation of sensation Voluntary movement Specific regions of the cortex control specific functions The primary somatic sensory area is located in the parietal lobe, just posterior to the
central sulcus Special senses send impulses to specific areas also:

Visionoccipital lobe Tasteparietal lobe Smelltemporal lobe Hearingtemporal lobe The primary motor area is located in the frontal lobe just anterior to the central sulcus By cranial or spinal nerves, these motor neurons send impulses to skeletal muscles Under the cerebral cortex is the cerebral white matter This consists of tracts carrying impulses to and from the cortex A large tract called the corpus callosum connects the hemispheres with each other

The diencephalon is mostly made up of 2 major structures: Thalamus Hypothalamus The thalamus is a relay station for sensory impulses It directs these impulses to the proper part of the cerebral cortex The thalamus also gives some crude interpretation of sensory input The hypothalamus: Major role in regulating homeostasis Body temperature, water balance, metabolism, etc. Center for many emotions Important part of the limbic system, also known as the emotional brain

Regulates the pituitary gland


The brain stem has 3 regions: Midbrain Most superior region of brain stem Center of reflexes involved with vision & hearing Conveys ascending & descending impulses Pons Middle region of brain stem Ascending and descending fibers Centers involved in breathing Medulla oblongata Most inferior region of brain stem Merges into the spinal cord Many nuclei that regulate basic life functions such as heart rate, breathing, blood
pressure, swallowing, etc. Ascending & descending tracts

Reticular formation Made up of bits of gray matter connected by white matter in brain stem regions
and some other brain parts

Involved in motor control of internal organs Reticular activating system is a part of the reticular formation involved in
consciousness and waking/sleeping

Projects from under occipital lobe of cerebrum Outer cortex of gray matter with white matter underneath Center for balance and equilibrium Allows smooth, coordinated body movements y skeletal muscles Input from:

Inner ear Eye Skeletal muscles Tendons Protection of the CNS Important because neurons are easily injured and cannot be replaced Bone of skull & vertebral column surrounds brain & spinal cord Membrane coverings called meninges form strong outer wrappings Cerebrospinal fluid cushions CNS structures Blood-brain barrier protects from harmful substances in blood Meninges These are 3 protective connective tissue wrappings around the brain which also
extend down to surround the spinal cord Outermost is the dura matervery tough protective layer Middle layer is the arachnoidlots of visible fibers that resemble spider web

Delicate pia mater clings tightly to the outer surface of the brain
Between the pia & the arachnoid is the subarachnoid space

Between arachnoid and dura is the subdural space In the area of the spinal cord, the space just outside the dura mater is the epidural

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Watery fluid similar to blood plasma Continuously formed by drawing components from blood Circulates around brain & spinal cord in the subarachnoid space and reabsorbed Cushions brain & spinal cord Blood-brain barrier Neurons are delicate and would be unable to function if fluctuations of ion levels,
hormone levels, nutrients, etc. occur Many substances that easily diffuse from blood to tissues in other parts of the body are not allowed to do so in the brain Capillaries in the brain are much less permeable than elsewhere in the body Astrocytes may contribute also

Spinal cord Downward continuation of the brain stem Conduction pathway to and from the brain Reflex center for spinal reflexes Extends downward from the foramen magnum (where it enters the skull) to the 1st
or 2nd lumbar vertebraabout 17 inches

Cushioned and protected by meningesthe same 3 layers that enclose the brain 31 pairs of spinal nerves arise from the cord Most of these nerves immediately leave the vertebral canal and head toward the areas
of the body they serve

However, the nerves at the lower end of the cord travel for some distance in the
vertebral canal before exiting

These are known as the cauda equina because they resemble a horses tail The gray matter of the spinal cord resembles a letter H or a butterfly It is surrounded by white matter, which is composed of myelinated fiber tracts Each tract contains axons traveling to the same destination Ascending tracts carry sensory input up to the brain Descending tracts carry motor impulses to muscles and glands

Consists of nerves and scattered groups of nerve cell bodies called ganglia A nerve is a bundle of axons found outside the CNS Since many of the axons are myelinated, nerves have a white color Several connective tissue wrappings are associated with a nerve Each fiber within the nerve is wrapped in delicate endoneurium Bundles of fibers called fascicles are wrapped in perineurium
The entire nerve is wrapped in epineurium Nerves are classified according to the direction in which they conduct impulses

Sensory (afferent) nerves conduct impulses into the CNS Motor (efferent) nerves conduct impulses from the CNS to muscles or glands

Many nerves are mixed nervessome of the fibers are sensory and some are motor
within the same nerve

Some of the peripheral nerves are spinal nerves, which means they are connected to
the spinal cord We also have 12 pairs of cranial nerves, which connect directly to the brain Most of the cranial nerves serve parts of the head, neck, or upper shoulder

One exception is the vagus nerve, which travels down the neck to reach organs in the
chest and abdomen

Most of the cranial nerves connect to some part of the brain stem Cranial nerves are identified by a name and a Roman numeral Most of them are mixedboth motor and sensory For some, the sensory function is only proprioceptionour awareness of where our
body parts are and whether they are moving Three cranial nerves are sensory only:

Olfactory Optic Vestibulocochlear

I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X NAME Olfactory Optic Oculomotor Trochlear Trigeminal Abducens Facial Vestibulocochlear Glossopharyngeal Vagus SENSORY Smell Vision Proprioception Proprioception Sensation in much of face & mouth; proprioception Proprioception Taste & proprioception Hearing & equilibrium Taste, regulation of blood pressure, proprioception Sensation from many internal organs MOTOR ----------------------Movement of eyelid & eyeball; adjustments of iris & pupil Movement of eyeball Chewing Movement of eyeball Facial expression; secretion of saliva & tears ----------Secretion of saliva Supplies many internal organs of the thoracic & abdominal cavities; contraction of smooth muscle; digestive secretion, etc.


Spinal accessory Hypoglossal

Proprioception Proprioception

Swallowing & movements of head Movement of tongue for speech & swallowing

The 31 pairs of spinal nerves are connected to the spinal cord at 2 points: The dorsal root carries sensory fibers The ventral root carries motor fibers The 2 roots unite to form a spinal nerve, so all spinal nerves are mixed nerves Each spinal nerve exits from the vertebral canal and immediately divides into four

Two important branches are the dorsal rami and the ventral rami Dorsal rami go to the back parts of the trunk Ventral rami go to the front parts of the trunk and to the arms and legs Some ventral rami enter into networks of nerves called plexuses; others go straight to
the body parts they serve One branch of each spinal nerve carries autonomic impulses


This is the division of the peripheral nervous system that generates and conducts
involuntary impulses to smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and glands

These impulses travel on axons of autonomic motor neurons Visceral sensory impulses report on conditions in internal organs The ANS is essential to homeostasis, since it constantly monitors & adjusts functions
such as heart rate, blood pressure, activity in digestive organs, etc.

The motor portion of the autonomic nervous system has 2 divisions The sympathetic division prepares the body for physical activity in several ways,
one of which is encouraging the production of extra ATP The parasympathetic division conserves energy and encourages us to perform housekeeping chores such as digestion, filtering the blood, etc.

Most body organs served by the autonomic nervous system receive fibers from both
divisionssympathetic and parasympathetic

The 2 divisions have opposite effectsif one of them speeds up or increases

something, the other slows it down or decreases it

The sympathetic division is often called the fight-or-fight system Its effects predominate when we are very angry, frightened, or engaged in strenuous
physical activity Sympathetic impulses result in:

Increased rate & force of heartbeat Deeper, faster breathing Dilation of blood vessels in skeletal muscle, heart, and lungs Less blood flowing through skin and digestive organs The parasympathetic division is most active when the body is at rest It is sometimes called the resting-and-digesting system Use of body energy is lower and the heart can take it easy and come as close to resting
as it ever gets to do

If food is present in the digestive tract, this is the ideal condition for digestion Most of the time, neither system is completely in control A balance is maintained, with some sympathetic output and some parasympathetic If one or the other needs to predominate, the balance can quickly be shifted