IPHY 3430 – Human Physiology
REVIEW TOPICS & STUDY QUESTIONS – Ch. 5:
Central Nervous System
1. The nervous system consists of two classes of cells:
neurons and neuroglia.
electrical signals and communicate information via chemical messengers.
Neuroglia support and
protect the neurons in various ways.
There are two major divisions of the nervous system:
central (CNS) and peripheral (PNS) nervous systems.
The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord
and is responsible for processing and integration of peripheral sensory information, planning
appropriate responses to incoming input, executing higher order functions, regulation of autonomic
function, and contributing to the maintenance of homeostasis.
The peripheral nervous system (PNS)
receives and transmits sensory input to the CNS and relays central commands to effector tissues
outside of the CNS.
The efferent division of the PNS consists of the somatic nervous system which
innervates skeletal muscle and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which regulates involuntary
physiological processes (heart rate, digestive function, etc.).
The ANS is further subdivided into the
sympathetic (“fight-or-flight”) and parasympathetic (“rest-and-digest”) nervous systems.
2. The skull and vertebral column, three meningeal layers, blood-brain barrier and cerebrospinal fluid
(CSF) provide physical protection and limit transport of blood-borne substances into the CNS.
synthesized in the choroids plexuses that line the ventricles of the brain, circulates through the
cerebral ventricular system, and drains across microvilli located in arachnoid granulations into the
3. The brain is highly organized with regard to function.
The cerebral cortex is divided into four lobes.
Specific areas of the cortex are involved with processing sensory information (visual, auditory,
olfactory, gustatory, somatic, and proprioceptive inputs) and initiating, planning, and modulating motor
Many regions of the cerebral cortex, including the primary motor and somatosensory cortexes
are mapped in a precise manner.
These topographic maps in the cerebrum exist for visual, auditory,
olfactory, and somatic inputs and correspond to distinct body parts.
Other parts of the cerebrum,
such as the premotor cortex and supplemental motor area, are involved in initiating, planning, and
modulating motor behavior.
Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas are responsible for language
comprehension and expression.
The Basal Nuclei receive feedback related to motor plans and send
output that fine-tunes movement.
Parkinson’s Disease affects dopamine signaling within the Basal
The limbic system and prefrontal cortex are involved in memory, behavioral modification,
personality development, and emotional responses.
4. The thalamus and hypothalamus are located in the diencephalon, inferior to the cerebrum.