recitation notes

Recitation notes - Additional details from recitation from Neuroanatomy What does the nervous system do My answers/expected answers sensory

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Additional details from recitation from 1/23/2008 Neuroanatomy What does the nervous system do? My answers/expected answers sensory information (visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, visceral info from soft organs) controls movement "thinks" controls hormones More generally, the nervous system gathers information, filters and processes that information, and controls behavior. Why study neuroanatomy? Because specifics in the form can tell us about function. General organization of the Nervous System Brain, spinal cord Peripheral nerves exit the spinal cord at levels appropriate for their targets in the body. For example, the nerves innervating your big toe exit the spinal cord in your lower back, not up at the back of the neck; and you wouldn't expect visual information to be carried on a nerve in the leg - it makes no sense to have a nerve come from the eyes, travel through the body, enter the spinal cord & have that information have to travel the length of the spinal cord to get processed. Spinal Cord - collects input (sensory information) - contains cell bodies of motor neurons (output): - somatic - to skeletal muscles Spinal reflexes are mediated completely within the cord, connecting the incoming sensory neurons with the outgoing motor neurons. This makes reflexes fast, and means that you don't need a cortex, or any other parts of the brain to react to, for example, painful stimuli. I had learned this as an undergraduate, but I guess I didn't truly appreciate it until working in a lab. At the time, I had to harvest cells from the spinal cords of lampreys, which are a species of jawless fish that look an awful lot like eels. I learned to do the dissection, and was performing my first dissection on my own, late at night. To do this, I had to cut the heads off of young lampreys, then pin them down on a dissecting tray. When I stuck the pins in, the tail of the lamprey contracted, and wrapped around my finger. I screamed - I was very freaked out - and had to consciously remind myself that this was just a reflex of the lamprey, which automatically swims away from anything that puntures its skin, and that the thing wasn't still alive, and about to exact its revenge on me, even though I had cut its head off.
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Brain Collects information from spinal cord & cranial nerves (these carry special sensory information from all the sensory organs in your head, i.e. eyes, ears, nose, tongue, vestibular organs (inner ear, these tell you which way is up & down, and makes you seasick if its signals don't match the ones coming from your eyes) Processes information - leading to consciousness & more complex responses than can be handled by reflexes Organizes behavior as output (behavior in this case can mean overt behavior like walking, talking, driving, etc., but also includes hormonal responses, etc., that are unconsciously mediated) So, we can think of the brain as sitting at the top of a hierarchy of information: But the brain is more complex than this, we don't want to "black-box" it too much, or neuroscientists
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course NROSCI 0081 taught by Professor Armandosignore during the Spring '08 term at Pittsburgh.

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Recitation notes - Additional details from recitation from Neuroanatomy What does the nervous system do My answers/expected answers sensory

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