Lecture March 5 - April 7

Lecture March 5 - April 7 - Functions of the Nervous System...

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Functions of the Nervous System Purposes o Regulates basic physiological processes (heart beat, lungs going in and out, digestion, skin temperature, blood pressure We are not aware of the nervous system until something goes wrong. i.e. holding your breath. o Allows for processing of sensory information Vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell o Controls Movement Voluntary and involuntary movement Voluntary (conscious. Moving our fingers and toes.) Involuntary (heartbeat, breathing, blood pressure) o Regulates Emotional and Motivational Reactions Emotions – placing meaning on stimuli Motivation – internal drives that control behavior Hunger, thirst, sleepiness, attraction, boredom Source of learning and memory processes Both results in physical changes to nervous system Dendrite growth Nervous System Unit Organization o Structure of the nervous system Central (NCS) and peripheral (PNS) o Cells of the Nervous System Glial cells and neurons o Communication between Neurons Neurotransmitters and hormones Components of the Nervous System CNS (central nervous system) o Brain and spinal cord will be discussed later o Brain – associated with internal regulation, intellect, reason, sensory integration and consciousness o Spinal cord acts as a pathway to the brain Without the spinal cord, you wouldn’t feel touch Transmits the feeling of the voluntary muscles Carries touch information to the brain Carries motor information away from the brain Somatic Nervous System Somatic – brings information to and away from the CNS (primary pathway) o Carries two types of information Afferent and Efferent
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o Sensory information (Afferent) – Brings information from the environment (vision, hearing. ..) to CNS Allows for processing of external sensations (input) o Motor information (efferent) – Takes motor information to the voluntary muscles allowing for movement (output) As we move – substance called acetylcholine is being released which causes specific contractions – thus allowing for movement. Contains two divisions o Spinal nerves – enter through spinal cord Carries tactile information for areas below the neck – associated with touch (pain, temperature) Carries motor information from spinal cord to muscles below neck One to one correspondence with parts of body o Cranial nerves – enters through brain through a structure called the thalamus o All other sensory information besides tactile below the neck, vision, hearing, taste, smell, touch, above the neck . March 10, 2008 Somatic Nervous System Implications for cognition o Incoming (afferent or sensory) pathway for all external sensory information o Output (efferent or motor) pathway from the Central Nervous System to voluntary muscles o Allows us to receive and act on sensory information o Not where integration and “decision” occurs, represents basic input and output channels Autonomic Nervous System
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Lecture March 5 - April 7 - Functions of the Nervous System...

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