Axia College Material
Structures of the Nervous System
This activity will increase your understanding of the different structures of the nervous system and
brain. During the Web activity, you will view a variety of structures of the brain and nervous
system and label each with the appropriate term. You will use this document to write a description
for the terms you used in the activity.
As you conduct the Structures of the Nervous System activity, follow along with this Word
document and fill in the descriptions of those terms you used to label the structures. All of the
terms in the activity are listed here, but you only need to provide descriptions for those you used.
Central nervous system is made up of two parts the brain and the spinal cord.
system functions consist of coordinating the behavior involving diverse parts of the human body.
Working in collaboration with the peripheral nervous system, central nervous system plays a
fundamental role in controlling the activities in assorted multicellular organisms (Naik, 2010,
The cell body (soma) is the unit of the neuron. It makes all the proteins for the dendrites, axons
and synaptic terminals and contains specific organelles such as the mitochondria, Golgi
apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum, secretory granules, ribosomes and polysomes to provide
energy and make the parts, as well as a production line to assemble the parts into completed
products (Cardoso, PhD, 2010, para 1).
Peripheral nervous system can be found outside the skull and spine of the human body. The
Peripheral Nervous System consists of 31 pairs of Spinal Nerves that join the spinal cord with the
rest of the body and 12 pairs of Cranial Nerves, which unite the brain with crucial organs of the
human body. The nerves of peripheral nervous system attach the CNS to muscles, glands, blood
vessels and all the organs of the body counting the sense organs. The function of this nervous
system is to carry messages from the brain to all the other parts of the body, and back from these
parts to the brain and the spinal cord (Bose, 2010, para 1-3).
The Dendrites spread away in treelike manner and provide as the foremost equipment for getting
signals from other nerve cells. The Dendrites act as an "antennae" of the neuron and are enclosed
by thousands of synapses. The dendritic membrane under the synapse (the post-synaptic
membrane) has several specific protein molecules called receptors that notice the
neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft. A nerve cell can have various dendrites, which may branch
out countless times, their exterior is irregular and covered in dendritic spines which are where the
synaptic input links are made (Cardoso, PhD, 2010, para 15).