Brain & Spinal Cord
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The Brain and Spinal Cord
In this lab, we will examine the brain and the spinal cord.
First we will examine the
brain, arguably the most complex organ of the body.
The brain acts as the primary
control center for the body. If the brain ceases to work, the body ceases to function,
regardless of the condition of the rest of the bodily organs.
Next, we will examine the
spinal cord within its housing, the vertebral column, and the nerves which are attached
to it, extending into the periphery of the body.
Anatomy of the Brain
The brain can be divided into several regions, the largest of which is the cerebrum
The cerebrum is divided into right and left hemispheres by the longitudinal
surface of the cerebrum is not smooth, but convoluted into small hills and valleys, called
, sing.) and sulci (sulcus
, sing.), respectively.
The other two major
components of the human brain are the cerbellum
, also split into two hemispheres, and
the brain stem
The brain stem, in turn, can be divided into the mesencephalon
midbrain), the pons
, and the medulla
Several new regions are revealed when the brain is looked at in mid-sagittal
Here, it is possible to see that the cerebral hemispheres are wrapped around
region of the brain, which serves as the structural and functional link
between the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the components of the brain stem.
view it is also possible to see that the brain is not a solid mass of tissue, but actually
contains several open chambers, called the ventricles.
In a mid-sagittal section only the
are visible; the lateral
are located para-sagittally.
These ventricles are filled with cerebrospinal