LectureNotes8-14

LectureNotes8-14 - Lectur e 8: Organization of th e Nervous...

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Lecture 8: Organization of the Nervous System Reading: chapter 5: you are responsible for everything in this chapter except the section on protection and nourishment of the brain . For all the other topics, this lecture provides an overview. Some topics will be covered in greater depth during lectures 12-14. If you read chap 5 now, you will be well prepared for those lectures. Also, please read chap 7, pgs 237-245, on the autonomic nervous system (pgs 233-240 if using 6 th edition; pgs 236-245 if using 5 th edition). General Organization The nervous system can be broadly divided into two major subdivisions, each of which can be further subdivided into a collection of component systems that work together to carry out specific functions. Central Nervous System (CNS) The central nervous system is composed of the brain and the spinal cord. The brain is the portion of the CNS enclosed within the skull, while the spinal cord is that portion of the CNS enclosed within the vertebral column. Brain The brain can be grossly subdivided into the forebrain, the brainstem and the cerebellum Forebrain Cerebrum is the portion of the CNS largely responsible for the higher cognitive, sensory and motor functions of the brain. Cerebral Cortex The outer, highly folded surface of the cerebrum. This is a layered structure covering nearly the entire brain. Much of higher brain function takes place here. *Functional localization *Sensory/motor homunculus Basal Ganglia A set of large nuclei lying in the center of the brain. These structures are highly interconnected with the cerebral cortex and the thalamus Thalamus A large nucleus, composed of many smaller subnuclei, lying in the center of the brain just posterior to the Basal Ganglia. This structure functions cooperatively with and is highly connected to the cerebral cortex Limbic System A collection of nuclei, interconnected to the thalamus and cerebral cortex, that play a key role in learning, memory and emotions Brainstem This is the evolutionarily older (so-called reptilian) portion of the CNS. It is essential for the maintenance of life and carries out many autonomic functions Midbrain The upper portion of the brainstem. Involved in numerous functions including regulation of the sleep-waking cycle and the maintenance of arousal Pons The middle portion of the brainstem. Involved in numerous functions and provides the anatomical link between the cerebrum and the cerebellum Medulla Oblongata The lower portion of the brainstem continuous with the spinal cord. Involved in numerous functions and essential in the control of respiration and cardiac function. Cerebellum Large neural lobe located on the lower posterior region of the brain. The cerebellum is also involved in numerous functions, and is particularly important in the control of motor coordination. Heavily interconnected with the cerebrum, particularly the cerebral cortex. Cerebellar Cortex
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LectureNotes8-14 - Lectur e 8: Organization of th e Nervous...

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