The nervous system

Terms Definitions
Axon
The portion of the neuron that conducts nerve signals
Brain stem
Portion of the brain that includes the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata
Cell body
Contains the nucleus
Central nervous system
Consists of the brain and spinal cord
Cerebellum
Maintains posture and balance, coordination, assists learning
Cerebrum
The largest portion of the brain in humans
Corpus callosum
A bridge of white matter that connects the two cerebral hemispheres
Dendrite
Part of the neuron that receives signals
Diencephalon
A region that encases the third ventricle . Contains the thalamus and hypothalamus
Gray matter
Contains cell bodies and short, nonmyelinated fibers
Hypothalamus
Helps maintain homeostasis by regulating hunger, sleep, thirst, body temperature, and water balance
Interneuron
Occur in the CNS
Limbic system
Involved in rage, pain, pleasure sorrow. Also learning and memory
Medulla oblongata
Regulates heartbeat, breathing, vomiting, coughing, sneezing, hiccuping and swallowing
Meninges
Protective membranes that line the brain and spinal cord
Nerve
Bundles of axons that travel together
Neurotransmitter
Chemical messengers that allow neurons to communicate with other cells and transmit information
Peripheral nervous system
Composed of nerves and ganglia
Reflex
Automatic involuntary responses to changes occurring inside or outside the body
Somatic system
Carries command away from the CNS to the skeletal muscles
Spinal nerve
Humans have 31 pairs.
Sympathetic division
Fight or flight; accelerates the heartbeat and dilates active muscles
Ventricle
Hollow, interconnecting cavities of the brain
White matter
Contains myelinated axons that run together in bundles called tracts
Alzheimer's disease
A disorder characterized by a gradual loss of reason that begins with memory lapses
Knee jerk reflex
Initiated by striking the patellar ligament just below the patella
Electroencephalogram
An instrument that records the electrical activity of the brain
Hydrocephalus
When the skull enlarges and the brain tissue between the ventricles and skull is compressed
Ankle jerk reflex
Initiated by tapping the Achilles' tendon
Paraplegia
Paralysis of the lower body
Parkinson's disease
Central nervous system Disorder
Quadriplegia
The entire trunk is paralyzed
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