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Nervous System

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created 4 years ago by nicolefraserr

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Explain the anatomical organization of the nervous system

The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and spinal cord.
The peripheral nervous system (PNS) consists of nerves and ganglia.

The sensory division of the peripheral nervous system detects stimuli and conducts action potentials to the central nervous system. The CNS interprets incoming action potentials and initiates action potentials that are conducted through the motor division to produce a response. The motor division is divided into the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system


Correlate basic functions with basic structures

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Compare and contrast the white and grey matter of the spinal cord.

Gray matter - consists of groups of neuron cell bodies and their dendrites, where there is very little myelin. (dorsal horn, ventral horn, lateral horn)

White matter - consists of bundles of parallel axons with their myelin sheaths, which are whitish in color. (Columns: ascending tracts (posterior column, lateral column), Descending tracts (anterior column))


Explain the role of the anterior and posterior roots.

They join together to form the spinal nerve


Describe ascending and descending pathways of the spinal cord

Ascending - transmit information via action potentials from the periphery to various parts of the brain. Sensory

Descending - controls different types of movements that the body makes. Motor, Autonomic, Regulatory for sensory and for motor control

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What plane of view is this



Explain the various mechanisms for how the central nervous system is protected

Cranium/Vertebral Cavity
Meninges - Dura Matter, Arachnoid, Pia Matter
Cerebrospinal Fluid
Blood-Brain Barrier


Compare and contrast cranial and spinal nerves

Cranial Nerves - 12 pairs, to/from head region, enter/exit cranium through foramen, Parasympathetic input to visceral organs

Spinal Nerves - 31 pairs, exit vertebral column between vertebra, combination of dorsal and ventral roots, axons regroup in poleax to form new nerves


List the components of the peripheral nervous system

Cranial Nerves and Spinal Nerves


Compare and contrast afferent neurons with efferent neurons

Afferent - transmit action potentials from the periphery to the CNS

Efferent - conducts action potentials from the CNS to effector organs, such as muscles and glands


Identify differences between the somatic motor efferent pathway and the autonomic efferent pathway

somatic - innervates skeletal muscle

autonomic - innervates cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, and glands.


Define a reflex = neural response that doesn’t require cognitive thought

persons finger touches a hot stove. the heat stimulates pain receptors in the skin, and action potentials are produced. sensory neurons conduct the action potentials to the spinal cord, where they synapse with interneurons. The interneurons, in turn, synapse with motor neurons in the spinal cord that conduct action potentials along their axons to flexor muscles in the upper limb. these muscles contract and pull the finger away from the stove.


Identify and describe two basic types of reflexes

Monosynaptic - one synapse. Stretch reflex.
Polysynaptic - multiple synapses. Ex) withdrawal reflex


Explain why humans (and other animals) have the tendon-stretch reflexes

important in maintaining posture and in coordinating muscular activity.


Explain why humans (and other animals) have withdrawal reflexes

important to remove a limb or another body part from a painful stimulus


Compare and contrast the two divisions of the autonomic nervous system

Sympathetic - Flight or Fight
- To respond to life threatening stress
- Most organs
- Utilizes Sympathetic Chain (of Ganglia)
- Neurotransmitters and Hormones
-Epinephrine (Adrenaline)
Parasympathetic - Rest and Digest
- For homeostasis
- Most organs
- Vagus n.
- Neurotransmitters


Discuss what is meant by pre- and post-ganglionic neurons.

Preganglionic - autonomic neurons whose cell bodies are located in the CNS and that synapse with postganglionic neurons

postganglionic - autonomic neurons whose cell bodies are located outside the CNS and that receive synaptic stimulation from preganglionic autonomic neurons


Define the parts of a generalized neuron

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Compare and contrast neurons and non-neuronal cells

neurons - very large
non-neuronal - much more numerous
---Satellite Cells
---Schwann Cells


Explain the primary difference between chemical and electrical signaling within the nervous system

Electrical - AP's

Chemical - Neurotransmitters


Compare and contrast graded potentials with action potentials

-small changes
-can sum to threshold
-either positive or negative
-either excitatory or inhibitory
-defined steps


Discuss the sequence of events that define an action potential

the resting membrane potential is set by the activity of the leak channels. on stimulation, chemically gated channels are opened and initiate local potentials. if sufficiently strong, the local potentials activate voltage-gated channels to initiate an action potential.


Explain mechanisms for an action potential to get from point A to point B

when a stimulus is applied, following a neurotransmitter activation of chemically gated channels Na+ channels open very briefly, and Na+ diffuses quickly into the cell. this movement of Na+, which is called a local current, causes the inside of the cell membrane to become positive, a change called depolarization. this results in a local potential. when the depolarization is strong enough, Na+ enters the cell so that the local potential reaches a threshold value. this threshold depolarization causes Na+ to open. K+ channels also open. as more Na+ enters the cell, depolarization occurs until a brief reversal of charge takes place across the membrane. the charge reversal causes Na+ channels to close and more K+ channels to open. Na+ stops entering the cell and K+ leaves the cell. this repolarizes the cell membrane to its resting membrane potential. at the end of depolarization, the charge on the cell membrane briefly becomes more negative than the resting membrane potential; this condition is called hyperpolarization


Understand that neurotransmitters provide the chemical signaling in the nervous system

no data


Describe the events at a synapse

1. action potentials arriving at the presynaptic terminal causes voltage-gated Ca++ channels to open
2. Ca++ diffuses into the cell and causes synaptic vesicles to release neurotransmitter molecules
3. Neurotransmitter molecules diffuse from the presynaptic terminal across the synaptic cleft
4. Neurotransmitter molecules combine with their receptor sites and cause chemically-gated Na+ channels to open. Na+ diffuses into the cell or out of the cell and cause a change in membrane potential.


Compare and contrast the events at the neuromuscular junction with neural synapses

1. at neuromuscular junction neurotransmitter is always acetylcholine.
2. at nerve synapses it is sometimes acetylcholine.
3. the neurotransmitter released by exocytosis in both by using calcium ions to move the vesicles of neurotransmitter to the pre-synaptic membrane.
4. the neurotransmitter travels by diffusion across the synapse in both.
5. both hav receptors to the neurotransmitter causing sodium to enter the post synaptic membrane, and also sodium enters the sarcolemma(cell membrane of muscle cell) causing depolirsation.
6. on cell membrane of muscle cells, there are T-tubules. there is none on post synaptic nerve. the depolarisation travels down the T-tubules to depolarise the sarcoplasmic recticulum, releasing calcuim, in order to bind to the troponin to move the tropomysin on the actin microfibres so the myosin head binds.
7. both of the post synpatic nerve and the sarcolemma have sodium/potasium pump to restore membrane polarization.
8. both of the synapse and neuro musclar junctions uses enzymes to break down the neurotransmitter in the synaptic cleft.

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