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nervous system

organ system responsible for producing, controlling, and guiding our actions, thoughts, and responses to the world around us

peripheral nervous system (PNS)

consists of the nerves which directly connect to the skin, muscles, blood vessels, and organs of the body

somatic nervous system

connects the muscle and connective tissue to the skeleton and our skin; responsible for voluntary movements and physical sensations we experience

afferent nerves

conduct sensory information towards nervous system

efferent nerves

generate motor movements; go away from the nervous system

autonomic nervous system

responsible for sensory and motor functions outside our voluntary control; made of two and neither is completely inactive but may overshadow one or the other


fight of flight; prepares us for the expenditure of energy; causes rise in blood flow to the skeletal muscles, increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate and decrease on blood flow to tissues on surface and gastrointestinal tract


involved in acquiring and storing energy and restoration of the body

central nervous system (CNS)

those that are encased in bone for protection, namely the brain and spinal cord


three protective layers of membranes within the CNS; these help to isolate the CNS from the rest of the body and protect it from possible infection

outer dura mater

"hard mother", a tough plastic like covering

arachnoid membrane

acts lie cushioning and has spider web-like appearance

inner pia mater

"soft mother", a thin, relatively fragile covering

cerebrospinal fluid

a thin layer of liquid between the meninges that the spinal cord and brain float on, this protects the 2 lower meninges from touching the bones

blood brain barrier

exceptionally tight forms of gap junctions between the cells which make up vessels in the brain and closely regulate the types of materials and substances in which can cross from the circulatory system into CNS.

spinal cord

conducts nerve impulses from the afferent (sensory) nerves to the brain and efferent (motor) impulses to the peripheral nervous system.


cell bodes of motor nerve cells as well as a special class of nerve cells found throughout the CNS


organ responsible for guiding and controlling behavior; does so by processing sensory info, storing info about past experiences (i.e., learning and memory), and executing actions based on those processes sensations and/or memories.


a system of interconnected fluid filled chambers in the brain that are attached to the central canal of the spinal cord

cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

a clear, colorless bodily fluid that occupies the system around inside the brain and spinal cord; the brain "floats on it"


brain is divided into two symmetrical structurally identical hemispheres, right and left, connected by several fiber pathways

corpus callosum

largest and most important pathway between the hemispheres, allowing the 2 hemispheres to communicate

right hemisphere

specializes in emotional processing, math, music, and synthetic processing; perceiving "wholes" or "patterns' out of individual components

left hemisphere

predominantly involved in analytical tasks, breaking down problems, and in language production and comprehension

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