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Nervous System

Monitors environments, integrates sensory information, and coordinates voluntary and involuntary responses

Central Nervous System

Consists of brain and spinal cord. Integrates and coordinates the processing of sensory data and the transmission of motor commands.

Peripheral Nervous System

System of which all communication between the CNS and the rest of the body occurs through.

Afferent Division

division of nervous system which transmits sensory information from somatic and visceral receptors and special sense organs to the CNS

Efferent Division

division of nervous system which carries motor commands to muscles and glands

Somatic Nervous System

the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles. Also called the skeletal nervous system

Autonomic Nervous System

the part of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls involuntary actions of the smooth muscles and heart and glands


Basic units of the nervous system


Regulate the environment around neurons, provide a supporting framework for neural tissue, and act as phagocytes.


Receive incoming signals


Carries ongoing signals toward one or more synaptic terminals

Synaptic Terminals

relay signals to other cells by releasing chemical messengers called neurotransmitters.

Nissl Bodies

Clusters of rough ER and free ribosomes.

Multipolar Neuron

Two or more dendrites and a single axon. The most common of all neurons in the CNS.

Unipolar Neurons

Dendrites and axon are continuous and the cell body lies off to one side.

Bipolar Neurons

have two processes -- one dendrite and one axon -- with the cell body between them

Sensory Neurons

neurons that carry incoming information from the sense receptors to the central nervous system.

Somatic Sensory Receptors

Detect information about the outside world or our physical position within it.

Visceral sensory receptors

monitor other internal tissues such as smooth muscle, cardiac muscle and glands


central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.


largest, most numerous glial cells; maintain blood-brain barrier to isolate CNS from general circulation; provide structural support for CNS; regulate ion and nutrient concentrations; perform repairs to stabilize tissue and prevent further injury


wrap CNS axons in a myelin sheath


a white fatty substance that forms a medullary sheath around the axis cylinder of some nerve fibers

White Matter

composed of myelinated axons.

Grey Matter

is composed primarily of cell bodies, inerneurons, and unmylinated fibers


smallest neuroglial cells; phagocytic cells that engulf cellular debris, waste products and pathogens. increase in number as a result of infection or injury

Ependymal Cells

in cns only, epithellal cells in a single layer, that line the spaces in the brain and spinal cord, and proudce cerebrospinal fliud (csf)


thin epithelial membrane lining the ventricles of the brain and the spinal cord canal

Satellite Cells

support ganglia in the PNS

Schwann Cells

Supporting cells of the peripheral nervous system responsible for the formation of myelin.


clusters of neuron cell bodies in the PNS


The white matter of the PNS


A collection of neuron cell bodies with a common function


A center with a discrete boundary

Neural Cortex

thick layer of grey matter


Larger groups of tracts in the spinal cord


The white matter of the CNS contains bundles of axons that share common origins, destinations, and functions.


Link the center of the brain with the rest of the body

Sensory pathways

distribute sensory information from sensory receptors to processing centers in the brain

Motor Pathways

Begin at CNS centers concerned with motor activity and end at the skeletal muscles they control.

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