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elevated ridges of cerebral tissue


shallow grooves separating gyri

Central Sulcus

the sulcus separating the frontal and parietal lobes

Lateral Sulcus

the sulcus separating the frontal and temporal lobes. the insula lies medial to the lateral sulcus

Longitudinal fissure

deep groove separating the cerebral hemispheres

Transverse fissure

deep groove separating the cerebral hemispheres from the cerebellum

Five different Lobes

frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, insula


areas of the cerebral hemispheres separated by fissures or relatively deep sulci that are consistent among individuals; usually named for the cranial bones that lie over them

Cerebral Cortex

composed of gray matter; location of our conscious mind; can be subdivided into functional areas

Primary motor cortex

controls most voluntary motor functions

Premotor cortex

controls learned motor skills that are repetitious or have a pattern

Speech center (Broca's area)

controls muscles involved in speech production

Primary somatosensory cortex

identifies regions of the body being stimulated; receives information from sensory receptors located in the skin and from proprioceptors in skeletal muscles

Somatosensory association cortex

integrates information received from the primary somatosensory cortex and enable perception/identification of stimuli

Visual area

receives visual stimuli that originates on the retinas of the eyes (primary visual cortex) and interprets the visual stimuli (visual association area)

Auditory area

receives auditory stimuli that originates from the inner ear (primary auditory cortex) and interprets the auditory stimuli (auditory association area)

Olfactory cortex

receives and interprets olfactory (smell) stimuli

Prefrontal cortex (Anterior association area)

involved with out intellect, complex learning ability, recall, and personality; necessary for production of abstract ideas, judgement, reasoning, persistence, long-term planning, concern for others, and conscience

General interpretation area (Posterior association area)

area receiving input from all sensory association areas and integrating the incoming signals into a single thought or understanding of a situation

Cerebral White Matter

consists primarily of myelinated fibers bundled into tracts; responsible for communication between cerebral areas and between the cerebral cortex and lower CNS centers

Commissural fibers

form tracts (commissures) connecting corresponding gray areas of two hemispheres

Corpus callosum

largest commissure

Association fibers

form tracts connecting different parts of the same hemisphere

Projection fibers

form tracts that connect the cerebral hemispheres to the lower brain and spinal cord

Basal nuclei

island of gray matter located deep within the white matter of the cerebral hemispheres; play a role in the subconscious regulation of muscle movement


gateway to the cerebral cortex

Three activities of the Thalamus

1. Sorting-out, editing, and routing sensory impulses to appropriate region of sensory cortex
2. Transmitting emotional and visceral information between the cerebral cortex and hypothalamus
3. Transmitting impulses from the cerebellum and basal nuclei that help direct the activity of the motor cortices


autonomic control center of the body

Seven activities of the Hypothalamus

1. coordination fo voluntary and autonomic activities
2. regulation of emotional response
3. regulation of endocrine functioning
4. regulation of water balance and thirst
5. regulation of food intake
6. regulation of sleep-wake cycle
7. regulation of body temperature

Pituitary gland

not actually part of the hypothalamus but is directly controlled by it; is part of the endocrine system that releases hormones; sits in the sella turcica of the sphenoid bone


stalk of hypothalamic tissue that connects the pituitary gland to the hypothalamus

Mammillary bodies

relay station in the olfactory pathways, contains motor nuclei that control motor reflexes associated with eating

Epithalamus: Pineal gland

secretes the hormone melatonin; helps regulate sleep-wake cycle, mood, and reproductive functions

Choroid plexus

produces cerebrospinal fluid


processes information from cerebral motor cortex, proprioceptors, and visual and equilibrium pathways; provides instructions to cerebral motor cortex and subcortical motor centers that result in proper balance and posture and smooth, coordinated skeletal muscle movements

Arbor vitae

white matter of the cerebellum named for its tree-like appearance (literally means "tree of life"); connects cerebellar cortex with cerebellar peduncles

Cerebellar peduncles

contain tracts connecting the brain stem to the cerebellum

Brain stem

produces rigidly programmed, automatic behaviors; pathway between higher and lower neural tracts; associated with 10 of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves

Mesencephalon (Midbrain)

plays a role in pain suppression, visual tracking of moving objects, startle response to unexpected sounds, subconscious control of muscle tone and body position, maintaining consciousness; contains nuclei for cranial nerves III and IV

Corpora quadrigemina

largest nucleus in the white matter of the midbrain; composed of the superior and inferior colliculi

Superior colliculi

visual reflex centers that coordinate head and eye movement

Inferior colliculi

auditory reflex center that plays a role in reflexive responses to sound

Cerebral peduncles

contains motor tracts that connect the cerebral cortex to the spinal cord and connect the cerebral cortex to the cerebellum via the pons

Substantia nigra

responsible for releasing the neurotransmitter, dopamine; functionally, it is part of the basal nuclei


relays sensory and motor information to the cerebellum, helps regulate information; provides tracts for communication between higher brain centers and the medulla oblongata; contains nuclei for cranial nerves V through VIII

Medulla oblongata

plays a role in regulating heart rate, blood vessel diameter, and respiratory rate; provides tracts for all communication between brain and spinal cord; contains nuclei of cranial nerves VIII through XII

Decussation of the pyramids

location where nerve fibers cross over to the opposite side of the body; reason (in part) why the left side of the brain controls right side of body and right side of brain controls left side of body

Vestibular Nuclear Complex

nucleus responsible for equilibrium and balance; receives stimuli from the middle ear

Limbic system

includes portions of the medial cerebrum and diencephalon

functions of the limbic system

1. control of emotions
2. linking the conscious thought of the cerebral cortex with the emotions and autonomic nervous system
3. facilitating memory processing

Reticular formation

loosely clustered neurons forming three columns along the length of the brain stem; has direct axonal connections with nearly every other part of the brain

functions of the reticular formation

1. control of autonomic functions such as respiratory and cardiovascular activity
2. control of autonomic or reflexive motor activity such as some eye movements
3. keeping brain alert and filtering out repetitive, familiar, or weak signals in our environment


layer of bone encasing the brain and spinal cord; the skull encases the brain while the vertebral column encases the spinal cord


connective tissue membranes that lie just external to the central nervous system organs

functions of meninges

1. cover and protect the CNS
2. protect blood vessels and enclose venous sinuses
3. contains cerebrospinal fluid
4. form partitions within the skull

Dura Mater

tough, leathery, outermost meninx surrounding the brain; is fused to the periosteum of the skull but not of the vertebrae

Arachnoid Mater

loose, middle meninx of epithelial tissue with web-like extensions that attach it to the underlying pia mater

Pia Mater

delicate connective tissue with rich supply of blood vessels; clings tightly to the brain

functions of the Cerebrospinal Fluid

1. gives brain buoyancy that helps support and cushion the brain
2. provides nutrients to the brain
3. carries chemical signals (e.g. hormones) to the brian
4. removes waste products from the brain

Blood-brain Barrier

a selective barrier that allows nutrients to cross by facilitated diffusion but keeps most metabolic waste, toxins, and drugs (except fat soluble substances) out; due to characteristics of the capillaries within the brain

three characteristics of the capillaries within the brain

1. continuous endothelium of capillary wall with tight junctions between endothelium cells
2. a thick basal lamina
3. the astrocytes holding the capillaries in place

Epidural Space

space between the vertebral column and dura matter filled with areolar and adapose loose connective tissue; provides additional support and protection to the spinal cord

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