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central nervous system

includes brain and spinal cord


located in the cranium

spinal cord

located in the spinal cavity

peripheral nervous system

consists of all the nerves connecting the CNS to the rest of the body

sensory function

one of the functions of the nervous system, nerves gather information from inside & outside the body

sensory function

carry the information to the CNS (seeing a car drive down the street)

integrative function

one of the functions of the nervous system, interpretation of the information (where the car is going, how fast)

motor function

one of the functions of the nervous system, motor nerves convey information from the CNS to the muscles & glands (tells us to get out of the way of the car)


most abundant of the nerve cells, called the nerve glue


support, protect & nourish the neurons


DO NOT conduct nerve impulses, they are unable to undergo mitosis


most important cell of the nervous system regarding transmission of nerve impulses


vary in size & shape, CAN NOT undergo mitosis and CAN NOT regenerate or be repaired when damaged


tree like structures that receive information from other neurons


transmit information to the cell body, can be thousands on one neuron

cell body

contains the nucleus, essential for the life of the cell


transmits information away from the cell body


at the end of this are called axon terminals (they contain the neurotransmitters)


neurotransmitters are chemicals that conduct the nerve impulse across the synapse


space between neurons

myelin sheath

layer of white, fatty material that protects the axon

myelin sheath

nerves covered in this are said to be myelinated

schwann cells

create the myelin in the PNS


create the myelin in the CNS

Nodes of Ranvier

unmyelinated areas

sensory neurons

carry information from the periphery to the CNS

motor neurons

carry information from the CNS to the periphery


located in the CNS, neurons that bridge the sensory & motor neurons

nerve impulse

electrical signal that conveys information down a neuron


the resting state of the neuron, the inside of the neuron is more negatively charged than the outside


no impulse can travel down the neuron in this state


stimulation of the neuron causes the electrical state to change


the inside of the neuron changes from negatively charged to positively charged


the return of the neuron to its resting state


neuron can not be stimulated again until it returns to it's resting state


ability of substances to move through a membrane


during the resting state K+ leaks out of the neuron, this loss of (+) ions results in an overall (-) charge inside the neuron & an overall (+) on the outside


when stimulated it allows Na+ ions to enter into the neuron, results in an overall (+) charge inside the neuron & overall (-) charge outside


returns to it's resting state, stops the diffusion of Na+ in & allows K+ ions to leave, overall (-) inside and (+) outside


junction between neurons that allows nerve impulse to travel from neuron to neuron

synaptic cleft

the actual space between the neurons

axon terminal

vesicles that contain neurotransmitters


chemical substances that allow for transmission of signal from one neuron to another


requires 20% of body's oxygen, glucose is the primary energy source


divided into 4 areas (cerebrum, diencephalon, brainstem, cerebellum)


largest part of the brain, divided into left & right hemispheres

corpus callosum

connects the right & left hemispheres of the cerebrum, allows the two hemispheres to communicate with each other

cerebral cortex

thin layer of gray matter that forms the outer part of the cerebrum


elevations in the cerebrum


grooves in the cerebrum


functions include motor, intellectual, vision, hearing, smell, taste and memory


located beneath the cerebrum & above the brain stem


contains the thalmus and hypothalmus


sorts out sensory information


regulates many process such as body temp, water balance and metabolism

brain stem

connects the spinal cord to the rest of the brain

brain stem

contains the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata


relays sensory & motor information


transmits information to all of the other parts of the brain, plays a role in breathing rate & rhythm

medulla oblongata

relays information and helps control heart rate, blood pressure and respiration


involved in the coordination of voluntary muscle activity (skeletal muscles)


protects organs such as the brain, spinal cord, lungs, etc


brain in encased in this

vertebral column

spinal cord is encased in this


3 layers of connective tissue that surround the skull & spinal cord

dura mater

tough, outer most layer, lines the inside of the skull


middle of the 3 layers, web like nature allows CSF to flow through it, bathing the brain

pia mater

inner most layer, very thin, contains the blood vessels that supply the brain

subarachnoid space

space between the arachnoid and pia mater, CSF flows and cushions the brain and spinal cord

cerebrospinal fluid

protects the brain and spinal cord from shock, plays a role in homeostasis & metabolism of the CNS

blood brain barrier

semi-permeable membrane that determines what goes in and out of the CNS

blood brain barrier

keeps many toxic substances out

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