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Central Nervous System

Nervous system subdivision that is composed of the brain and spinal cord

Somatic Nervous System

Subdivision of the PNS that controls voluntary activities such as the activation of skeletal muscle

Peripheral Nervous System

Nervous System subdivision that is composed of the cranial and spinal nerves and ganglia

Autonomic Nervous System

Subdivision of the PNS that regulates the activity of the heart and smooth muscle, and of glands; it is also called the involuntary nervous system

Central Nervous System

A major subdivision of the nervous system that interprets incoming information and issues orders

Peripheral Nervous System

A major subdivision of the nervous system that serves as communication lines, liking all parts of the body to the CNS


Demonstrate irritability and conductivity, and thus transmit electrical messages from one area of the body to another area; release neurotransmitters; are amitotic


Support, insulate, and protect cells; able to divide; therefor are responsible for most brain neoplasms

Axonal Terminal

Releases neurotransmitters


Conducts electrical currents toward the cell body

Myelin Sheath

Increases the speed of impulse transmission

Cell Body

Location of the nucleus


Generally conducts impulses away from the cell body

Cutaneous sense organs

Sensory receptors found in the skin, which are specialized to detect temperature, pressure changes, and pain

Schwann Cells

Specialized cells that myelinate the fivers of neurons found in the PNS


Junction or point of close contact between neurons


Bundle of nerve processes inside the CNS

Association Neuron

Neuron, serving as part of the conduction pathway between sensory and motor neurons

Nodes of Ranvier

Gaps in a myelin sheath


Collection of nerve cell bodies found outside the CNS

Efferent Neuron

Neuron that conducts impulses away from the CNS to mucles and glands


Sensory receptors found in muscle and tendons that detect their degree of stretch


Changes, occurring within or outside the body, that affect nervous system functioning

Afferent Neuron

Neuron that conducts impulses toward the CNS from the body periphery


Chemicals released by neurons that stimulate other neurons, muscles, or glands

Refractory period

period of repolarization of the neuron during which it cannot respond to a second stimulus


State in which the resting potential is reversed as sodium ions rush into the neuron


Electrical condition of the plasma membrane of a resting neuron


Period during which potassium ions diffuse out of neuron

Action potential

Transmission of the depolarization wave along the neuron's membrane

Potassium Ions

The chief positive intracellular ion in a resting neuron

Sodium-potassium pump

process by which ATP is used to move sodium ions out of the cell and potassium ions back into the cell; completely restores the resting conditions of the neuron

Somatic Reflexes

Patellar reflex; Effectors are skeletal muscles; flexor reflex

Autonomic Reflexes

Pupillary light reflex; Effectors are smooth muscle and glands; regulation of blood pressure; salivary reflex

Cerebral hemisphere

the largest part of the human brain

brainstem and cerebellum

The other major subdivision of the brain


the cavities found in the brain

cerebrospinal fluid

fills the cavities of the brain


an elevated ridge of cerebral cortex tissue

surface area

the convolutions seen in the cerebrum are important because they increase the..

cell bodies

gray matter is composed of

myelinated fibers

white matter is composed of

basal ganglia

the lentiform nucleus, the caudate, and other nuclei are collectively called


site of regulation of water balance and body temperature


contains reflex centers involved in regulating respiratory rhythm in conjunction with lower brain-stem centers


responsible for the regulation of posture and coordination of skeletal muscle movement


important relay station for afferent fibers traveling to the sensory cortex for interpretation

medulla oblongata

contains autonomic centers, which regulates blood pressure and respiratory rhythm, as well as coughing and sneezing centers

corpus callosum

larger fiber tract connecting the cerebral hemisphere


connects the third and fourth ventricles


encloses the third ventricles

choroid plexus

forms the cerebrospinal fluid

cerebral peduncle

midbrain area that is largely fiber tracts; bulges anteriorly


part of the limbic system; contains centers for many drivers (rage, pleasure, hunger, sex, etc.)

post central

the primary sensory area of the cerebral hemispheres is found in the _____ gyrus


cortical areas involved in audition are found in the _____ lobe


the primary motor area in the ____ lobe is involved in the initiation of voluntary movement


a specialized motor speech area located at the base of the precentral gyrus is called ____ area


The right cerebral hemisphere receives sensory input from the ____ side of the body


The ____ tract is the major descending voluntary motor tract

reticular system

Damage to the ____ impairs consciousness and the awake/sleep cycles


A ___ EEG is evidence of clinical death


Beta waves are recorded when an individual is awake and ____

Dura Mater

outermost covering of the brain, composed of tough fibrous connective tissue

pia mater

innermost covering of the brain; delicate and vascular

arachnoid villi

structures that return cerebrospinal fluid to the venous blood in the dural sinuses

arachnoid mater

middle meningeal layer; like a cobweb in structure

dura mater

its outer layer forms the periosteum of the skull


slight and transient brain injury


traumatic injury that destroys brain tissue


total nonresponsivesness to stimulation

intracranial hemorrhage

may cause medulla oblongata to be wedged into foramen magnum by pressure of blood

cerebral edema

after head injury, retention of water by brain

cerebrovascular accident

results when a brain region is deprived of blood or exposed to prolonged ischemia

Alzheimer's disease

progressive degeneration of the brain with abnormal protein deposits

Multiple sclerosis

autoimmune disorder with extensive demyelination

Transient ischemic attack

a mini-stroke; fleeting symptoms of CVA

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