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Occupies the cranial cavity and is covered by membranes, fluid, and the skull bones. It is divided into distinct areas
Brain Stem


largest and most complex part of the brain, made up of the left and right hemispheres and is divided by the longitudinal fissure (which is a deep groove)

Longitudinal Fissures

the gap/separation between the left and right cerebral hemispheres.


between cerebral hemispheres and the brain stem, 2 main parts thalamus and hypothalamus


Region of the brain located in the diencephalon; chief relay center for sensory impulses traveling to the cerebral cortex.


Region of the brain that controls the pituitary and maintains homeostasis by controlling body temperature, water balance, sleep, appetite and some emotions such as fear and pleasure. Both the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions of the ANS are under the hypothatlamic control. It influences the heart beat, the contraction and relaxation of blood vessels, hormone secretions and other vital body functions.

Brain Stem

Portion of the brain that connects the cerebrum with the spinal cord; contains the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata.


upper portion of the brainstem that is inferior to the center of the cerebrum. - INVOLVED IN THE EYE AND EAR REFLEXES


area of the brain between the midbrain and medulla; connects the cerebellum with the rest of the central nervous system.- CONNECTING LINK FOR OTHER DIVISIONS

Medulla Oblongata

part of the brain stem that connects the brain with the spinal cord - CONTAINS VITAL CENTERS FOR RESPIRATION, HEART RATE AND VASOMOTOR ACTIVITY


small section of the brain located under the cerebral hemispheres; functions in coordination, balance, and muscle tone.


are the 3 layers of connective tissue( Dura mater, Archonoid, Pia matter) that surrond both the brain and spinal cord to form a complete enclosure

Dura Mater

the outermost (and toughest) of the 3 meninges and has 2 layers - outer layer is fused to the cranial bones and the 2nd layer - in certain places separate to form the dural sinuses

Dural sinuses

dural layers not fused together; collect venous blood from brain and direct it into the internal jugular veins of the neck


the middle of the 3 meninges and has a weblike fibers, allowing a space for movements of cerebrospinal fluid between the 2 membranes

Pia mater

is the innermost layer around the brain, is attached to the nervous tissue of the brain and spinal cord and follows all the contours of these structures - it holds blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen to the brain and spinal cord.

Cerebrospinal Fluid

is a clear liquid that circulates in and around the brain and spinal cord - the functions of the CSF is to support nervous tissue and to cushion shocks that would otherwise injure these delicate tissue. The CSF also carries nutrients to the cells and transports waste products from the cells.

Arachnoid villi

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


One of the brains 4 chambers in which CFS is produced - the lateral ventricle - which are one and two - is the largest, the 3rd is surrounded by Diencephalon and the 4th ventricle which is located between the brain stem and the cerebellum.

Choroid plexus

a vascular network in each ventricle that forms CSF by filtration of the blood and by cellular secretion.

Interventricular Foramina

between the lateral ventricles and the 3rd ventricle in the brain, helps transport CSF

Cerebral aqueduct

Passageway for CSF between 3rd and 4th ventricle

Cerebral Hemispheres

the right and left halves of the cerebrum, Two almost symmetrical halves, separated by longitudinal fissure. Each is divided into four anatomical areas called lobes.


Frontal, Parietal, Temporal, Occipital

Cerebral Cortex

the outer nervous tissue of the cerebral hemispheres that is gray matter - this thin layer of gray matter is the most highly evolved portion of the brain and is responsible for conscious thought, reasoning, and abstract mental functions.


elevated ridges on the cerebral cortex


shallow grooves on the cerebral cortex

Central sulcus

A fissure that divides the frontal lobe from the parietal lobe.

Lateral Sulcus

Divides frontal and parietal lobes from the temporal lobe

Basal nuclei

deep masses of cerebral gray matter located in the cerebral hemisphere - these neurons work with the cerebral cortex to regulate body movement and the muscles of facial expression - THESE NEURONS SECRETE THE NEUROTRANSMITTERS DOPAMINE.

Corpus Callosum

is an important band of white matter located at teh bottom of the longitudinal fissure - this band is a bridge between the right and left hemispheres, permitting impulses to cross from one side of the brain to the other.

Internal Capsule

is a compact band of myelinated fibers that carries impulses between the cerebral hemispheres and the brain stem.

Frontal Lobe

PRIMARY MOTOR AREA -Controls Skeletal Muscles- also 2 areas important in speech

Parietal Lobe

PRIMARY SENSORY AREA - where impulses from the skin, such as touch, pain and temperature are interpreted.

Temporal Lobe

AUDITORY AREA AND OLFACTORY AREA - receiving and interpreting impulses from the ear and it is stimulated by the impulses arising from the receptors in the noses

Occipital Lobe

VISUAL RECEIVING AREA - visual association are for interpreting impulses arising from the retina of the eye.

Wernicke area

controls language reception-a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression;usually in the left temporal lobe

Broca area

An area of the frontal lobe, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech


is the mental faculty for recalling ideas.

Short Term Memory

is the retention of bits of info for a few seconds or perhaps a few minutes, after which info is lost unless reinforced.

Long Term Memory

refers to the storage of info that can be recalled at a later time.

Limbic System

Involved in emotional states and behavior. , a doughnut-shaped system of neural structures at the border of the brainstem and cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions such as fear and aggression and drives such as those for food and sex. Includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus.


located under the lateral ventricles which functions in learning and the formation of long-term memory.

Reticular Formations

Basic functions; alertness, sleeping patterns, wakefulness


POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY - which visualizes the brain in action


12 PAIRS - MESSAGES belonging to one of the 4 categories:
-Special Sensory Impulses - smell, taste, vision and hearing
-General sensory Impulses - Pain, touch, temperature, deep muscle sense, pressure, and vibrations
-Somatic motor Impulses - voluntary control of skeletal muscles
- Visceral Motor Impulses - involuntary control of glands and involuntary muscles ( cardiac and smooth muscles).

I. Olfactory Nerve

carries smell inpulses from receptors in the nasal mucosa to the brain.

II. Optic Nerve

carries visual impulses from the eye to the brain

III. Oculomotor Nerve

concerned with contraction of most of the eye muscles.

IV. Trochlear Nerve

Supplies one eyeball muscle

V. Trigeminal

Carries sensory impulses from eye, upper jaw, and lower jaw toward the brain

VI. Abducens

Controls eyeball muscle

VII. Facial

Controls muscles of the facial expression: carries sensation of taste; stimulates small salivary glands and lacrimal glands.

VIII. Vestibulocochlear

carries sensory impulses for hearing and equilibrium from the inner ear toward the brain

IX. Glossopharyngeal

carries sensory impulses from the tongue and pharynx (throat); controls swallowing muscles and stimulates the parotid salivary gland.

X. Vagus

Supplies most of the organs in thoracic and abdominal cavities; carries motor impulses to the larynx (voice box) and pharunx.


Controls Muscles in the neck and larynx

XII. Hypoglossal

Controls muscles on the tongue.

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