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Flashcards in Neuro Deck (110)
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CNS is made of

brain and spinal cord


PNS is made of

all nerve fibers outside of brain/spinal cord.
-12 pairs CNs
-31 pairs spinal nerves and branches: sensory and motor


afferent nerve fx

sensory afferent nerves carry messages to CNS from sensory receptors


efferent nerve fx

motor efferent nerves carry messages from CNS to muscles/glands


PNS fx

carries sensory, motor, and autonomic messages that govern internal organs and blood vessels


cerebral cortex is made of?

-outer cerebrum layer of nerve cells
-2 hemispheres that each have 4 lobes


cerebral cortex fx

governs thought, memory, reasoning, sensation, voluntary movement


what are the 4 lobes of each cerebral hemisphere and their functions

1. frontal: personality, behavior, emotion, intellectual function. precentral gyrus initiates voluntary movement
2. parietal lobe: postcentral gyrus primary center for sensation
3. occipital lobe: primary visual receptor center
4. temporal lobe: primary auditory reception center, taste/smell


wernicke's area location, function?
damage to it results in?

in temporal lobe. associated with language comprehension.
damage to wernicke's in patient's dominant hemisphere causes receptive aphasia: person can hear sound but it has no meaning, like a foreign language


broca's area location, function?
damage to it results in?

in frontal lobe. mediates motor speech.
damage in the dominant hemisphere causes expressive aphasia: person cannot talk. can understand language and knows what they want to say but when they speak there is only garbled sound.


when does damage to cortical areas occur? what can the damage cause?

occurs when the highly specialized neurologic cells are deprived of blood supply like when a cerebral artery becomes occluded (ischemic stroke) or when vascular bleeding occurs (hemorrhagic stroke) or vasospasms.
damage can cause motor weakness, paralysis, loss of sensation, impaired ability to understand/process language.


basal ganglia are what? where? function?

large bands of gray matter buried deep in the 2 cerebral hemispheres. they form the subcortical-associated motor system (extrapyramidal system) and help to initiate and coordinate movement and control automatic associated movements of the body (ie arm swing alternating with legs when walking)


what're some pathologic disorders involving basal ganglia?

i dont know lol


thalamus function

main relay station. sensory pathways of spinal cord, cerebellum, basal ganglia, and brainstem form synapses on their way to cerebral cortex.
integrating center with connections crucial to human emotion and creativity


pathologic disorders of thalamus?



hypothalamus size, location, function

size of almond. inferior to thalamus, above midbrain, resting in sella turcica.
links CNS to endocrine system via pituitary.
control center for many PNS autonomic functions:
-sex drive
-anterior/posterior pituitary gland regulation and coordination of ANS
-stress response
-major respiratory center


pathology of hypothalamus



what's cerebellum, where, function

it is a coiled structure under occipital lobe.
concerned with motor coordination of voluntary movements, equilibrium (postural balance of the body), and muscle tone.
does not initiate movement: coordinates and smooths it. (playing the piano, swimming, or juggling).
Like autopilot: corrects the voluntary movements but operates entirely below the conscious level.
relays info btwn muscles and areas of cerebral cortex involved in muscle control


whats brain stem? function? where's brain stem? what it made of?

-central core (lower section) of the brain consisting of mostly nerve fibers
-continuous with spinal cord
-Cranial nerves III through XII originate from nuclei in the brainstem
-fx: Connects motor and sensory tracts from brain to body
-made of 3 areas: midbrain, pons, medulla


midbrain location and what is it

most anterior part of the brainstem that still has the basic tubular structure of the spinal cord.
It merges into the thalamus and hypothalamus.
It contains many motor neurons and tracts.


what is the pons

enlarged area containing ascending sensory and descending motor tracts.
has two respiratory centers (pneumotaxic and apneustic) that coordinate with the main respiratory center in the medulla.


what's the medulla

continuation of the spinal cord in the brain that contains all ascending and descending fiber tracts. It has vital autonomic centers (respiration, heart, gastrointestinal function) and nuclei for cranial nerves VIII through XII.
-Pyramidal decussation (crossing of the motor fibers) occurs here


spinal cord

-long, cylindric structure of nervous tissue
-about as big around as your little finger.
-occupies the upper two thirds of the vertebral canal from the medulla to lumbar vertebrae L1-L2.
-white matter, bundles of myelinated axons that form the main highway for ascending and descending fiber tracts that connect the brain to the spinal nerves.
-mediates reflexes of posture control, urination, and pain response.
-nerve cell bodies, or gray matter, are arranged in a butterfly shape with anterior and posterior “horns.”
-vertebral canal continues down beyond the spinal cord for several inches.
-The lumbar cistern is inside this space and is the favored spot to withdraw samples of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).


crossed representation

CNS pathway. the left cerebral cortex receives sensory information from and controls motor function to the right side of the body, whereas the right cerebral cortex likewise interacts with the left side of the body.


where are sensory receptors? function?

Millions of sensory receptors are embroidered into the skin, mucous membranes, muscles, tendons, and viscera. They monitor conscious sensation,
internal organ functions, body position, and reflexes.


sensory pathway

Sensation travels in the afferent fibers in the peripheral nerve, through the posterior (dorsal) root,
and into the spinal cord. There it may take one of two routes: the anterolateral or spinothalamic tract, or the posterior (dorsal) columns


spinothalamic tract function, pathway

contains sensory fibers that transmit the sensations of pain, temperature, and crude or light touch.
The fibers enter the dorsal root of the spinal cord and synapse with a second sensory neuron. The second-order neuron fibers cross to the opposite side
and ascend up the spinothalamic tract to the thalamus.
-Fibers carrying pain and temperature sensations ascend the lateral spinothalamic tract
-crude touch ascend anterior spinothalamic tract.
At the thalamus the fibers synapse with a third sensory neuron, which carries the message to the sensory cortex for full interpretation.


posterior dorsal columns function, pathway

These fibers conduct the sensations of:
• Position (proprioception)—Without looking you know where your body parts are in space and in relation to one another.
• Vibration
• Finely localized touch (stereognosis)—Without looking you can identify familiar objects by touch

These fibers enter the dorsal root and proceed immediately up the same side of the spinal cord to the brainstem. At the medulla they synapse with a
second sensory neuron and then cross. They travel to the thalamus, synapse again, and proceed to the sensory cortex, which localizes the sensation and
makes full discrimination.


organs absent from sensory cortex

heart, liver, or spleen.
You know you have them but you have no “felt image” of it. Pain originating in these organs is referred because no felt image exists in which to have pain. Pain is felt
“by proxy” by another body part that does have a felt image. For example, pain in the heart is referred to the chest, shoulder, and left arm, which were its
neighbors in fetal development. Pain originating in the spleen is felt on the top of the left shoulder.


extrapyramidal tracts are what, do what

-include all the motor nerve fibers originating in the motor cortex, basal ganglia, brainstem, and spinal cord that are outside the pyramidal tract.
-more primitive motor system.
-subcortical motor fibers maintain muscle tone and control body movements, especially gross automatic movements such as walking.