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Central Nervous System. JAMES VALLEY VOCATIONAL TECHNICAL CENTER. Neuron: Nerve Cell. Basic structural unit nervous system Consists of: nucleus nerve fibers /dentrites axon. Nerves. Sensory Nerves: carry messages to brain and spinal cord from body Motor Nerves:

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Central Nervous System


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Neuron: Nerve Cell

  • Basic structural unit nervous system

  • Consists of:

    • nucleus

    • nerve fibers /dentrites

    • axon

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  • Sensory Nerves:

    • carry messages to brain and spinal cord from body

  • Motor Nerves:

    • carry messages from brain and spinal cord to body

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Divisions of CNS

  • CNS - central nervous system:

    • consists of brain and spinal cord

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  • Peripheral Nervous System

    • a. any nerves outside the brain and spinal cord

    • b. Autonomic nervous system: controls involuntary body functions

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Central Nervous System

  • 1. Brain:

    • a. Mass of nerve tissue

    • b. Protected by membranes & the cranium or skull

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C. Cerebrum

  • Largest section of the brain

  • Responsible for:

    • reasoning, thought, memory, speaking, sensstion, sight, hearing, voluntary body movement

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D. Cerebellum

  • Responsible for:

    • coordination of muscles, balance, posture, & muscle tone

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E. Midbrain

  • Responsible for:

    • conducting impulses between brain parts

    • certain eye reflexes

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  • Responsible for:

    • conducting messages to other parts of the brain

    • Reflex actions such as chewing, production of saliva

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G. Medulla Oblongata

  • Lowest part of brain stem

  • Connects to the spinal cord

  • Responsible for:

    • regulating heart beat, respirations, swallowing, coughing, b/p

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2. Spinal Cord

  • Goes down back of body from Medulla Oblongata

  • Surrounded and protected by vertebrae

  • Responsible for reflex actions

  • Carries sensory and motor messages

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3. Meninges

  • Consists of 3 membranes

  • Covers and protects the brain and spinal cord

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Three Membranes

  • C. Dura mater

    • thick, tough outer layer

  • D. Arachnoid membrane

    • middle delicate weblike layer

  • E. Pia mater

    • inner most layer with blood vessels to nourish the nerves

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4. Ventricles

  • Four hallow spaces located in the middle of the brain.

  • Connected to each other

  • Filled with fluid called cerebrospinal fluid

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Cerebrospinal Fluid

  • Circulates continuously

  • Serves as shock absorber to protect brain and spinal cord

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Peripheral Nervous System

  • Made of all nerves outside the brain and spinal cord

  • Consists of cranial and spinal nerves

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A. Cranial Nerves

  • 12 pairs & their branches

  • Some responsible for special senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell

  • Others receive sensations: touch, pressure, pain, temperature

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B. Spinal Nerves

  • 31 pairs & their branches

  • carries messages to & from the spinal cord

  • Both sensory and motor nerves

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3. Autonomic Nervous System

  • Helps maintain a balance in involuntary functions of the body. But allows the body to react in times of emergency.

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Sympathetic nervous system

acts in emergency


counter acts the sympathetic ns after the emergency

2 divisions of ANS

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increase heart rate

increase resp. rate

increase b/p

decrease digestive system activity


decrease heart rate

decrease resp. rate

decrease b/p

increase digestive system activity