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Study Guide: Chapter 9 Nervous System

1. Describe the general functions of the nervous system. (sensory, integrative and motor)
a. Sg III A
b. Sensory receptors located at the ends of peripheral nerves are stimulated by changes in
the internal and external environment.
i. Examples of such stimuli are light, heat, and sound.
c. The resulting impulses travel to the central nervous system.
d. These impulses are then integrated or brought together so that they can be interpreted
as sensations, memories and perceptions.
e. Decisions about how to respond are made both consciously and unconsciously, motor
impulse travel to effector organs and a response to the sensory impulse is stimulated.
2. Describe the somatic and autonomic
a. Sg - III B
b. The somatic nervous system
i. under conscious control
ii. controls skeletal muscle.
c. Autonomic system
i. Effectors that are involuntary
ii. Eg. such as the heart, smooth muscle in blood vessels
3. Fill in the chart below comparing the supporting cells of the NS.
Neuroglial cells



Microglial cells

Scattered throughout
the central nervous

Support neurons and phagocytize bacterial

cells and cellular debris


Occur in rows along

nerve fibers.

Provide insulating layers of myelin


Found between blood

vessels and neurons

Provide structural support, join parts by

numerous cellular processes, and help
regulate the concentrations of nutrients
and ions within tissue. Also form scar tissue
that fills spaces following injury in the
central nervous system.

Ependymal cells

An epithelial like
membrane that covers
specialized brain parts
and forms the inner
lining that enclose
spaces within the brain

Help regulate the production of spinal fluid

and spinal cord

Schwann cells

Peripheral nervous

Form a covering, the myelin sheath around


4. Be able to label a motor neuron.

5. Answer the following about neuron structure.
a. List the basic structures common to all.
i. All neurons have a cell body, tubular shaped cytoplasm filled dendrites that
conduct impulse to the neuron cell body and axons that conduct impulses away
from the cell body.
b. List and describe the organelles of the neuron cell body.
i. The organelles of the cell body include granular cytoplasm, a cell membrane,
neurofibrils, Nissl bodies, a spherical nucleus and a large nucleolus. The Nissl
bodies are membranous sacs that contain chromatophilic substance. These
structures are similar to endoplasmic reticulum in other cells and function in
protein synthesis. Mature neuron cells do not divide but some parts of the
nervous system include neural stem cells that can differentiate into neurons or
neuroglia. Dendrites are short with many branches and function with the cell
membrane as the neurons principle receptive surface. Axons, that carry
impulses away from the cell body, arise from an elevation of the cell body
known as the axonal hillock. The cytoplasm of axons contains mitochondria,
microtubules, and neurofibrils. The axon originates as a single structure but
may have branches near its end. Larger axons may be covered with a sheath of
myelin that is composed of a lipoprotein.
c. What are the main receptive structures of neurons?
i. Dendrites
d. What are the gaps between the myelin sheath called?
i. Nodes of Ranvier
6. Neurons can be classified by function. Fill in the following table.



Sensory or afferent

Located in peripheral body parts

with specialized receptor cells with
their dendrites. Also located in
sensory organs

Bring impulses to the brain and

spinal cord from the periphery of
the body. Usually unipolar.

Interneurons or
association or
internuncial neurons

Lie entirely within the brain and

spinal cord.

Transmit messages from one part of

the central nervous system to

Motor neurons or
efferent neurons

Motor neurons are multipolar

Carry nerve impulses to stimulate

muscles to contract and glands to
release secretions.

7. Describe the events occurring in the cell membrane that permit conduction of an impulse.
a. The distribution of ions on either side of the cell membrane is subject to change and
that change is largely determined by sets of channels that cross the cell membrane.
Some channels are open all the time; others open and close in response to stimuli.
These channels may also be selective; that is they permit only one ion to pass through it.
As a general rule, potassium ions can pass through the cell membrane more easily than
sodium ions. Calcium ions are less able to cross the cell membrane than either sodium
or potassium. Thus sodium is primarily an extracellular ion while potassium is primarily
an intracellular ion. This difference is clearly evident when blood levels of electrolytes
are obtained. The normal level of potassium is 3.5.-5.0mEq/L; the level of sodium is
135-148mEq/L. This net loss of of potassium ions creates a slightly positive charge on
the outside of the cell membrane. This is called the cells resting potential.
8. Describe membrane polarization, depolarization and repolarization. Which of these events is a
nerve impulse?


a. Membrane polarization refers is the mildly positive charge of the outside of the cell
membrane relative to the interior of the cell membrane. Na and K pumps that require
energy to transport Na and K across the cell membrane against a concentration gradient
maintain polarization.
i. Depolarization occurs with a decrease in the resting potential. In other words,
when the inside of the cell membrane becomes less negative in relation to the
outside of the cell membrane.
ii. In order for depolarization to occur, there must be a stimulus of sufficient
strength to open the gated channels for both sodium and potassium.
iii. Repolarization occurs as the sodium ions diffuse inward, causing the outside of
the membrane to become negatively charged. This leads to opening of the
gated potassium channels, which rapidly restores the positive charge to the
outside of the membrane.
iv. A nerve impulse is created as depolarization creates a wave of action potentials
to move down the axon toward its end.
How do the Nodes of Ranvier affect nerve impulse conduction?

a. Nerves that are covered with myelin, most commonly peripheral nerves, can carry nerve
impulses more rapidly than non-myelinated fibers. This is due to interruptions in the
myelin sheath known as the Nodes of Ranvier. Instead of the need for an impulse to
travel the entire length of the nerve fiber as in non-myelinated fibers, impulses in
myelinated fibers can jump from one Node of Ranvier to another. This kind of impulse
conduction is called saltatory conduction.
10. Define the all-or-none response in neurons?

a. Nerve impulse conduction is a all or nothing response. That is when a threshold

stimulus is applied to an axon, it response completely so that all impulses carried on a
particular axon are of the same strength.
11. What is meant by the refractory period?
a. Immediately following a nerve impulse, an threshold stimulus will not trigger another
impulse on an axon. This is the refractory period.
12. Label a picture of the structures involved with a synapse.
13. How does a neurotransmitter initiate depolarization?
a. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are released into the synapse. They may
excitatory or inhibitory effects. The amount of neurotransmitter released into the
synapse determines inhibitory or excitatory responses. When an action potential
reaches a synaptic knob, it increases the membranes permeability to calcium ions by
opening the membranes calcium ion channels. Calcium ions diffuse inward and some
synaptic vesicles fuse with the membrane and release their neurotransmitter into the
synapse and the nerve impulse is transmitted. The neurotransmitter is decomposed by
specific enzymes or transmitted back into the synaptic knob that released them.
14. List some substances that function as neurotransmitters.
a. The substances that function as neurotransmitters are acetylcholine, monoamines such
as epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, amino acids such as glycine,
glutamic acid, aspartic acid and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Epinephrine and
norepinephrine are excitatory. Dopamine, GABA, and glycine are inhibitory.
15. Describe the excitatory and inhibitory actions. How do they interact in normal nerve function?
a. Neurotransmitters that are excitatory increase membrane
permeability to sodium ions. Neurotransmitters that are inhibitory decrease membrane
permeability to sodium. These neurotransmitters may both be present in a synapse; the
response of the post-synaptic neuron depends on which of the neurotransmitters is
present in the highest concentration.
16. What substances seem to have inhibitory action?
a. Substances that are inhibitory are GABA, glycine and dopamine.
17. How is stimulation of the nerve fiber stopped?
a. Stimulation of the nerve fiber is stopped when neurotransmitters are removed from the
synapse either by degradation by an enzyme or by being reabsorbed by the presynaptic
18. What is a nerve?
a. A nerve is a bundle of nerve fibers held together by layers of connective tissue
19. What is a motor nerve?
a. Nerves that carry impulses to muscles or glands are motor nerves.
20. What is a sensory nerve?

a. Nerves that carry impulses into the brain or spinal cord are sensory nerves.
21. What is a mixed nerve?
a. Nerves that include both sensory and motor fibers are mixed nerves.
22. What is a nerve pathway?
a. The routes that nerve impulses utilize as they travel through the nervous system are
nerve pathways.
23. What is a reflex? A reflex arc?
a. A reflex is the simplest of nerve pathways. A reflex arc begins with a sensory receptor.
This moves to an interneuron within the central nervous system. These interneurons
serve as processing centers for reflex pathways. These two neurons form a reflex arc.
24. Be able to label the parts of a reflex in a drawing.
25. What are the bony coverings of the CNS?
a. The bony coverings of the central nervous system are the cranial cavity of the skull and
the spinal column.
26. Fill in the following chart of the meninges.


Structure and special



Dura mater

Outermost layer of
the meninges

Tough, white, fibrous

connective tissue.

Attaches to the inside

of the skull. Forms
the internal
periosteum. Contains
blood vessels and
nerves. Forms
partitions that
support and protect
the brain and spinal
cord. Terminates as a
blind sac

Arachnoid mater

Middle layer of the

meninges. Forms the
upper layer of the
subarachnoid space.

Thin web-like
membrane. Lacks
blood vessels

Spreads over the

surface of the brain
and spinal cord. Does
not dip into the
grooves and
depressions of the

Subarachnoid space
contains the
cerebrospinal fluid.

surface of the brain.

Pia mater

Innermost layer of the Very thin. Innermost

layer of the
subarachnoid space.

Contains many nerves

and blood vessels.
Nourishes the cells of
the brain and spinal
cord. Dips into
grooves and

27. Label the cross section of the spinal cord.

28. How many pairs of spinal nerves are there?
a. 31
29. What is the effect of an injury to the ascending tracts? To the descending tracts?
a. When the ascending tracts of the spinal cord are injured, sensation in the parts of the
body distal to the injury is lost.
b. When the descending tracts are injured, motor function distal to the injury is lost.
30. Be able to label the following parts of the brain: cerebrum, cerebellum, brain stem,
diencephalon, corpus callosum, convolutions or gyri, sulcus, fissure, frontal, temporal, parietal
and occipital lobes, and the cortex,
a. The major parts of the brain are: the cerebrum, cerebellum, and the brain stem. The
diencephalon is an area under the brain that surrounds the third ventricle. Both the
cerebrum and the diencephalon are process sensory impulses; the cerebrum also
processes motor impulses. The cerebellum has centers that coordinate voluntary
muscle movements. The brain stem contains nerve pathways that connect various parts
of the nervous system and regulate certain visceral activities.
b. The bridge that connects the two hemispheres of the cerebrum is
the corpus callosum.The ridges of the hemispheres are convolutions or gyri. A shallow
groove is a sulcus; a deeper groove is a fissure.The lobes of the cerebrum are the
frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes.The outer layer of the cerebrum is the
cortex. It is composed of gray matter. The inner layer of the cerebrum is composed of
white matter. It is white because it is composed of bundles of myelinated axons that
connect the cell bodies of the cortex to nerve centers in the brain and spinal cord.

31. What is the of the cerebrum?

a. The cerebrum is responsible for higher brain functions. It interprets sensory input
arriving from sense organs and centers for initiating voluntary muscle movements.
Memory is a cerebral function as is intellectual functioning and personality
32. Fill in the following table.




Major motor areas lie in the

frontal lobe just in front of the
central sulcus area contains
large pyramidal cells

Movement of skeletal
muscles, speech, movements
of eyes and eye lids

Motor speech area Brocas

Frontal eye field


Parietal lobes

Sensation from skin

Posterior occipital lobes


Temporal lobes


In frontal lobes, and lateral

portions of parietal, temporal,
and occipital lobes.

Analysis and interpretation of

sensory input, memory,
reasoning, verbalizing,
judgement, and emotion.

34. What is the function of the dominant hemisphere? The non-dominant hemisphere?
a. The dominant hemisphere oversees the ability to use and understand language. In 90%
of the population, the left hemisphere is dominant for language related activities such
as speech, writing and reading and for complex intellectual function that requiring
verbal, analytical, and computational skills. The non-dominant hemisphere, usually the
right, is used for nonverbal functions such as motor tasks that require orientation of the
body in space, understanding and interpreting musical patterns, and nonverbal visual
experiences. This hemisphere also controls intuitive thinking and emotional thinking.
35. Describe the location of the ventricles
a. There are four ventricles; two lateral ventricles and 1 each third and
fourth ventricle. The lateral ventricles are located in the cerebral hemispheres and
extend into the frontal, temporal, and occipital lobes. The third ventricle is a narrow
space in the midline of the brain beneath the corpus callosum. The fourth ventricle is in
the brain stem just anterior to the cerebellum.
36. What is the function of cerebral spinal fluid? Where is it secreted?
a. Cerebrospinal fluid is secreted in a mass a specialized capillaries from the pia mater
known as the choroid plexuses. The brain and spinal cord float in this fluid which
supports and protects them by acting as shock absorbers. CSF also maintains electrolyte
balance in the central nervous system and serves as a pathway to the blood for
excretion of wastes.
2. Fill in the attached table Functions of the diencephalon





Located on either side of the

third ventricle

A central relay station for all

sensory ascending impulses to the
cerebral cortex for interpretation.
All parts of the cortex
communicates via descending
fibers with the thalamus.
Produces an awareness of pain,
touch, and temperature.


Lies below the thalamus and

forms the lower walls and
floor of the third ventricle

Maintains homeostasis by
regulating heart rate and rhythm,
temperature, water and
electrolyte balance, hunger and
body weight, movements and
glandular secretions of the GI
tract, production of
neurosecretory hormones that
stimulate production of pituitary
hormones, sleep and wakefulness.

37. What structures comprise the limbic system? What is the function of this system?
a. The limbic system is composed of nuclei (masses of gray matter) including the
hypothalamus, thalamus, and basal nuclei. The limbic system controls emotional
experience and expression. The limbic system recognizes threats to the organism and
produces emotions such as fear, anger, pleasure which guide the person to behaviors
that increase chances for survival.
38. Identify where the brain stem is and label its components.
a. The brain stem lies between the brain and the spinal cord and
connects these two structures. It is composed of the midbrain, pons, medulla oblongata
with its component centers that control vital functions, and the reticular formation.
39. Where is the midbrain located? What is its function?
a. The midbrain is located between the diencephalon and the pons. It contains bundles of
myelinated fibers that join the lower parts of the brain stem and spinal cord with the
higher parts of the brain. It includes part of the corticospinal tracts, the major
descending motor pathways. In terms of function, several visual reflexes are located in
the midbrain such as those that turn the eyes in concert with turning the head as well as
auditory reflex centers that turn the head in the direction of a sound.
40. Where is the pons located and what is its function?
a. The pons is a rounded bulge between the midbrain and the medulla oblongata. Nuclei
of the pons work with meduallary centers to regulate the rate and depth of breathing.

Other nuclei act as relay centers for impulses to the cerebellum and from the periphery
to higher brain centers.
41. Where in the medulla oblongata located? What vital activities does this structure provide?
a. The medulla oblongata extends from the pons to the foramen magnum of the skull.
The fourth ventricle is located in the medulla. Many corticospinal tracts cross over at
this level. The medulla is the control center for the heart, vasomotor dilatation and
contraction, respiratory rhythm and depth of breathing. In addition it is the center for
reflexes such as sneezing and coughing.
42. What are the parts of the PNS?
a. The parts of the peripheral nervous system are the somatic and
autonomic nervous systems.

43. What is the function of the somatic NS? The ANS?

a. The somatic nervous system consists of the cranial and spinal
nerve fibers that connect the CNS to the skin and skeletal muscle. The somatic nervous
system is under conscious control. The autonomic nervous system includes nerve fibers
that allow automatic or unconscious control of viscera such as the heart, stomach,
intestines and glands.
44. What mnemonic are you using to remember the cranial nerves?
a. On old Olympus towering tops a finn and german viewed some hops.
b. Olfactory, optic, oculomotor, trochlear, trigeminal, abducens, facial, auditory
(vestibulochoclear), glossopharyngeal, vagus, accessory, hypoglossal
45. Fill out the chart below.
46. Cranial nerve functions
Sensory, motor,
Cranial nerve
I Olfactory


Associated with the sense of smell

II Optic



III Oculomotor


Raise the eyelid, adjust the lenses and pupil

of the eye

IV Trochlear


Innervates a voluntary muscle that moves the




Largest of the cranial nerves. Sensory

portions most extensive. 3 divisions. Sensory
to the surface of the eye, upper teeth &
gums, palate and skin of the face, Mandibular
division is mixed. Sensory from the scalp
behind the ears, lower teeth , gums, & lip.

Motor to the muscles of mastication.

VI. Abducens


Last of the cranial nerves to move the eye.

VII. Facial


Sensory for taste on anterior 2/3 of tongue.

Motor to salivary glands and muscles of facial

Vestibulocochlear or


Hearing and equilibrium

IX. Glossopharyngeal


Sensory from the linings of the pharynx and

posterior 1/3 of the tongue. Motor to
muscles of swallowing

X. Vagus


Only cranial nerve to innervate structures

beyond the head and neck.
Contain somatic and autonomic fibers.
Impulses associated with speech and
swallowing. Autonomic supply the heart, and
many smooth muscles and glands in the
thorax and abdomen.

XI. Accessory


Cranial branch joins the vagus nerve to carry

impulses to soft palate, pharynx and larynx.
Spinal branch supplies motor fibers to the
trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles.

XII. Hypoglossal


Innervate muscles that move the tongue in

chewing, swallowing and speaking.

47. How are spinal nerves identified?
a. The spinal nerves are identified by numbers 1-31.
b. C1-C
48. What is the structure and function of the dorsal root? The ventral root?
a. The dorsal root contains the cell bodies of sensory neurons whose dendrites conduct
sensory impulses from the peripheral body parts. The ventral root or anterior or motor
root of each spinal nerve consists of axons from the motor neurons whose cell bodies
are located within the gray matter of the cord.
49. What is a plexus?
a. The main portions of the spinal nerves combine to form complex

networks call plexuses. In a plexus, spinal nerve fibers are sorted and recombined so
that fibers that innervate a particular body part reach it in the same nerve despite the
fact that the fibers may come from several different spinal nerves.
50. Fill in the following table.
Nerves involved

Structures innervated

Cervical plexus

First four cervical nerves

Muscles and skin of the neck.

Fibers from the third, fourth,
and fifth cervical nerves join
the phrenic nerves which
supply the diaphragm.

Brachial plexus

Lower four cervical nerves

and first thoracic nerve

Supple the muscles and skin

of the arm, forearm, and hand
and include the
musculocutaneous, ulnar,
median, and axillary nerves.

Lumbosacral plexus

Last thoracic nerve and the

lumbar, sacral and coccygeal

Supply the muscles and skin of

the lower abdominal wall,
external genitalia, buttocks,
thighs, legs, and feet. Major
branches include obturator,
femoral, and sciatic nerves.

51. Describe the characteristics of the ANS.

a. The autonomic nervous system is that part of the peripheral nervous system than
functions without conscious control or effort. It controls such vital functions as heart
rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, body temperature, and other visceral functions
that are essential to maintaining homeostasis.
52. What are the two main divisions of the ANS?
a. The divisions of the autonomic nervous system are the sympathetic and
parasympathetic divisions.
53. How do the nerve pathways in the autonomic and somatic divisions differ?
a. The somatic nervous system usually includes a single neuron between the brain or
spinal cord and a skeletal muscle. The autonomic nervous system has two neurons. The
cell body of one neuron is located in the brain or spinal cord and its axon, the
preganglionic fiber, leaves the CAN and synapses with one or more neurons whose cell
bodies are located within an autonomic ganglion. The axon of the second neuron is the
postganglionic fiber and it extends to a visceral effector.
54. Where do the preganglionic fibers originate in each division?

a. The pregangionic fibers of the sympathetic division originate from neurons in the gray
matter of the spinal cord. They leave the cord through the ventral roots of the spinal
nerves the first thoracic through the second lumbar segments. From the spinal cord
they enter a member of the chain of paravertebral ganglia. The preganglionic fibers of
the parasympathetic division arise from the brain stem and the sacral region of the
spinal cord.
55. Identify the neurotransmitters associated with pre and post ganglionic fibers in the sympathetic
and parasympathetic divisions.
a. The preganglionic fibers of both divisions of the autonomic nervous system secrete
acetylcholine as the neurotransmitter. They are cholinergic fibers. The parasympathetic
postganglionic fibers also use acetylchoine and are also cholinergic fibers. The
sympathetic postganglionic fibers secrete norepinephrine and are known as adrenergic
fibers. The different post-ganglionic neurotransmitters are responsible for the different
effects of the two divisions on effector organs.