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Nervous System

Neurons and Nerves
The Brain
Spinal Cord
Peripheral Nervous System
Autonomic Nervous System
Senses: Sight, Senses, Smell, Taste, Senses, Senses
Higher Functions
Altered States

Spinal Cord

Spinal Cord Neuron and Nerve The spinal cord (Figure 04a) lies along the middorsal line of the body. It has two main functions: (1) it is the center for many reflex actions, and (2) it provides a means of commu-nication between the brain and the spinal nerves that leave the cord (Figure 04b). The white matter of the cord is white because it contains myelinated long fibers of interneurons that run to-gether in bundles call tracts. These tracts connect the cord to the brain. The dorsal ones are primarily ascending to the brain, while the ventral tracts bring information down from the brain. The inner portion of the

Figure 04a Spinal Cord
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Figure 04b CNS and PNS
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cord is filled with a mass of nerve cell bodies called gray matter. Each spinal nerve emerges from the spinal cord as two short branches, the dorsal and the ventral roots. These roots join just before the nerve leaves the vertebral column.

Peripheral Nervous System

Cranial Nerves Spinal Nerves The peripheral nervous system is outside the CNS. It consists of the various nerves that connect particular parts of the CNS with particular organs. Humans have 12 pairs of cranial nerves and 31 pairs of spinal nerves. Cranial nerves (Figure 05) are either sensory nerves, motor nerves, or mixed nerves. All of them, except the vagus nerve, control the head, the face, the neck, and the shoulders. The vagus nerve controls the internal organs. Table 03 lists the functions of the various cranial nerves. All spinal nerves (Figure 06) are mixed nerves that take impulses to and from the spinal cord. Table 04

Figure 05 Cranial Nerves [view large image]

Figure 06 Spinal Nerves
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describes the symptom of spinal cord injury (SCI) with the particular spinal nerve(s).


Cranial Nerve CN# Brain Region Major Functions
Terminal 0 Near the olfactory Reception of pheromone for sex
Olfactory 1 Cerebral Cortex Smell
Optic 2 Limbic System Vision
Oculomotor 3 Midbrain Eyelid & eyeball movement; pupil dilation
Trochlear 4 Pons Control downward & lateral eye movement
Trigeminal 5 " Chewing; sensation of face & mouth
Abducens 6 " Control lateral eye movement
Facial 7 " Control most facial expressions; secretion of tears & saliva; taste; ear sensation
Auditory 8 Medulla Hearing; balance
Glossopharyngeal 9 " Taste; swallowing; sensation from tongue, tonsil, pharynx, carotid blood pressure
Vagus 10 " Sensory, motor and autonomic functions of viscera - glands, digestion,
heart rate, breathing rate, aortic blood pressure
Spinal Accessory 11 " Controls muscles used in head movement
Hypoglossal 12 " Controls tongue movements

Table 03 Functions of Cranial Nerves

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