Sei sulla pagina 1di 48

FUCTIONAL Organization and basic functions of the Nervous System


Abeer El-Emam ass. Prof. Physiology

Men ought to know that from nothing else but the brain come joys, delights, laughter and sports, and grief, despondency. And by this, in an especial manner, we acquire wisdom and knowledge, and see and hear and know what are foul and what are fair, what are bad and what are good... And by the same organ we become mad and delirious, and fears and terrors assail us All these things we endure from the brain when it is not healthy In these ways I am of the opinion that the brain exercises the greatest power in the man.
Hippocrates, fourth century

After studying this chapter you should able to Knowledge and understanding: - Name the component of the nervous system - Define reflex arc - Describe the component of a reflex arc and name its types - List the functional parts of the nervous system and their role in control of voluntary movement - Describe the function of each horn in the spinal cord section component

The nervous system has three main functions: Sensory input Integration of data Motor output.

Sensory motor integration

Functions of the Nervous System

Propagate sensory information (APs) from eyes, skin, blood vessels, ears, digestive tract, joints, muscles, lungs to the CNS Integration. Brain and spinal cord process sensory input and initiate responses Motor output: Controls of muscles and glands conscious perception (awareness) of some sensory information Mental activity. Consciousness, thinking, memory, emotion

Anatomical Organization of the Nervous System

Central nervous system (CNS) the brain the spinal cord major information integration centers of the body large masses of neurons Peripheral nervous system (PNS) nerves that connect the CNS and other locations of the body neurons propagate APs towards and away from the CNS ganglions (group of neuronal somas)

Types of neurons
Sensory neurons (or afferent neurons) carry impulses from receptors to the central nervous system Motor neurons (or efferent neurons) carry impulses from the central nervous system to effectors (muscles and glands) Sensory and motor neurons make up the peripheral nervous system. Visceral motor neurons form the autonomic nervous system, Interneurons (association neurons) They connect the neurons, and are found entirely within the central nervous system..

Peripheral Nervous System

The PNS consists of 12 pairs (left and right) of cranial nerves originate from the brain and 31 pairs (left and right) of nerves are attached to the spinal cord Sensory (afferent) all axons carry impulses from sensory receptors via the PNS to the CNS Motor (efferent) all axons carry impulses via the PNS from CNS Mixed a mixture of sensory and motor neurons that carry impulses via the PNS to and from CNS most common type of nerve in the body

Sensory Division of the PNS

Transmit nerve impulses over sensory neurons to the CNS from receptors Receptors are classified as: Somatic receptors - those found in skin, joints, skeletal muscles, and special sense organs Respond to touch, pressure, heat, stretch, pain, light Visceral receptors - located in walls of viscera Respond to stretch, pain, temperature, chemical stimuli (CO2)

Motor Division of PNS

Transmits impulses away from the CNS to effectors Effector - any muscle or gland Somatic nervous system: Regulates contraction of skeletal muscles. Under our voluntary control - I.e., under conscious control Autonomic nervous system (ANS) Regulates contraction of smooth muscle, cardiac muscle and glands (visceral organs) Subconscious or involuntary control.

Divisions of the ANS Sympathetic. Prepares body for physical activity.

Parasympathetic. Regulates resting or vegetative functions such as digesting food or emptying of the urinary bladder


The brain consists of many parts that function as an integrated whole. The major parts are the medulla, pons, and midbrain (collectively called the brain stem), the cerebellum, the hypothalamus, the thalamus, and the cerebrum.

The forebrain Composed of the cerebrum and the diencephalon ( thalamus and hypothalamus )

Largest portion of the brain 4 lobes (frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital) perception of all senses memory, emotion, learning initiation of voluntary skeletal muscle contraction

Cerebral Cortex (Cerebrum)

Some Functional Areas of Cerebral Cortex

Motor areas initiate action potential for skeletal muscle contraction (voluntary movement) (pre-central gyrus of the frontal lobe) Somesthetic areas perceive sensory information from the skin, muscles and joints (post-central gyrus of parietal lobe) Broca and Wernicke areas function in learning language and speech - sulcus (i) & fissure (s) (lateral, central) - gyrus

Motor Areas

Sensory Areas

Figure 13.10

Lateralization of the Cerebral Cortex

The cortex is divided anatomically into right an left hemispheres connected in the middle by the corpus callosum Right Side controls left & vice-versa Left Hemisphere Functions e.g., language, analytical reasoning Right Hemisphere Functions e.g., spatial skills, processing music

Major relaying center for both sensory (afferent) and motor (efferent) information as it passes between the brain and the PNS. Primitive center for crude sensations from opposite side of the body such as pain, extreme of temperature. Parts of the thalamus are also involved in alertness and awareness and others contribute to memory.

Group of nuclei forms the floor and lower walls of the third ventricle.
Functions include the following: Control of the autonomic nervous system Control of emotional responses Regulation of body temperature Regulation of hunger and thirst sensations Control of behavior Regulation of sleep-wake cycles Control of the endocrine system Formation of memory

Brain Stem
Comprised of midbrain, pons and the medulla oblongata.

The Brain Stem The Midbrain

Cranial nerve III,IV emerge from mid brain sleep and wake cycles (RAS) concerned with righting reflexes, those that keep the head upright and maintain balance or equilibrium. contains the superior and inferior colliculi Superior colliculi nuclei that act in visual reflexes Inferior colliculi nuclei that act in reflexive response to sound

The Brain Stem The Pons

Located between the midbrain and medulla oblongata Contains the nuclei of cranial nerves V, VI, and VII,VIII

There are two respiratory center that work with those in the medulla to produce a normal breathing rhythm.

The Brain Stem The Medulla Oblongata

The core of the medulla contains: Much of the reticular formation Nuclei influence autonomic functions - decussation of the pyramids Visceral centers of the reticular formation include: Cardiac center Vasomotor center The medullary respiratory center Centers for hiccupping, sneezing, swallowing, and coughing and the lower four cranial nerves from the medulla

Clusters of neurons (brain centers) in regions of the pons and medulla control the basic life functions: heart rate controlled by the cardioacceleratory and cardioinhibitory centers in the medulla blood pressure controlled by the cardioacceleratory, cardioinhibitory, and vasomotor centers in the medulla breathing rate controlled by the inspiratory and expiratory centers in the medulla and pons, respectively

The Cerebellum

Figure 13.22a

The Cerebellum
Located dorsal to the pons and medulla Composed of two cerebellar hemispheres Makes up 11% of the brains mass Modifies the motor information leaving the motor cortex provides precise timing and appropriate patterns of skeletal muscle contraction to maintain balance and coordination. Smoothes and coordinates body movements Helps maintain equilibrium - cognitive functions (with frontal lobe) Cerebellar activity occurs subconsciously

Basal Ganglia
Subcortical masses of grey matter Striatum (Caudate & Putamen)- Globus Pallidus- Substantia Nigra. They work with the cerebellum in planning and controlling the voluntary movements.

Control of muscle tone, and voluntary movements Subconsciuos automatic movements.

The Limbic System

Location Medial aspect of cerebral hemispheres Also within the diencephalon Composed of: Septal nuclei, cingulate gyrus, and hippocampal formation Part of the amygdala concerned with; control of emotion, regulation of autonomic function, motivation, memory, feeding, sexual behavior.

The Reticular Formation

Large masses of neurons scattered within the brain stem. Concerned with adjustment of stretch reflex, contains many areas for regulation of heart rate, blood pressure. Modify pain through raphe nucleus which secrets serotonin. Regulation of sleep

RAS: Upward extension of facilitatory reticular formation responsible for wakefulness

Spinal Cord
The spinal cord is attached to the brain and extends to the lumbar region of the vertebral column Functions include: integration of basic stimuli presented to the body below the neck through simple reflex arcs withdrawal reflex in response to pain Walking movements. Reflexes that stiffen the legs to support the body against gravity. Reflexes that control local blood vessels, gastrointestinal movements. sending sensory and motor information to and from the brain

Spinal Cord Anatomy

Dorsal (posterior) horns (left and right) sensory neurons enter the cord on the dorsal aspect where they synapse with interneurons or motor neurons extend into dorsal roots and ganglia Ventral (anterior) horns (left and right) motor neurons exits the cord on the ventral aspect where they control effectors (muscle or glands) extend into motor roots Dorsal and ventral roots merge together to form spinal nerves

Ventricles The ventricles are four cavities within the brain: two lateral ventricles, the third ventricle, and the fourth ventricle . Each ventricle contains a capillary network called a choroid plexus, which forms cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from blood plasma.

Cerebrospinal fluid
Volume, 140ml in adult man Pressure, 10 mmHg Colorless, salty solution Continuously secreted from specialized cells (ependymal cells) in the choroid plexus in ventricles Ependyma actively transport Na+ and solutes into ventricles Functions: Physical and chemical protection Contains little protein and lower K+, Ca++, HCO3-, and glucose

The Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB)

Function - protection Brain capillaries much less permeable than others Protects the brain from blood composition fluctuations This barrier is permeable to respiratory gases, glucose, volatile anesthetics Exceptions (circumventricular organs) posterior pituitary and vomiting center

The reflex action

All activities of the nervous system are in the form of reflex action. A reflex action is an unavoidable beneficial inborn response brought about by a stimulus (a sudden change of the external or internal environment) Types of reflex action: - Somatic reflex action: if the responding tissue is skeletal muscle.e.g., withdrawal of the limb away from painful stimuli. - Visceral (autonomic) reflex action: concerned with reflexes of internal organs or viscera such as gastrointestinal tract, urinary bladder .

The reflex action is carried out through a pathway called a reflex arc

Somatic reflex action

visceral reflex action

Telencephalon Diencephalon Mesencephalon Metencephalon Myelencephalon

Collection of neurons
Gray matter, collection of neuronal cell bodies in the CNS Cortex, any collection of neurons that form a thin sheet, usually at the brain surface. Nucleus, distinguishable mass of neurons deep within the brain

Substantia, a group of related neurons deep within the brain but with less distinct border than those of nucleus
Locus, a small well defined group of cells

Collection of axons
White matter, collection of CNS axons Tract, a collection of CNS axons having a common site of origin and a common destination Bundle, a collection of axons that run together but do not necessarily have the same origin and destination Capsule, a collection of axons that connect the cerebrum with the brain stem Lemniscus, atract that meander through the brain like a ribbon