Chapter 29 Jose Peña

Central Nervous System

The complex of nerve tissues that controls the activities of the body. In vertebrates it comprises the brain and spinal cord. It integrates information it receives from, and coordinates and influences the activity of all parts of the bodies of bilaterally symmetric animals.

Peripheral Nervous System

The peripheral nervous system is one of the two main parts of the nervous system, the other part is the central nervous system. The PNS consists of the nerves and ganglia outside of the brain and spinal cord.

Somatic Nervous System

The somatic nervous system is the part of the peripheral nervous system associated with skeletal muscle voluntary control of body movements. The SoNS consists of afferent nerves or sensory nerves, and efferent nerves or motor nerves.

Autonomic Nervous System

the part of the nervous system responsible for control of the bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, the heartbeat, and digestive processes

Parasympathetic Nervous System

The parasympathetic nervous system is one of three divisions of the autonomic nervous system. Sometimes called the rest and digest system, the parasympathetic system conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter umuscles in the gastrointestinal trac

Sympathetic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system functions to regulate the body's unconscious actions. The sympathetic nervous system's primary process is to stimulate the body's fight-or-flight response. It is, however, constantly active at a basic level to maintain homeostasis.

Sensory Neuron

Sensory neurons are nerve cells within the nervous system responsible for converting external stimuli from the organism's environment into internal electrical impulses. For example, some sensory neurons respond to tactile stimuli and can activate motor neurons in order to achieve muscle contraction


Interneurons create neural circuits, enabling communication between sensory or motor neurons and the central nervous system. They have been found to function in reflexes, neuronal oscillations, and neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain

Motor Neuron

Motor Neurons are a nerve cell forming part of a pathway along which impulses pass from the brain or spinal cord to a muscle or gland.

Neuromuscular Junction

A chemical synapse formed by the contact between a motor neuron and a muscle fiber. It is at the neuromuscular junction that a motor neuron is able to transmit a signal to the muscle fiber, causing muscle contraction.


Acetylcholine is an organic chemical that functions in the brain and body of many types of animals, including humans, as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other cells

Norepinephrine and epinephrine

Epinephrine and norepinephrine are released by the adrenal medulla and nervous system respectively. They are the flight/fight hormones that are released when the body is under extreme stress. During stress, much of the body's energy is used to combat imminent danger.


The junction between two nerve cells, consisting of a minute gap across which impulses pass by diffusion of a neurotransmitter.

White matter

White matter is composed of bundles of myelinated nerve cell projections (or axons), which connect various gray matter areas (the locations of nerve cell bodies) of the brain to each other, and carry nerve impulses between neurons.

Gray matter

Grey matter is a major component of the central nervous system, consisting of neuronal cell bodies, neuropil (dendrites and myelinated as well as unmyelinated axons), glial cells (astroglia and oligodendrocytes), synapses, and capillaries

Cerebral cortex

The cerebral cortex is the outer layer of neural tissue of the cerebrum of the brain, in humans and other mammals. It is separated into two cortices, by the longitudinal fissure that divides the cerebrum into the left and right cerebral hemispheres.

Lobes of the Brain

The Cerebrum: The cerebrum or cortex is the largest part of the human brain, associated with higher brain function such as thought and action. The cerebral cortex is divided into four sections, called "lobes": the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe.

Limbic system

The primary structures within the limbic system include the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, hypothalamus, basal ganglia, and cingulate gyrus. The amygdala is the emotion center of the brain, while the hippocampus plays an essential role in the formation of new memories about past experiences

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