Chapter 29

Central Nervous System

The central nervous system controls most functions of the body and mind. It consists of two parts: the brain and the spinal cord.

Peripheral Nervous system

The Peripheral Nervous System connects the Central Nervous System to the organs and limbs.

Somatic Nervous System

Major functions of the Somatic Nervous System include voluntary movement of the muscles and organs and reflex movements.

Autonomic Nervous System

The Autonomic Nervous System regulates body functions such as digestion, heart rate, urination, respiratory rate, pupillary response, and sexual arousal. The sympathetic nervous system is often referred to as the fight-or-flight response because it gets the body ready for intense physical work. The parasympathetic nervous system is the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system because it relaxes the body.

Sensory Neuron

Nerve cells within the nervous system are sensory neurons. They convert external stimuli into internal electrical impulses.


Interneuron allow for communication to happen between sensory or motor neurons and the Central Nervous System.

Motor Neuron

The cell body of a motor neuron is located in the spinal cord. Motor neurons carry signals from the spinal cord to effectors.

Neuromuscular Junction

The neuromuscular junction is the site of communication between the muscle fibers and the motor nerve axons.


Acetylcholine is a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells.


Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that is released from the sympathetic nervous system system in response to stress.


Epinephrine is known as adrenaline and is secreated when strong emotions of fear and anger are present. When it is released into the bloodstream it causes an increase in heart rate, muscle strength, blood pressure, and sugar metabolism.


The synapse transfers electric activity from one cell to another cell.

White Matter

White Matter is composed of bundles of axons, which connect gray matter areas of the brain together. White Matter also carries nerve impulses between neurons.

Gray Matter

Grey matter includes regions of the brain that are involved in muscle control, and sensory perception.

Cerebral Cortex

The cerebral cortex is referred to as gray matter. The cerebral cortex is responsible for most of the information processing. The cerebral cortex is divided into four sections. The lobes of the brain are: frontal, pariental, temporal, and occipital.

Limbic System

The limbic system includes the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, hypothalamus, basal ganglia, and cingulate gyrus. The limbic system is located just beneath the cerebrum on both sides of the thalamus and is responsible for our emotional lives and it is also in control of many higher mental functions, such as learning and formation of memories.

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