Key Terms

NORMAL STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION

arachnoid The middle layer of the meninges (from the Greek word for spider, a-RAK-noyd because this tissue resembles a spider web)

arachnoid The middle layer of the meninges (from the Greek word for spider, a-RAK-noyd because this tissue resembles a spider web)

autonomic nervous

The division of the nervous system that regulates involuntary activi

system (ANS)

ties, controlling smooth muscles, cardiac muscle, and glands; the

aw-to-NOM-ik

visceral nervous system

axon

The fiber of a neuron that conducts impulses away from the cell body

AK-son

brain

The nervous tissue contained within the cranium; consists of the

cerebrum, diencephalon, brainstem, and cerebellum (root encephal/o)

brainstem

The part of the brain that consists of the midbrain, pons, and medulla

oblongata

central nervous

The brain and spinal cord

system (CNS)

Autonomic Brain Function
FIGURE 17-6. Autonomic nervous system (only one side is shown for each division).

Normal Structure and Function, continued

cerebellum

The posterior portion of the brain dorsal to the pons and medulla;

ser-e-BEL-um

helps to coordinate movement and to maintain balance and posture

(cerebellum means "little brain"; root cerebell/o)

cerebral cortex

The thin surface layer of gray matter of the cerebrum (root cortic/o;

SER-e-bral

the cortex is the outer region of an organ)

cerebrum

The large upper portion of the brain; it is divided into two hemi

SER-e-brum

spheres by the longitudinal fissure (root cerebr/o)

cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

The watery fluid that circulates in and around the brain and spinal

ser-e-bro-SPI-nal

cord as a protection

cranial nerves

The twelve pairs of nerves that are connected to the brain

dendrit_e

A fiber of a neuron that conducts impulses toward the cell body

DEN-drit

diencephalon

The part of the brain that contains the thalamus, hypothalamus, and

di-en-SEF-a-lon

pituitary gland; located between the cerebrum and the brainstem

du_ra mat_er

The fibrous outermost layer of the meninges

DU-ra MA-ter

ganglion

A collection of nerve cell bodies outside the CNS (plural, ganglia;

GANG-gle-on

root gangli/o, ganglion/o)

gray matter

Unmyelinated tissue of the nervous system

hypothalamus

The part of the brain that controls the pituitary gland and maintains

hi -po-THAL-a-mus

homeostasis

medulla oblongata

The portion of the brain that connects with the spinal cord. It has

me-DUL-la ob-long-GA-ta

vital centers for control of respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure

(root medull/o).

The three membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord: the dura

meningese men-IN-jez

mater, the arachnoid, and the pia mater (singular, meninx; root

mening/o, meninge/o)

midbrain

The part of the brainstem between the diencephalon and the pons;

contains centers for coordination of reflexes for vision and hearing

motor

Producing movement; describes neurons that carry impulses away

from the CNS

meyelin

A whitish, fatty substance that surrounds certain axons of the ner-

MI-e-lin

vous system

neeurogliae

The connective tissue cells of the nervous system; also called glial

nu-ROG-le-a

cells (from glia meaning "glue"; root gli/o)

NU-ron

neurotransmitter

A chemical that transmits energy across a synapse

nerve

A bundle of nerve cell fibers outside the CNS (root neur/o)

Normal Structure and Function, continued

parasympathetic

The part of the automatic nervous system that reverses the response

nervous system

to stress and restores homeostasis. It slows heart rate and respiration

rate and stimulates activity of the digestive, urinary, and reproductive

systems.

peripheral nervous

The portion of the nervous system outside the CNS

system (PNS)

per-IF-er-al

p_ia mat_er

The innermost layer of the meninges

PE-a MA-ter

pons

A rounded area on the ventral surface of the brainstem; contains

ponz

fibers that connect regions of the brain; the adjective is pontine

(PON-ten)

reflex

A simple, rapid, and automatic response to a stimulus

RE-fleks

root

A branch of a spinal nerve that connects with the spinal cord; the

dorsal (posterior) root joins the dorsal gray horn of the spinal cord;

the ventral (anterior) root joins the ventral gray horn of the spinal

cord (root radicul/o)

sensory_

Describing neurons that carry impulses toward the CNS

SEN-so-re

somatic nervous system

The division of the nervous system that controls skeletal (voluntary)

muscles

spinal cord

The nervous tissue contained within the spinal column; extends from

the medulla oblongata to the second lumbar vertebra (root myel/o)

spinal nerves

The 31 pairs of nerves that connect with the spinal cord

sympathetic nervous

The part of the autonomic nervous system that mobilizes a response

system

to stress; increases heart rate and respiration rate and delivers more

blood to skeletal muscles

synapse

The junction between two neurons

SIN-aps

thalamus

The part of the brain that receives all sensory impulses except those

THAL-a-mus

for the sense of smell and directs them to the proper portion of the

cerebral cortex (root thalam/o)

tract

A bundle of nerve cell fibers within the CNS

trakt

ventricle

A small cavity, such as one of the cavities in the brain in which CSF is

VEN-trik-l

produced (root ventricul/o)

visceral nervous system

The autonomic nervous system

white matter

Myelinated tissue of the nervous system

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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