central nervous system

the central nervous system

The central nervous system (CNS) ( Figure 1.1) is the largest part of the nervous system. It includes the brain and the spinal cord. The bony skull protects the brain. The spinal cord is protected within the bones of the spine, which are called vertebrae.

the spinal cord

The spinal cord is a long, tube-shaped bundle of neurons, protected by the vertebrae. It runs from the brain stem to the lower back. The main job of the spinal cord is to carry nerve impulses back and forth between the body and brain. The spinal cord is like a two-way highway. Messages about the body, both inside and out, pass through the spinal cord to the brain. Messages from the brain pass in the other direction through the spinal cord to tell the body what to do.

the brain

What weighs about three pounds and contains up to 100 billion cells? The answer is the human brain. The brain is the control center of the nervous system. Its like the pilot of a plane. It tells other parts of the nervous system what to do. The brain is also the most complex organ in the body. Each of its 100 billion neurons has synapses connecting it with thousands of other neurons. All those neurons use a lot of energy. In fact, the adult brain uses almost a quarter of the total energy used by the body. The developing brain of a baby uses an even greater amount of the bodys total energy. The brain is the organ that lets us understand what we see, hear, or sense in other ways. It also allows us to use language, learn, think, and remember. The brain controls the organs in our body and our movements as well. The brain consists of three main parts, the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the brain stem ( Figure 1.2). 1. The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. It sits on top of the brain stem. The cerebrum controls functions that we are aware of, such as problem-solving and speech. It also controls voluntary movements, like waving to a friend. Whether you are doing your homework or jumping hurdles, you are using your cerebrum. 2. The cerebellum is the next largest part of the brain. It lies under the cerebrum and behind the brain stem. The cerebellum controls body position, coordination, and balance. Whether you are riding a bicycle or writing with a pen, you are using your cerebellum. 3. The brain stem is the smallest of the three main parts of the brain. It lies directly under the cerebrum. The brain stem controls basic body functions, such as breathing, heartbeat, and digestion. The brain stem also carries information back and forth between the cerebrum and spinal cord. The cerebrum is divided into a right and left half ( Figure 1.2). Each half of the cerebrum is called a hemisphere. The two hemispheres are connected by a thick bundle of axons called the corpus callosum. It lies deep inside the brain and carries messages back and forth between the two hemispheres. Did you know that the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body? By connecting the two hemispheres, the corpus callosum allows this to happen. Each hemisphere of the cerebrum is divided into four parts, called lobes. The four lobes are the: 1. 2. 3. 4. Frontal. Parietal. Temporal. Occipital. Each lobe has different jobs. Some of the functions are listed below ( Table 1.1). Side view of the brain (right). Can you find the locations of the three major parts of the brain? Top view of the brain (left). Lobe Frontal Parietal Temporal Occipital Main Function(s) Speech, thinking, touch Speech, taste, reading Hearing, smell Sight

textbook_image

textbook_image

instructional diagrams

No diagram descriptions associated with this lesson

questions

the brain, spinal cord and adjoining nerves make up the central nervous system.

a. true

-->  b. false

the brain contains up to 100,000,000,000 neurons.

-->  a. true

b. false

what part of the brain controls breathing, heartbeat, and digestion?

a) the cerebrum

b) the cerebellum

-->  c) the brain stem

d) the corpus callosum

what part of the brain controls voluntary movements?

-->  a) the cerebrum

b) the cerebellum

c) the brain stem

d) the corpus callosum

which part of the brain controls thinking?

-->  a) the frontal lobe

b) the parietal lobe

c) the temporal lobe

d) the occipital lobe

which part of the brain controls the sense of smell?

a) the frontal lobe

b) the parietal lobe

-->  c) the temporal lobe

d) the occipital lobe

what connects the right side of the brain to the left side?

a) nerves

b) the frontal lobe

c) the brain stem

-->  d) the corpus callosum

diagram questions

No diagram questions associated with this lesson