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Neural Vocab

acetylcholine neurotransmitter chemical released at the ends of nerve cells
afferent nerve carries messages toward the brain and spinal cord (sensory nerve). afferent comes from af- (a form of ad-, meaning toward) and -ferent (meaning carrying).
arachnoid membrane middle layer of the three membranes (meninges) that surround the brain and spinal cor. the Greek arachne means spider.
astrocyte type of glial (neuroglial) cell that transports water and salts from capillaries.
autonomic nervous system Nerves that control involuntary body functions of muscles, glands, and internal organs.
axon microscopic fiber that carries the nervous impulse along a nerve cell
blood-brain barrier blood vessels (capillaries) that selectively let certain substances enter the brain tissue and keep other substances out
brainstem lower portion of the brain tha connects the cerbrum with the spinal cord; includes the pons and medulla oblongata
cauda equina collection of spinal nerves below the end of the spinal cord
cell body part of a nerve cell that contains the nucleus
central nervous system brain and the spinal cord
cerebellum posterior part of the brain that coordinates muscle movements and maintains balance
cerebral cortex outer region of the cerebrum, containing sheets of nerve cells; gray matter of the brain
cerebrospinal fluid circulates throughout th brain and spinal cord
cerebrum largest part of the brain; responsible for voluntary muscular activity, vision, speech, tast, hearing, thought, and memory.
cranial nerves twelve pairs of nerves that carry messages to and from the brain with regard to the head and neck (except the vagus nerve).
dendrite microscopic branching fiber of a nerve cell that is the first part to recieve the nervous impulse
dura mater thick, outermost layer of the meinges surrounding and protecting the brain and spinal cord. Later for "hard mother."
efferent nerve carries messages away from the brain and spinal cord and helps for cerebrospinal fluid.
ganglion (plura: ganglia) collection of nerve cell bodies in the peripheral nervous system
glial cell (neuroglial cell) supportive and connective nerve cell that does not carry nervous inpulses. Examples are astrocytes, microglial cells, ependymal cells, and oligodendrocytes.
gyrus (plural: gyri) sheet of nerve cells that produces a rounded ridge on the surface of the cerebral cortex; convolution
hypothalamus portion of the brain beneath the thalamus; controls sleep, appetite, body temperature, and secretions from the putuitary gland
medulla oblongata part of the brain just above the spinal cord; controls breathin, hearbeat, and the size of blood vessels; nerve fibers cross over here
meninges three protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
microglial cell phagocytic glial cell that removes waste products from the central nervous system
motor nerve carries messages away from the brain and spinal cord to muscles and organs; efferent nerve
myelin sheather covering of white fatty tissue that surrounds and insulates the axon of a nerve cell. myelin speeds impulse conduction along axons
nerve macroscopic cord-like collection of fibers (axons and dendrites) that carry electrical impulses.
neuron nerve cell that carries impulses throughout the body
neurotransmitter chemical messenger released at the end of a nerve cell. it stimulates or inhibits another cell, which can be a nerve cell, muscle cell, or gland cell. examples of neurotransmitters are acetylcholin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin
oligodendroglial cell glial cell that forms the myelin sheath covering axons. also called oligodendrocyte
parasympathetic nerves involuntary, autonomi nerves that regulate normal body functions such as heart rate, breathing, and muscles of the gastrointestinal tract.
parenchyma essential, distinguishing tissue of any organ or system. the parenchyma of the nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord, and nerurons. parenchymal cells of the liver are hepatocytes, and parenchymal tissue of the kidney includes the nephrons
peripheral nervous system nerves outside the brain and spinal cord; cranial, spinal, and autonomic nerves
pia mater thin, delicate inner membrane of the meninges
plexus (plural: plexuses) large, interlacing network of nerves. Examples are lumbosacral, cervical, and brachial plexuses.
pons part of the brain anterior to the cerebellum and between the medulla and the rest of the midbrain.
receptor organ that receives a nervous stimulus and passes it on to afferent nerves. the skin, ears, eyes, and taste buds are receptors
sciatic nerve nerve extending from the base of the spine down the thigh, lower leg, and foot
sensory nerve carries messages toward the brain and spinal cord from a receptor; afferent nerve
spinal nerves thirty-one pairs of nerves arising from the sprinal cord
stimulus agent of change (light, sound, touch) in the interenal or external environment that evokes a response
stroma connective and supporting tissue of an organ. glial cells are the stromal tissue of the brain
sulcus depression or groove in the surface of the cerebral cortex
sympathetic nerves autnomic nerves that influence bodily functions involuntarily in times of stress
synapse space through which a nervous impulse travels between nerve cells or between nerve and muscle or glandular cells.
thalamus main relay center of the brain; conducts impulses between the spinal cord and the cerebrum
vagus nerve 10th cranial nerve; its branches reach to the laynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs, aorta, esophagus, and stomach
ventricles of the brain canals in the brain that contain cerebrospinal fluid.
Created by: bob3000