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Spinal Cord
The spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular structure made up of nervous tissue, which extends from the medulla oblongata in the brainstem to the lumbar region of the vertebral column (backbone). The backbone encloses the central canal of the spinal cord, which contains cerebrospinal fluid. The brain and spinal cord together make up the central nervous system (CNS). In humans, the spinal cord begins at the occipital bone, passing through the foramen magnum and then enters the spinal canal at the beginning of the cervical vertebrae. The spinal cord extends down to between the first and second lumbar vertebrae, where it ends. The enclosing bony vertebral column protects the relatively shorter spinal cord. It is around long in adult men and around long in adult women. The diameter of the spinal cord ranges from in the cervical and lumbar regions to in the thoracic area. The spinal cord functions primarily in the transmission of nerve signals from the motor cortex to the ...
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Central Nervous System
The central nervous system (CNS) is the part of the nervous system consisting primarily of the brain and spinal cord. The CNS is so named because the brain integrates the received information and coordinates and influences the activity of all parts of the bodies of bilaterally symmetric and triploblastic animals—that is, all multicellular animals except sponges and diploblasts. It is a structure composed of nervous tissue positioned along the rostral (nose end) to caudal (tail end) axis of the body and may have an enlarged section at the rostral end which is a brain. Only arthropods, cephalopods and vertebrates have a true brain (precursor structures exist in onychophorans, gastropods and lancelets). The rest of this article exclusively discusses the vertebrate central nervous system, which is radically distinct from all other animals. Overview In vertebrates, the brain and spinal cord are both enclosed in the meninges. The meninges provide a barrier to chemicals di ...
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Action Potential
An action potential occurs when the membrane potential of a specific cell location rapidly rises and falls. This depolarization then causes adjacent locations to similarly depolarize. Action potentials occur in several types of animal cells, called excitable cells, which include neurons, muscle cells, and in some plant cells. Certain endocrine cells such as pancreatic beta cells, and certain cells of the anterior pituitary gland are also excitable cells. In neurons, action potentials play a central role in cell-cell communication by providing for—or with regard to saltatory conduction, assisting—the propagation of signals along the neuron's axon toward synaptic boutons situated at the ends of an axon; these signals can then connect with other neurons at synapses, or to motor cells or glands. In other types of cells, their main function is to activate intracellular processes. In muscle cells, for example, an action potential is the first step in the chain of event ...
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Conus Medullaris
''Conus'' is a genus of predatory sea snails, or cone snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Conidae.Bouchet, P.; Gofas, S. (2015). Conus Linnaeus, 1758. In: MolluscaBase (2015). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=137813 on 2015-11-12 Prior to 2009, cone snail species had all traditionally been grouped into the single genus ''Conus''. However, ''Conus'' is now more precisely defined, and there are several other accepted genera of cone snails. For a list of the currently accepted genera, see Conidae. Description The thick shell of species in the genus ''Conus'' sensu stricto, is obconic, with the whorls enrolled upon themselves. The spire is short, smooth or tuberculated. The narrow aperture is elongated with parallel margins and is truncated at the base. The operculum is very small relative to the size of the shell. It is corneous, narrowly elongated, with an apical nucleus, and the impressio ...
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Peripheral Nervous System
The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is one of two components that make up the nervous system of bilateral animals, with the other part being the central nervous system (CNS). The PNS consists of nerves and ganglia, which lie outside the brain and the spinal cord. The main function of the PNS is to connect the CNS to the limbs and organs, essentially serving as a relay between the brain and spinal cord and the rest of the body. Unlike the CNS, the PNS is not protected by the vertebral column and skull, or by the blood–brain barrier, which leaves it exposed to toxins. The peripheral nervous system can be divided into the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system. In the somatic nervous system, the cranial nerves are part of the PNS with the exception of the optic nerve (cranial nerve II), along with the retina. The second cranial nerve is not a true peripheral nerve but a tract of the diencephalon. Cranial nerve ganglia, as with all ganglia, are p ...
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Diagram Of The Spinal Cord CRUK 046
A diagram is a symbolic representation of information using visualization techniques. Diagrams have been used since prehistoric times on walls of caves, but became more prevalent during the Enlightenment. Sometimes, the technique uses a three-dimensional visualization which is then projected onto a two-dimensional surface. The word ''graph'' is sometimes used as a synonym for diagram. Overview The term "diagram" in its commonly used sense can have a general or specific meaning: * ''visual information device'' : Like the term "illustration", "diagram" is used as a collective term standing for the whole class of technical genres, including graphs, technical drawings and tables. * ''specific kind of visual display'' : This is the genre that shows qualitative data with shapes that are connected by lines, arrows, or other visual links. In science the term is used in both ways. For example, Anderson (1997) stated more generally: "diagrams are pictorial, yet abstract, representat ...
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Human Spinal Cord Svg
Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large and complex brain. This has enabled the development of advanced tools, culture, and language. Humans are highly social and tend to live in complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families and kinship networks to political states. Social interactions between humans have established a wide variety of values, social norms, and rituals, which bolster human society. Its intelligence and its desire to understand and influence the environment and to explain and manipulate phenomena have motivated humanity's development of science, philosophy, mythology, religion, and other fields of study. Although some scientists equate the term ''humans'' with all members of the genus ''Homo'', in common usage, it generally refers to ''Homo sapiens'', the only extant member. Anatomically modern h ...
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Central Pattern Generator
Central pattern generators (CPGs) are self-organizing biological neural circuits that produce rhythmic outputs in the absence of rhythmic input. They are the source of the tightly-coupled patterns of neural activity that drive rhythmic and stereotyped motor behaviors like walking, swimming, breathing, or chewing. The ability to function without input from higher brain areas still requires modulatory inputs, and their outputs are not fixed. Flexibility in response to sensory input is a fundamental quality of CPG-driven behavior. To be classified as a rhythmic generator, a CPG requires: # "two or more processes that interact such that each process sequentially increases and decreases, and # that, as a result of this interaction, the system repeatedly returns to its starting condition." CPGs have been found in invertebrates, and practically all vertebrate species investigated, including humans. General anatomy and physiology Intrinsic properties of CPG neurons CPG neurons can h ...
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Neural Circuit
A neural circuit is a population of neurons interconnected by synapses to carry out a specific function when activated. Neural circuits interconnect to one another to form large scale brain networks. Biological neural networks have inspired the design of artificial neural networks, but artificial neural networks are usually not strict copies of their biological counterparts. Early study Early treatments of neural networks can be found in Herbert Spencer's ''Principles of Psychology'', 3rd edition (1872), Theodor Meynert's ''Psychiatry'' (1884), William James' ''Principles of Psychology'' (1890), and Sigmund Freud's Project for a Scientific Psychology (composed 1895). The first rule of neuronal learning was described by Hebb in 1949, in the Hebbian theory. Thus, Hebbian pairing of pre-synaptic and post-synaptic activity can substantially alter the dynamic characteristics of the synaptic connection and therefore either facilitate or inhibit signal transmission. In 1959, the ...
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Spinal Interneuron
A spinal interneuron, found in the spinal cord, relays signals between (afferent) sensory neurons, and (efferent) motor neurons. Different classes of spinal interneurons are involved in the process of sensory-motor integration. Most interneurons are found in the grey column, a region of grey matter in the spinal cord. Structure The grey column of the spinal cord appears to have groups of small neurons, often referred to as spinal interneurons, that are neither primary sensory cells nor motor neurons. The versatile properties of these spinal interneurons cover a wide range of activities. Their functions include the processing of sensory input, the modulation of motor neuron activity, the coordination of activity at different spinal levels, and the relay of sensory or proprioceptive data to the brain. There has been extensive research on the identification and characterization of the spinal cord interneurons based on factors such as location, size, structure, connectivity, a ...
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Reflex Arc
A reflex arc is a neural pathway that controls a reflex. In vertebrates, most sensory neurons do not pass directly into the brain, but synapse in the spinal cord. This allows for faster reflex actions to occur by activating spinal motor neurons without the delay of routing signals through the brain. The brain will receive the input while the reflex is being carried out and the analysis of the signal takes place after the reflex action. There are two types: autonomic reflex arc (affecting inner organs) and somatic reflex arc (affecting muscles). Autonomic reflexes sometimes involve the spinal cord and some somatic reflexes are mediated more by the brain than the spinal cord. During a somatic reflex, nerve signals travel along the following pathway: # ''Somatic receptors'' in the skin, muscles and tendons # ''Afferent nerve fibers'' carry signals from the somatic receptors to the posterior horn of the spinal cord or to the brainstem # An ''integrating center'', the point at whic ...
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Reflex
In biology, a reflex, or reflex action, is an involuntary, unplanned sequence or action and nearly instantaneous response to a stimulus. Reflexes are found with varying levels of complexity in organisms with a nervous system. A reflex occurs via neural pathways in the nervous system called reflex arcs. A stimulus initiates a neural signal, which is carried to a synapse. The signal is then transferred across the synapse to a motor neuron which evokes a target response. These neural signals do not always travel to the brain, so many reflexes are an automatic response to a stimulus that does not receive or need conscious thought. Many reflexes are fine-tuned to increase organism survival and self-defense. This is observed in reflexes such as the startle reflex, which provides an automatic response to an unexpected stimuli, and the feline righting reflex, which reorients a cat's body when falling to ensure safe landing. The simplest type of reflex, a short-latency reflex, has a ...
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Sensory Cortex
The sensory cortex can refer informally to the primary somatosensory cortex, or it can be used as a term for the primary and secondary cortices of the different senses (two cortices each, on left and right hemisphere): the visual cortex on the occipital lobes, the auditory cortex on the temporal lobes, the primary olfactory cortex on the uncus of the piriform region of the temporal lobes, the gustatory cortex on the insular lobe (also referred to as the insular cortex), and the primary somatosensory cortex on the anterior parietal lobes. Just posterior to the primary somatosensory cortex lies the somatosensory association cortex, which integrates sensory information from the primary somatosensory cortex (temperature, pressure, etc.) to construct an understanding of the object being felt. Inferior to the frontal lobes are found the olfactory bulbs, which receive sensory input from the olfactory nerves and route those signals throughout the brain. Not all olfactory information i ...
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