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Flashcards in Neuroanatomy Deck (28):

What are the anatomical planes?

  • Superior vs. Inferior
  • Anterior vs. Posterior
  • Medial vs. Lateral
  • Right vs. Left


What is the central nervous system composed of? What is everything else?

  • Composed of: Brain and Spinal Cord
  • Everything else is part of the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)


What are neurons composed of?

  • Cell body, nucleus
  • Dendrites
  • Axon - carries infor away
  • Myelin - keeps info within axon
  • May connect to multiple other neurons

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Describe synaps and neurotransmitters. What is a synapse? How is the signal sent through the neurons? How is the signal transmitted between cells?

• Synapse - the space between nuerons and other cells.
• Signal is sent electrically through neurons
• Signal is transmitted chemical between cells by neurotransmitters


Describe the 3 meninges between the skull and brain tissue

  • Duramater - blood vessels
  • Arachnoid - blood vessels pass through arachnoid to get to brain
  • Pia mater - thin, pliable


Describe the brainstem. What is it made up of? What does it function as? What does it controls? What arises from the brainstem?

  • Made up of the Midbrain, Pons, Medula
  • Functions as a passageway from the ascending and descending neural Tracts (passageway for messages)
  • Controls basic functions such as respiration, consciousness, reflexes and some cardiovascular functions (life threatening if injured)
  • Cranial nerve projections arise from the brainstem


Describe the cerebellum. Where is it located? What does it connect the cerebrum to? What is it responsible for? What does it regulate?

  • Located at the base of the skull
  • Connects to the Cerebrum and other parts of the CNS system
  • Coordinates and “fine tunes” volitional movements (with the Basal Ganglia)
  • Regulates tone


Describe the cerebrum. What is it divided into? What is it made up of? What is it responsible for? How do hemispheres work?

  • Divided in to Left and Right Hemispheres connected by the Corpus Collosum.
  • Made up of many GYRI and SULCI
  • Responsible for all cognitive and volitional motor tasks
  • Hemispheres have discrete responsibilities but both sides work together for most tasks


Describe the left cerebral hemisphere. What is it primarily associated with? Which hemisphere controls writing hand? Where is Broca's area? What is it responsible for? Where is Wernicke's area? What is it responsible for?

  • Primarily associated with Language, including reading and writing
  • The Language dominant hemisphere then controls the hand used for writing.
  • Broca’s area - Inferior, Posterior frontal lobe.  Responsible for word finding and expressive language formation
  • Wernicke’s area - Superior Marginal gyrus of the temporal lobe. Responsible for interpreting language.

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Describe the right cerebral hemisphere. Which hemisphere is more specialized? What is the right hemisphere reponsible for? 

  • Less Specialized than Left hemisphere
  • Responsible for:
    • non-linguistic Communication receptively and expressively  (prosody, facial expression, body language)
    • Facial Recognition
    • Rhythm and Melody
    • Visuospatial skills
    • Attention (especially sustained and selective)
    • Math
    • Gestalt processing (macrostructure, big picture)


Decribe cortical tracts. What are they? What are 2 examples of cortical tracts?

•Bundles of nerves often related in function (white mater)
•For example Corticospinal tract runs from the cortex down the spinal cord
•Or the Arcuate Fasciculus, which connects Broca’s area with Wernicke’s area


Describe decussation. What decusates in the brainstem? What does this cause? What will damage to the cortex or the descending tracts cause?

•Cortical Tracts cross over midline or DECUSATE in the brainstem (typically at the level of the medulla).
•The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body.
•The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body.
•Damage to the cortex or the descending tracts will cause HEMIPLEGIA or HEMIPARESIS (weakness vs. paralysis)


What are the 4 lobes of the cerebrum?

  • Frontal
  • Parietal
  • Temporal
  • Occipital


Describe the frontal lobe. Where is it located? What does it play a role in?

  • The anterior most portion of the Cerebrum
  • Plays a role in:
    • Motor planning and movement (via the Primary Motor Cortex - right next to parietal lobe)
    • Expressive Language (Left Hemisphere)
    • Personality and emotional regulation
    • Executive Functioning (control on behaviors, filter, behave more usefully)



Describe the primary motor cortex. Which gyrus is it located on? What is it responsible for? Which body parts have the largest amount of space on the motor strip?

  • AKA The Motor Strip. Located on the Precentral Gyrus
  • Responsible for initiating volitional movements
  • Body Parts requiring fine and coordinated movements have the largest amount of space on the motor strip


Describe the parietal lobe. Where is it located? What does it play a primary role in (2)? 

  • Immediately posterior to frontal Lobe
  • Plays a primary role in processing sensory information (via the Primary Sensory Cortex)
  • Proprioception: knowledge of where your body is in space
    • Relative to the rest of your body (raised hand)
    • Relative to objects around you (prevents you from bumping into things)


Describe the primary sensory cortex (somatosensory). Where is it located? What has most representation?

  • AKA The Sensory Strip. Located on the Postcentral Gyrus

•Greater representation for more sensitive body parts


Sensory and motor homunculi

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Describe the temporal lobe. What does it contain? What is it associated with (why)? What ability is it associated with?

•Contains the Primary Auditory Cortex
•Associated with memory (more than any other lobe) due to proximity with HIPPOCAMPUS
•Ability to recognize faces


Describe the occipital lobe? What does it contain? What does it perceive?

•Contains the Primary Visual Cortex
•Perceives color, shape, size


Describe the subcortical structure: hippocampus. Where is it located? What does it facilitate? 

•“Looks like a sea horse”
•Located close to the temporal lobe (in and behind)
•Facilitates new memory creation, storage and organization (organizes memories)


Describe the subcortical structure: thalamus. Where is it located? What is its main function? What can be associated with damage to thalamus?

  • Located in the middle of the brain, just above the Midbrain
  • RELAYS most sensory information (except smell)
  • RELAYS motor plan to motor cortex for initiation. 
  • Slurred words - dysarthria 

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Describe the subcortical structure: basal ganglia. Where are they located? What are they important for?

•Symmetrical structures located on either side of the Thalamus
•Really a group of structures (Caudate nucleus, Putamen, Globus Pallidus)
•Basal Ganglia- important for planning and refining slow continuous movements.


What is inside the ventricles?

Cerebral spinal fluid


Describe the neurovascular system. What is it? What is critical to life? How quickly do neurons start dying?

•Blood supply to the brain
•CONTINUOUS blood supply (oxygen) is critical to life. Neurons start dying after about 4 mins without oxygen.


Neurovascular system: How many arteries feed into the brain? Where do they feed in? What are they?

  • Three Arteries feed into the brain- into the Circle of Willis:
    • Basilar Artery
    • Left & Right Carotid Arteries


Neurovascular system. How many arteries go out to the brain? What are they?

Six Arteries go out (three per side):

•ACA – anterior cerebral artery
•MCA – middle cerebral artery
•PCA – posterior cerebral artery 


What is the relationship between blood supply and structures? Can occlusion of arterie be compensated for?

Location of lobes doesn't relate to blood supply. 

Vascularity can be changed - if there is good supply, can compensate for occlusion and supply from other areas (but only to a certain extent depending on location).

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