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BB1701 The Human Body: Principles of Anatomy and Physiology > The Brain > Flashcards

Flashcards in The Brain Deck (33):



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Cerebral Cortex

A thin layer of gray matter that forms the outermost part of the cerebrum



The cerebrum comprises the largest part of the brain. It lies in front or on top of thebrainstem. The cerebrum is a major part of the brain, controlling emotions, hearing, vision, personality and much more. It controls all voluntary actions.


Corpus Callosum

A broad, flat bundle of axons that connect the two cerebral hemispheres


What is a;



-Gyrus: a ridge in the cerebrum

-Sulcus: a groove in the cerebrum

-Fissure: a deep groove in the cerebrum


What is the difference between grey and white matter?

Grey matter, which has a pinkish-grey color in the living brain, contains the cell bodies, dendrites and axon terminals of neurons, so it is where all synapses are.

White matter is made of axons connecting different parts of grey matter to each other.


What do sensory areas do?

Interpret impulses that arrive from sensory receptors, producing feelings or sensations.


What is Wernicke's area?

An area also known as the sensory speech area that receives and relays input from both the visual cortex and auditory cortex and is important for understanding written or spoken language


What are the three basal ganglia  in each cerebral hemisphere?

  1. caudate nucleus
  2. putamen
  3. globus pallidus


Define nucleus


a brain structure consisting of a relatively compact cluster of neurons


What are basal ganglia (nuclei)?

A group of structures linked to the thalamus in the base of the brain and involved in coordination of movement


What are cerebral ventricles?

Interconnected cavities that lie within the cerebral hemispheres and brain stem. They are continuous with the central canal of the spinal cord and contain cerebrospinal fluid.



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What are choroid plexi?

Small masses of specialised capillaries from the pia mater that secrete cerebrospinal fluid.


Where does cerebrospinal fluid occupy in the brain?

The subarachnoid space


Define encephalon

The brain of a vertebrate


What structures are in the diencephalon?

  • thalamus
  • hypothalamus
  • optic tracts
  • optic chiasma
  • infundibulum
  • posterior pituitary gland
  • mammillary bodies
  • pineal gland


What does the thalamus do?

Acts as a central relay station for sensory impulses ascending from other parts of the nervous system to the cerebral cortex. It receives all sensory impulses (except smell) and channels the to the appropriate regions of the cortex for interpretation.

Produces general awareness of certain sensations, such as pain, touch and temperature.


What does the hypothalamus regulate?

  • heart rate and arterial blood pressure
  • body temperature
  • water and electrolyte balance
  • control of hunger and body weight
  • control of movements and glandular secretions of the stomach and intestines
  • production of neurosecretory substances that stimulate the pituitary gland to secrete hormones
  • sleep and wakefulness


What is the limbic system?

A complex set of brain structures located on both sides of the thalamus, right under the cerebrum that  control emotional experiences and expression.


What is the brainstem?

A bundle of nervous tissue that connects the cerebrum to the spinal cord.


What are the parts of the brainstem?

  • midbrain
  • pons
  • medulla oblongata

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What is the midbrain?

Part of the brainstem that lies between the diencephalon and the pons.

Includes masses of grey matter that serve as reflex centres.


What is the pons?

A rounded bulge on the underside of the brainstem, where it seperates the midbrain from the medulla oblongata.


What is the medulla oblongata?

Part of the brainstem that extends from the pons to the foramen magnum of the skull. Its dorsal surface flattens out to form the floor of the fourth ventricle.

Contains many nuclei and is the area where most corticospinal tracts cross over.


What do the nuclei in the medulla oblongata control?

Several centres, including:

  • Cardiac centre
  • Vasomotor centre
    • vasoconstriction/vasodilation
  • Respiratory centre
  • Reflexes
    • coughing, sneezing, swallowing, vomiting


What is the reticular formation?

A set of interconnected nuclei that are located throughout the brainstem


What is the main function of the reticular formation?

Controlling the body's state of conciousness


What is the cerebellum?

A large mass of tissue located below the occipital lobes of the cerebrum and posterior to the pons and medulla oblongata.

It plays an important role in motor control.


How does the cerebellum communicate with other parts of the central nervous system?

Through three pairs of nerve tracts called cerebral peduncles.


What are the two divisions of the peripheral nervous system (PNS)?

Somatic and autonomic


How many pairs of cranial nerves are there?




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