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    Nervous System - Various Questions

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    1)What is a reflex arc? Name its minimum components.

    2)What is the function of the thalamus? the hypothalamus? the cerebellum?

    3)Discuss how the brain is protected by bone, membranes, fluid, and capillaries.

    4)What are two functions of the spinal cord?

    5)How many pairs of spinal nerves are there? How do they arise?

    6)How would a drug that inhibits the parasympathetic division affect a person's pulse?

    7)Define senility. Name possible causes of permanent and reversible senility.

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    Solution Preview

    1) What is a reflex arc? Name its minimum components.

    Response: A reflex arc is the simplest kind of neural pathway in the body. Neural pathways are specific neuronal circuits that include at least one synapse within the CNS (central nervous system). A reflex arc includes a minimum of five functional components:
    -- receptor
    -- sensory neuron
    -- integrating center
    -- motor neuron
    -- effector

    2) What is the function of the thalamus? the hypothalamus? the cerebellum?

    Response: The thalamus is the principal relay station for sensory impulses that reach the cerebral cortex from the spinal cord, brain stem, cerebellum, and other parts of the cerebrum. It also allows for crude appreciation of some sensations such as pain, temperature, and pressure. It is also thought to play an essential role in awareness and in the acquisition of knowledge.

    The hypothalamus controls many body activities and is one of the major regulators of homeostasis. It controls and integrates activities of the autonomic nervous system, produces several hormones and has two types of important connections with the pituitary gland, regulates feelings of rage, aggression, pain, and pleasure, regulates food and water intake, controls body temperature, and regulates diurnal rhythms and states of consciousness.

    The cerebellum's main role is to compare the intended movement programmed by motor areas in the cerebrum with what is actually taking place. It constantly receives sensory input from proprioceptors in muscles, tendons, and joints, receptors for equilibrium, and visual receptors of the eyes. ...

    Solution Summary

    Various questions regarding the nervous system are answered and explained.