PSL201Y1 Lecture Notes - Central Nervous System, Myelin, Sympathetic Nervous System

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6 Oct 2011
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Nervous System
1. Overview of the nervous system
2. Cells of the nervous system
3. Establishment of the resting membrane potential
1. Overview of the Nervous System
The nervous system is divided into the central nervous system
(CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS consists of
the brain and the spinal cord and it receives and processes information
from organs and sends information back to organs with instructions to
perform certain tasks. The CNS is also the site for learning, emotion,
memory and other important functions. PNS is made up of nerve cells
that provide communication between the CNS and the organs
throughout the body. The PNS is subdivided into the Afferent and
Efferent information. The Afferent information transmits information
from organs to CNS which include the sensory information (touch,
smell, vision, sound) and the information pertaining to the internal
environment (blood pressure, hunger level etc.) The nerve cells of the
efferent division carry information from the CNS to the organs in the
effector organs. The somatic nervous system consists of nerve cells
that regulate skeletal muscle contraction while the autonomic nervous
system consists of nerve cells that regulate internal and other
structures such as sweat glands, blood vessels and other activities that
are not part of the voluntary control.
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2. Cells of the nervous system
What types of cells make up the nervous system? Neurons are
the excitable cells that carry information from and to places. It has a
synax or a connection. Most cells in our body are not excitable which
means that they cannot generate an action potential from the simple
reason that they lack sodium gated ion channels. They also do not
have axons (the long extesion of the cell body) carries action potential.
Only neurons and muscle cells with axons carry action potentials.
Components of a neuron:
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