Week 1, Lecture 6

5 Pages

Computer Science and Engineering
Course Code
CSE 528
Rajesh Rao

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Organization and Function of the Nervous System Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) - Two components: o Somatic: Nerves connecting to voluntary skeletal muscles and sensory receptors  Nerves are a bundle of axons  Example of Somatic: ify ou’re going to shake a friend’s hand, you must use your somatic nervous system to send commands from your brain and spinal cord to your hand and arm. You then get some feedback going towards your brain to tell you what you feel. This uses two different kinds of nerve fibres:  Afferent Nerve Fibers (incoming): Axons that carry info away from the periphery to the CNS o This carries sensory info back to your brain from your hand  Efferent Nerve Fibers (outgoing): Axons that carry info from the CNS outward to the periphery o This carries info from your brain to your hand o Autonomic: Nerves that connect to the heart, blood vessels, smooth muscles, and glands  Largely operates under the level of consciousness  Regulates heart rate, respiration, fight or flight responses, etc Central Nervous System (CNS) - CNS = Spinal Cord + Brain - Spinal Cord o Local feedback loops control reflexes (“reflex arcs”)  Example: if you burn your hand, you’ve withdrawn it before you even know that you’ve done so Q1 Which of these is an example of a reflex arc in action? A) Jumping up when you step on a nail B) Seeing a nail, and refraining from stepping on it C) Remembering stepping on a nail once D) Actually, none of these are examples of reflex arcs in action - The Spinal cord has several other features as well o Descending motor control signals from the brain activate spinal motor neurons  The brain can tell the spinal neurons to implement the procedure for walking whilst your brain engages in more interesting activity, like talking to a friend you’re walking with o Ascending sensory axons convey sensory information from muscles and skin back to the brain  If you trip on a rock while you’re walking, the spinal neurons would convey that back to the brain to regulate behaviours and convey information from other parts of the body to the brain Major Brain Regions: The Hindbrain - Medulla Oblongata: Controls basic functions such as breathing, muscle tone and blood pressure - Pons: Connected to the cerebellum & involved in sleep and arousal - Cerebellum: Coordination and timing of voluntary movements, sense of equilibrium, language, attention... Major Brain Regions: Midbrain & Reticular Formation - Midbrain: Eye movements, visual and auditory reflexes o Eg. A loud bang would make you orient yourself towards it - Reticular Formation: Modulates muscle reflexes, breathing & pain perception. Also regulates sleep, wakefulness & arousal Major Brain Regions: Thalamus & Hypothalamus - Thalamus: “Relay station” for all sensory info (except smell) to the cortex, regulates sleep/wakefulness o Co
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