BIOB30 Ch8 (247-258).docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Biological Sciences
Joanne Nash

1 BIOB30 Chapter 8 247258Neurons Cellular and Network PropertiesThe brain and spinal cord are integrating centers for homeostasis movement and many other body functionsNervous systema network of billions or trillions of nerve cells linked together in a highly organized manner to form the rapid control system of the body o Controlled by the brain and spinal cordNeuronsuniquely shaped cells that carry electrical signals rapidly and sometimes over long distances o Also called nerve cells o Processeslong thin extensions possessed by some neurons Can extend up to a meter in lengthNeurotransmitterschemical signals released into the extracellular fluid by most neurons o Alternative Gap functionslinks between neurons that allow electrical signals to pass directly from cell to cell Singlecelled protozoa and plants also use electrical signaling mechanisms similarlyEmergent propertiescomplex processes that cannot be predicted from what we know about the properties of individual nerve cells o Nervous system examples consciousness intelligence emotion Organization of the Nervous SystemThe nervous system has two parts o Central nervous system CNSthe brain and the spinal cordThe integrating center for neural reflexes o Peripheral nervous system PNSafferent or sensory neurons and efferent neuronsSensory receptors monitor conditions in internal and external environments o Information is sent along afferent neurons to the CNS o The CNS integrates this information and determines response o CNS uses efferent neurons to signal a responseTargets of efferent neurons are usually muscles and glandsEfferent neurons can be subdivided o Somatic motor divisioncontrols skeletal musclesMotor neuron is a clinical synonym but is sometimes used to describe all efferent neurons o Autonomic divisioncontrols smooth and cardiac muscles exocrine glands some endocrine glands and some types of adipose tissueSynonym visceral nervous system because it controls contraction and secretion in various internal organs or visceraAutonomic neurons are divided into o Sympathetic and parasympathetic branches o The difference is the anatomical organization and the chemicals used o Many internal organs have both types they exert antagonistic control over a single target
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