Language of Medicine Chapter 10 Parts of the Brain, Nerves, Etc.

Cerebrum function

thinking, personalities, sensations, movement, and memory

Thalamus function

relay station for sensory impulses, pain

Hypothalamus function

body temperature, sleep, appetite, emotions, control of pituitary gland.

Cerebellum function

coordination of voluntary movements and balance.

Pons function

connection of nerves to the eyes and face.

Medulla Oblongata function

nerve fibers cross over, left to right and right to left, contains centers to regulate heart, blood vessels and respiratory system.


Neurotransmitter chemical released at the ends (synapses) of some nerve cells

afferent nerves

carry messages toward the brain and spinal cord (sensory nerves)

arachnoid membrane

middle layer of the three membranes (meninges) that surround the brain and spinal cord


microscopic fiber that carries the nervous impulse along a nerve cell

blood brain barrier

blood vessels (capillaries) that selectively let certain substances enter the brain tissue and keep other substances out


lower portion of the brain that connects the cerebrum with the spinal cord, the pons and medulla oblongata are part of the brain stem.

cauda equina

collection of spinal nerves below the end of the spinal cord

cell body

part of a nerve cell that contains the nucleus

central nervous system

the brain and the spinal cord


posterior part of the brain that coordinates muscle movements and maintains balance.

cerebral cortex

outer region of the cerebrum; containing sheets of nerve cells; gray matter of the brain.

cerebrospinal fluid (csf)

fluid that circulates throughout the brain and spinal cord


largest part of the brain responsible for voluntary muscular activity, vision, speech, hearing , taste, and memory.

cranial nerves

twelve pairs of nerves that carry messages to and from the brain


microscopic branching fiber of a nerve cell that is the first part to receive the nervous impulse

dura mater

thick, outermost layer of the meninges surrounding and protecting the brain and spinal cord

efferent nerves

carry messages away from the brain and spinal cord; motor nerves

ependymal cell

a glial cell that lines membranes within the brain and spinal cord and helps form cerebrospinal fluid

ganglion ( plural: ganglia)

collection of nerve cell bodies in the peripheral nervous system

glial cell (neuroglial cell)

cell in the nervous system that is supportive and connective in function


sheet of nerve cells that produces a rounded fold on the surface of the cerebellum.


portion of the brain beneath the thalamus; controls sleep, appetite, body temperature, and secretions from the pituitary glands.

medulla oblongata

part of the brain just above the spinal cord; controls breathing, heartbeat, and the size of blood vessels. nerve fibers cross over here.


three protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.

microglial cell

Phagocytic glial cell that removes waste products from the central nervous system.

motor nerves

Carry messages away from the brain and spinal cord to muscles and organs

myelin sheath

white fatty tissue that surrounds and insulates the axon of a nerve cell.


macroscopic cordlike collection of fibers (axon and dendrite) that carry electrical impulses.


nerve cell that carry impulses throughout the body


Chemical messenger released at the end of a nerve cell. It stimulates or inhibits another cell, which can be a nerve cell or gland cell.

oligodendroglial cell

glial cell that forms the myelin sheath covering axons

parasympathetic nervous system

involuntary autonomic nerves that regulate normal body functions such as heart rate, breathing and muscles of the gastrointestinal tract.


essential distinguishing tissue of the nervous system, it includes the brain and spinal cord.

peripheral nervous system

nerves outside the brain and spinal cord; cranial, spinal and autonomic nerves.

pia mater

thin. delicate inner membrane of the meninges.

plexus (plural: plexuses)

large, interlacing network of nerves.


part of the brain anterior to the cerebellum and between the medulla oblongata and the rest of midbrain. It is a bridge connecting various parts of the brain.


organ that receives a nervous stimulation and passes it on to nerves within the body, the skin, ears eyes and taste buds are examples.

sciatic nerve

nerve ending from the base of the spine down the thigh, lower leg, and foot.

sensory nerves

carry messages to the brain & spinal cord from a receptor; afferent nerves

spinal nerves

31 pairs of nerves arising from spinal cord


connective and supporting tissue of an organ


depression or groove in the surface of the cerebral cortex, fissure.

sympathetic nerves

autonomic nerves that influence bodily functions involuntary in times of stress.


space through which a nervous impulse is transmitted from one neuron to another, such as a muscle or gland cell.


main relay center of the brain, it conducts impulses between the spinal cord and the cerebrum,

vagus nerve

tenth cranial nerve

ventricles of the brain

canals in the brain the contains cerebrospinal fluid

stimulus (plural: stimuli)

Agent of change (light, sound, touch) in the external or internal environment that evokes a response.


type of glial (neurologic) cell that transports water and salts from capillaries

autonomic nervous system

nerves that control involuntary bodily functions of muscles, glands and internal organs.