Structure and Function

Introduction

The central nervous system can be broken down structurally as follows:

The brainstem refers to the midbrain and portions of the hindbrain. Specifically, the brainstem comprises:

Spinal Cord

The spinal cord is one of the two major components of the central nervous system:

Hindbrain

  • Medulla (myelencephalon)

Cerebellum

 

Midbrain

Forebrain

The forebrain is divided into two main sections:

Telencephalon

Cerebral Cortex

The cerebral cortex is composed of two hemispheres comprising four lobes: the frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes. The following diagrams show both lateral and midsagittal views of the cerebral cortex.

 

 

 

 

Basal Ganglia

Limbic System

Corpus Collosum

Diencephalon

Summary of Structures

Cerebral cortex lobes:

Cerebral Hemisphere

Primary Function
(Motor/Sensory)

Secondary Function
(Cognitive)

Frontal

Motor

Motor planning and execution, attention, executive functions,
perhaps consciousness?

Temporal

Auditory and Olfactory

Memory, language, emotion

Parietal

Somatosensory

Spatial attention

Occipital

Visual

Map of visual world

Other structures:

Section

Function

Spinal Cord

Input-output of sensory and motor information to and from the CNS-PNS

Medulla

Autonomic function (breathing, heart rate, etc.)

Pons

Auditory and vestibular (balance), sensory and motor

Cerebellum

Motor coordination and motor learning

Midbrain

Visuomotor functions, visual reflexes, auditory relays, motor coordination

Thalamus

Part of the diencephalon within the forebrain. Projects information to specific areas of the cerebrum, and controls which information is sent to the cerebral cortex

Hypothalamus

Regulates homeostasis in conjunction with the autonomic nervous system

Basal Ganglia

Centers for motor coordination

Hippocampus

Memory formation

Amygdala

Emotion processing

Corpus Collosum

Bundle of axons which connects the two hemispheres

 

Quick Quiz

What structures are depicted below?

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