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Medicine LibreTexts

14: Nervous System

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  • Learning Objectives

    After completing this section, you should know:

    • the role of the nervous system in coordinating an animal’s response to the environment
    • that the nervous system gathers, sorts and stores information and initiates movement
    • the basic structure and function of a neuron
    • the structure and function of a synapse and neurotransmitter chemicals
    • the nervous pathway known as a reflex with examples
    • that training can develop conditioned reflexes in animals
    • that the nervous system can be divided into the central and peripheral nervous systems
    • that the brain is surrounded by membranes called meninges
    • the basic parts of the brain and the function of the cerebral hemispheres, hypothalamus, pituitary, cerebellum and medulla oblongata
    • the structure and function of the spinal cord
    • that the peripheral nervous system consists of cranial and spinal nerves and the autonomic nervous system
    • that the autonomic nervous system consists of sympathetic and parasympathetic parts with different functions

    Thumbnail: Brain human lateral view. (CC BY 2.5; Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator).

    Contributors and Attributions

    • Ruth Lawson (Otago Polytechnic; Dunedin, New Zealand)