NEUR100: Giving Structure to the Nervous System

The nervous system is a crazy complex system that consists of only three real organs and specialized tissues: the brain, the spinal cord and peripheral spinal cords.


Gross organization of the mammalian nervous system
Anterior (aka Rostral) Towards the nose, the front of the brain
Posterior (aka Caudal)  Towards the behind, the butt of the brain
Dorsal  the top side of the brain
Ventral the underside of the brain
Midline the invisible line that divides the two hemispheres of the brain and body
Medial structures closer to the midline
Lateral structures farther from the midline
Ipsilateral structures on the same side (right ear & right eye)
Contralateral structures in the brain that are on opposite sides of the brain (two ears are contralateral to each other)

The Planes of the Brain 

Sagittal plane: Slices in the middle of the brain, thinner slices than coronal, perpendicular to coronal

Horizontal plane: perpendicular to the floor. You don’t cut bread like this. Sheets of paper

Coronal plane: How you cut meat, bread, and other sorts of food. Slices.

The Central Nervous System (CNS) = Brain and Spinal Cord

There are three main divisions of the brain: the cerebellum (lizard brain), the cerebrum (higher order executive function), and the brain stem (involuntary bodily processes). The brain starts forming on the 1st week of pregnancy, and is completed at the end of the first trimester and continues to grow and mylineate until the person’s 25th birthday.

Spinal Cords

Cranial Nerves
Cranial Nerves
 Root  Direction Control
Ventral towards the spinal cord sensation
 Dorsal away from spinal cord muscle

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