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Structures and Functions of the

Nervous System
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Structure and Function
Learning Targets:
• Classify the major structures of the nervous
system (R)
• List the general functions of the nervous
system (K)
Nervous System
Anatomy Physiology

Organs are divided into two groups: A

1. Central Nervous System (CNS)

a. Brain
b. Spinal Cord
2. Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
a. Nerves
Nervous System
Anatomy Physiology
Together, organs perform 3 main
1. Sensory
monitor internal and external
2. Integration
information from the sensory nerves
is integrated into the CNS by neurons
3. Motor Output
stimulation of muscles or glands to
move or secrete substances
Nervous Tissue
Learning Target: Identify and state the function
of the components of nervous tissue. (K)
1. Neuron (Nerve Cell)
a. specialized to react to physical and chemical changes in their
b. Excitable- transmit information in the form of electrochemical
changes called nerve impulses along nerve fibers to other
neurons and other types of cells
c. Structures of a neuron-
1) Cell Body- contains the nucleus and organelles

2) Dendrites- receive info from other neurons

3) Axons- send impulses away from the cell body


1 3

Fun Fact:
A cell body diameter ranges from 5 - 135 µm
An axon diameter ranges from 1 - 20 µm
The axons length ranges from 2 mm - 1 m.

Let's scale this up!

will equal 1
cell body

How far would this axon travel

out of the room?
Up to 1.6 km (1 mile)- That’s all
the way to the HC library!!!!
2. Neuroglial cells-
a. Specialize to support the neuron

b. Non-excitable-do not send impulses

c. Four types in the CNS

1) Astrocytes– form connections between blood
vessels and neurons

A tissue sample from the brain. The area

where the astrocyte connects to the blood
vessel is called a foot process.
2) Oligodendrocytes-insulate neurons, form the
myelin sheath

Electron micrograph showing

branched oligodendrocytes with
processes extending to several
underlying axons
3. Microglial cells- engulf microbes and remove

Activated microglial cells in a rat brain.

When activated, these cells are
phagocytic helping to removing damaged
or dying cells.
4. Ependymal cells- help circulate cerebrospinal

Ependymal cells found in the 3rd ventricle of the brain

of a 32 week old fetus.
d. 2 types in the PNS
1) Satellite cells- surround and control the
chemical environment of the neuron

2) Schwann- insulate the neuron, form the

myelin sheath

What is the name of the similar cell in the CNS?

Fun Fact: For every nerve cell in your body there
are 50 glial cells.

If a person looses brain cells every day, how does a

child's brain increase in mass from 400 g to 1400g in

1. The number of glia cells increases tremendously.

2. More synapses are formed.

*When glia cells reproduce uncontrollably, a person

has cancer.
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Nervous System
How to exempt the final exam
• B or better grade for second semester
• Maximum of 2 tardies during the semester
• No unexcused absences

Marquette University Cadaver Lab

• C or better grade for second semester
• Zero tardies during the semester
• No unexcused absences

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9.03 Cells of the nervous system worksheet
*Wear sweat pants or shorts tomorrow!