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Chapter 12 The Central Nervous System

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Chapter 12 The Central Nervous System Lab Exam fill-in-the-blank test essay exam clinical question

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Using Figure 12.1, match the following:


1) Afferent impulses from all senses and all parts of the body converge here and synapse with at
least one of its nuclei.

2) Putamen.

3) Anterior horn of lateral ventricle.

4) Inferior horn of lateral ventricle.

5) Part of the basal nuclei.

6) Thalamus.

1. Answer: D

2. Answer: C

3. Answer: A

4. Answer: E

5. Answer: B

6. Answer: D

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Using Figure 12.2, match the following:


7) Pons.

8) Corpus callosum.

9) Caudate nucleus.

10) Globus pallidus.

11) Thalamus.

7. Answer: E

8. Answer: A

9. Answer: B

10. Answer: C

11. Answer: D

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Using Figure 12.3, match the following:


12) Site of efferent soma.

13) Site of axons and afferent neurons.

14) Site of sensory soma.

15) Gray commissure.

16) Horn usually containing interneurons.

17) Site containing central canal.

18) Multipolar neurons are common here.

12. Answer: C

13. Answer: B

14. Answer: E

15. Answer: A

16. Answer: B

17. Answer: A

18. Answer: C


Match the following:

A) Insula

B) Temporal lobe

C) Frontal lobe

D) Occipital lobe

E) Parietal lobe


19) Auditory area.

20) Primary sensory cortex.

21) Somatic motor cortex.

22) Motor speech area.

23) Premotor area.

24) Visual area.

25) Language/speech

26) Taste (gustatory) area.

27) Seat of intelligence, abstract

19) B
20) E
21) C
22) C
23) C
24) D
25) B
26) A
27) C


Match the following:

A) Primary motor cortex

B) Thalamus

C) Hypothalamus

D) Prefrontal area


28) A major relay station for
sensory information
ascending to primary sensory
areas of the cerebral cortex.
Contains many specialized

29) This brain area associates
experiences necessary for the
production of abstract ideas,
judgment, and conscience.

30) The axons from this area form
the major pyramidal tracts.

31) This area is the main visceral
control center of the body.

28) B
29) D
30) A
31) C


Match the following stages of sleep with their descriptions


B) Stage 1

C) Stage 2

D) Stage 3

E) Stage 4


32) The stage when vital signs
(blood pressure, heart rate,
and body temperature) reach
their lowest normal levels.

33) Indicated by movement of the
eyes under the lids; dreaming

34) Theta and delta waves begin
to appear.

35) Very easy to awaken; EEG
shows alpha waves; may even
deny being asleep.

36) Typified by sleep spindles.
Diff: 1 Page Ref: 459; Fig. 12.21
37) Begins about 90 minutes after
the onset of sleep.

38) Necessary for emotional
health; may be neural

32) E
33) A
34) D
35) B
36) C
37) A
38) A


True/False Questions
1) NREM sleep normally exhibits four distinct stages, which appear to alternate.

Answer: TRUE


2) Petit mal seizures found in children generally go away with age.

Answer: TRUE


3) NREM sleep episodes are frequently associated with erection of the penis.

Answer: FALSE


4) A flat EEG is a good indication of deep sleep.

Answer: FALSE


5) Theta waves are a brain wave pattern that can be seen during deep sleep and during

Answer: FALSE


6) One disorder of the substantia nigra is Parkinsonʹs disease.

Answer: TRUE


7) Cell bodies of the somatic motor neurons of the spinal nerves are located in the ventral horn of
the spinal cord.

Answer: TRUE


8) Meningitis is the most accurate term for inflammation of neurons.

Answer: FALSE


9) The spinal cord ends between L1 and L2.

Answer: TRUE


10) Cerebrospinal fluid circulates within the ventricles of the brain and in the subarachnoid space
outside the brain.

Answer: TRUE


11) The terms fainting and syncope describe the same thing.

Answer: TRUE


12) The RAS is comprised of specific pathways primarily in the limbic system.

Answer: FALSE


13) Nondeclarative memories preserve the circumstances in which they are learned.

Answer: FALSE


14) The first obvious sign that the nervous system is forming in the embryo is the thickening of the
surface ectoderm to form the neural plate.

Answer: TRUE


15) The left cerebral hemisphere is usually dominant.

Answer: TRUE


16) The limbic system acts as our emotional, or affective, brain.

Answer: TRUE


17) The canal connecting the third and fourth ventricles and running through the midbrain is the
foramen of Monro.

Answer: FALSE


18) Commissural fibers form the corpus striatum.

Answer: FALSE


19) A disturbance of posture, muscle tremors at rest, and uncontrolled muscle contraction are all
symptoms of damage to the basal nuclei.

Answer: TRUE


20) Projection fibers in the brain mainly connect the right and left hemispheres.

Answer: FALSE


21) Most of the ascending and descending pathways to and from the brain cross over from one
side of the body to the other.

Answer: TRUE


22) The primary visual cortex contains a map of visual space.

Answer: TRUE


23) One functional center found within the medulla oblongata is a respiratory center involved in
the control of the rate and depth of breathing.

Answer: TRUE


24) Sorting of sensory information and relaying it to the appropriate cerebral sensory area occurs
in the hypothalamus.

Answer: FALSE


25) Sensory areas of the cortex for the genitals are located deep in the postcentral gyrus.

Answer: TRUE


26) Embryonic damage to the mesencephalon could result in improper formation of the midbrain

Answer: TRUE


Fill-in-the-Blank/Short Answer Questions

1) The fourth ventricle is continuous with the ________ of the spinal cord.

Answer: central canal


2) The large commissure that connects the right and left sides of the brain is called the ________.

Answer: corpus callosum


3) The ________ is a conduction pathway between higher and lower brain centers and houses
nuclei for cranial nerves V-VII.

Answer: pons


4) The infundibulum connects the hypothalamus to the ________.

Answer: pituitary gland


5) The ________ are valvelike and protrude externally through the dura mater to absorb
cerebrospinal fluid into venous blood.

Answer: arachnoid villi


6) Sensory neurons enter the spinal cord via the ________ horn.

Answer: dorsal


7) ________ memory requires practice, and is remembered by doing.

Answer: Procedural (Skill)


8) The ________ includes the thalamus, hypothalamus, and epithalamus

Answer: diencephalon


9) The two longitudinal ridges on the medulla oblongata where many descending fibers cross
over are called the ________.

Answer: pyramids


10) The largest nuclear mass in the midbrain is the ________.

Answer: substantia nigra


11) In stage 3 sleep, ________ and ________ waves appear

Answer: theta; delta


12) The ________ is the main switch station for memory; if the right and left areas are damaged,
the past is lost.

Answer: amygdala


13) ________ rhythm is a 24-hour cycle of sleep and wakefulness

Answer: Circadian


14) ________ is a temporary cessation of breathing during sleep found most commonly in the

Answer: Sleep apnea


15) Describe the cause of hydrocephalus and explain why this condition is much more serious in
adults than in newborns.

Answer: Hydrocephaly refers to a blockage of the normal circulation and drainage of
cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) throughout the meninges and ventricles. If CSF is allowed to
accumulate, excessive pressure could be exerted on the brain. In newborns, the
fontanels allow the skull to enlarge, while in adults, the cranial bones are fused and no
expansion is possible. This disorder is treated by insertion of a shunt to drain excess
fluid into a vein.


16) Which brain areas lack a blood-brain barrier, and what purpose does this absence serve?

Answer: The blood-brain barrier is absent around the vomiting center of the brain stem, so that it
can monitor the blood for poisonous substances. It is also absent around the
hypothalamus, so that it can monitor the chemical composition of the blood and adjust
water balance and other factors.


17) What is the importance of the fact that the outer portion of the cerebral hemispheres is

Answer: The cerebral cortex is only 2-4 mm thick; however, the convolutions effectively triple
the cortical surface area. As a result, the cortex accounts for 40% of the total brain mass
and functions in all conscious activity, including movement, sensory perception,
thinking, and memory.


18) What is the cauda equina and why is it given this name?

Answer: The cauda equina is a collection of nerve roots at the inferior end of the vertebral canal
and is given this name because of its resemblance to a horseʹs tail. This arrangement
reflects the different rates of growth between the vertebral column and spinal cord.
Because the column grows more rapidly than the cord, the lower nerves must ʺchaseʺ
their exit points inferiorly, thus forming the cauda equina.


19) Describe the role of the reticular activating system in cortical arousal and stimulation.

Answer: The reticular activating system (RAS) appears to mediate the alertness state of the
cerebral cortex. The thalamus, hypothalamus, and other areas such as the brain stem
appear to be interconnected with the RAS. The hypothalamus seems to be the structure
responsible for the actual timing of the sleep-wake cycle. The primary neurotransmitter
involved is serotonin.


20) Six-year-old Jimmy is confined to a wheelchair. He frequently drools and his limbs hang
limply in strange angular positions. His diagnosis is cerebral palsy. Name several (possible)
causes of cerebral palsy.

Answer: Cerebral palsy may be due to a lack of oxygen at birth, or to a viral infection, excessive
smoking by the mother, radiation, drugs, or alcohol. The disorder is a neuromuscular
disability in which the voluntary muscles are poorly controlled or paralyzed.


21) Describe the main ideas of the holistic processing school of thought, relative to consciousness.

Answer: Holistic processing involves many lines of reasoning that suppose that:
(1)consciousness involves simultaneous activity of large areas of the cerebral cortex;
(2)consciousness is superimposed on other types of neural activity; and
(3) consciousness is totally interconnected.


22) Differentiate clearly between short-term and long-term memory.

Answer: Short-term memory (STM) is a fleeting memory of events that one is continuously
exposed to, and seems to be limited to 7 or 8 chunks of information at a time.
Long-term memory (LTM) is semipermanent storage of information that involves the
transfer of data from STM banks to LTM banks based on several factors such as
rehearsal, emotional state, and association.


23) How do scientists hope the discovery of drugs such as NMDA antagonists and calcium
channel blockers will improve the outlook for stroke patients?

Answer: After a stroke, neurons deprived of oxygen release large amounts of glutamate. This
acts as an excitotoxin on receptors, causing (among other things) calcium influx. These
changes result in damage to surrounding healthy cells, which then release additional
glutamate. Scientists hope that rapid administration of NMDA antagonists or calcium
channel blockers will stop the chain reaction and result in the destruction of much less


24) What seven areas of the body is the hypothalamus in control of?

Answer: 1. ANS.
2. Center of emotional responses.
3. Body temperature regulation.
4. Regulation of food intake.
5. Regulation of water balance and thirst.
6. Regulation of the sleep-wake cycles.
7. Control of the endocrine functions.


25) What is the limbic system?

Answer: This is an area of the brain that is in control of our emotions, such as fear, anger, love,
hate, etc. It can be acted upon by smell (the smell of a gas, perfume, dead animals),
memories, taste, sight, and self-will.


Clinical Questions

1) Mrs. Sagalov has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimerʹs disease. What clinical symptoms is
she likely to show, and what would probably be seen if her brain were examined?

Answer: Mrs. Sagalov is likely to show increasing cognitive deficits, including difficulties with
memory and attention, and personality changes such as irritability, moodiness, and
confusion. Her brain, particularly in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, is likely to
show senile plaques (clumps of cells and fibers around a protein core) and
neurofibrillary tangles (twisted fibers within neuron cell bodies).


2) A patient was admitted to the rehabilitation unit five days after having a stroke. The nurse
assesses his muscle strength and determines that he has right-sided weakness. Based on this
assessment data, what part of the brain was injured?

Answer: Damage to localized areas of the primary motor cortex paralyzes the body muscles
controlled by these areas. If the stroke is in the left hemisphere, the right side of the
body will be weak or paralyzed.


3) A patient was admitted to the medical/surgical unit with a stroke that affected the motor
neurons in the pyramidal pathway. This affected the loss of voluntary movement to his left
side. What other problems would the patient experience?

Answer: The patient may have difficulty swallowing because of weakness to the mouth or throat
muscles. The patient may also experience problems with urinary incontinence.


4) Death from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis usually results from respiratory infection secondary
to compromised respiratory function. Explain why.

Answer: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrigʹs disease, is a rare neuromuscular disease
that involves progressive destruction of the ventral horn motor neurons and fibers of
the pyramidal tract. As the disease progresses, the sufferer loses the ability to speak,
swallow, and breathe. Because the lungs have difficulty fully expanding, secretions
may develop, causing respiratory infection.


5) Explain why heparin is used as an anticoagulant in the treatment of thrombotic strokes but
contraindicated in a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Answer: The most common cause of a stroke is a blockage of a cerebral artery by a clot. Heparin
would keep more clots from forming. It would be contraindicated in a subarachnoid
hemorrhage because it would not be effective in treating the bleeding from ruptured


6) An 86-year-old patient with Alzheimerʹs disease was admitted to the hospital with
dehydration. Her daughter states that her mother has been very confused and combative
lately. Explain why the patient developed dehydration.

Answer: One of the simplest mechanisms for maintaining fluid balance is the thirst mechanism.
Normally, when a person is thirsty, he or she drinks because the thirst center in the
hypothalamus is stimulated. In this patientʹs confused and combative state, she is
probably refusing or forgetting to eat or drink, thereby developing dehydration.


7) The location and arrangement of the arteries supplying the hippocampus make it particularly
vulnerable to injury. How would memory be affected if the hippocampus suffered

Answer: The hippocampus oversees the circuitry for learning and remembering spatial
relationships. In other words, it acts as a switchboard, receiving and sorting
information, helping to turn that information into a memory, and forwarding it to other
parts of the brain. Without the help of the hippocampus we might learn, but we
wouldnʹt remember.


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