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Biological Basis of


What is Neuron?

 The neuron is the basic working unit of the brain.

 Neuron is a specialized cell designed to transmit information to
other nerve cells, muscle, or gland cells.
 You have over 100 billion neurons in your brain sending signals.
Structure of Neuron
Structure of Neuron

 Neurons have long extensions that extend out from the cell
body called dendrites and axons.
 Dendrites are extensions of neurons that receive signals and
conduct them toward the cell body.
 Axon is extension of neuron that send signals away from the
neuron towards the body.
 A Myelin sheath covers the axon and boosts the speed at which
neuron can fire off signals.
 Synapse: connection formed between two neurons
when the axon bulb of one neuron comes into close
proximity with the dendrite of another neuron.
 Pre-synaptic: The neuron that is sending the signal at
the synapse in the nervous system.
 Post-synaptic: The neuron that is receiving the signal at
the synapse in the nervous system
Function of Neuron

 Neurons send chemical signals called neurotransmitters, and

they work quickly to help you react to everything going on
around you.
Structure of Nervous system

 Nervous system is an electro chemical system of

communication within the body that uses cells called neurons
to convey information.
 Nervous system is divided into
1. Central Nervous system
2. Peripheral Nervous system
Peripheral Nervous System

 It is equipped with
1. sensory neurons that convey information to CNS from
the outside world
2. Interneurons that process information within the
3. Motor neurons that transmit commands from the
brain to the muscle fiber.
Peripheral Nervous System

 It is divided into
1. Somatic nervous system (governs sensory and
voluntary motor actions in the body. For example
2. Autonomic nervous system (governs involuntary
organ functioning and actions in the body). For
example …………………………………….
Peripheral Nervous System

 Autonomic nervous system is further divided into

1. Sympathetic nervous system (active during time of
danger and stress. Flight or fight )
2. Para-sympathetic nervous system (active during
times of normal functioning)
Central Nervous System

 CNS is divided into

1. Hind Brain
2. Mid Brain
3. Fore Brain
Spinal Cord
31 pairs of spinal nerves in human body

It is further divided into

1. Hind Brain (most primitive part, comprises of medulla oblongata,
pons, and cerebellum)
2. Mid Brain (connects hind brain with fore brain)
3. Fore Brain (constitute of cerebral cortex, limbic system, thalamus,
hypothalamus and basal ganglia)
Hind Brain

 It is further divided into

1. Medulla oblongata: Controls basic life sustaining functions such
as respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure).
2. Pons: Plays a role in respiration, consciousness, sleep,
dreaming, facial movement, sensory processes, and the
transmission of neural signals from one part of brain to another.
3. Cerebellum: It plays a role in balance, muscle tone, and
coordination of motor movements.
Mid brain

 It connects hind brain to forebrain.

 One of the important structure is Reticular Activating system (RAS)
that regulates conscious arousal, auditory and visual functioning,
attention and sleep.
Fore Brain

 It is further divided into

1. cerebral cortex,
2. limbic system,
3. basal ganglia
4. thalamus,
5. hypothalamus
Fore Brain

 Cerebral Cortex:
 consist of approx. 2 millimeter thick wrinkled layer.
 Highest level of cognitive and mental processes.
 It is divided into four regions called lobes
1. Frontal lobe (plays role in thinking, planning, decision making, language).
2. Parietal lobe (plays role in touch, pressure, pain and certain cognitive
processes like reading)
3. Occipital lobe (plays role in visual processes)
4. Temporal lobe (plays role in auditory processing, language)
Fore Brain

 Thalamus: (functions as a sensory rely station which receives all

kinds of sensory information before being sent to appropriate part
of cortex).
 Hypothalamus: maintains homeostasis involving sleep, hunger,
thirst, body temperature with the help of hormones.
Fore Brain

 Limbic system: Regulates some of the basic emotional reactions. It is further

divided into
1. Amygdala (plays a role in emotions of fear and aggression)
2. Hippocampus (plays a role in transfer of information from short to long term
 Basal Ganglia: Controls movement and is involved in judgement that
requires minimal conscious thought. Damage may affect posture and muscle
tone and might cause abnormal movements.
Spinal cord

 The part of central nervous system that transmits information from sensory
neurons to the brain and from the brain to motor neurons that initiate
 It is also involved in reflex actions.
 Spinal cord is segmented (31 pairs), each segment controlling different part
of the body.
 Damage to spinal cord may cause loss of feeling and paralysis at all levels
below the injury.