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Spinal cord
Spinal cord
Spinal cord
Spinal cord
Spinal cord
Spinal cord
Spinal cord
Spinal cord
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Spinal cord

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  • 1. Spinal Cord
  • 2. <ul><li>The Spinal Cord – The spinal cord serves two functions in the human body: </li></ul><ul><li>It provides conduction pathways to and from the brain relaying sensory and motor impulses. </li></ul>
  • 3. 2. It contains numerous reflex centers which function in the generation of automatic responses to incoming stimuli (reflexes). The reflex center is the central portion of a reflex arc and it may or may not contain interneurons.
  • 4. The spinal cord extends from the foramen magnum where it merges with the medulla oblongata and extends to the second lumbar vertebra .
  • 5. The spinal cord begins to taper past the 12 th thoracic vertebra and ends at about the 2 nd lumbar vertebra. After L2, the nerves of the spinal cord form a structure called the cauda equina, which means “horses tail.”
  • 6. All along the length of the spinal cord 31 pairs of spinal nerves emerge. These consist of mixed nerves in the following numbers: <ul><li>8 pairs of cervical nerves. </li></ul><ul><li>12 pairs of thoracic nerves. </li></ul><ul><li>5 pairs of lumbar nerves. </li></ul><ul><li>5 pairs of sacral nerves. </li></ul><ul><li>1 pair of coccygeal nerves. </li></ul>
  • 7. Impulses travel up and down conduction pathways in the spinal cord called tracts which are functionally associated bundles of nerve fibers.   a. ascending tracts – these run impulses from the peripheral sensory nerve inputs to the brain.   b. descending tracts – these run impulses from the brain to motor nerve outlets in the spinal cord.
  • 8. So, overall, the spinal cord is a relay station for impulses traveling between the periphery and the brain and back to the periphery, as in reactions or as a relay station from the periphery directly back to the periphery, as in reflexes .

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