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Structure and Function of the Cerebellum
• The Cerebellum is a cauliflower-shaped lobe of the brain. Cerebellum
means “Little brain” in Latin. The cerebellum is divided into three major
• The Vermis: a narrow, worm shaped structure in between both sides of the
• The Paravermis: A region on either side of the midline of the cerebellum that
lies lateral to the Vermis and medial to the hemisphere
• The Cerebellar Hemispheres: The hemispheres are coated in a thin layer of
grey matter called the cortex. Under the cortex, there is a white layer and in
that layer are deep cerebellar nuclei.
• This part of the brain is in charge of the motor control of that regulates
muscle tone and coordinate the movement. It is also believed that it
contributes to non-motor functions, such as thought process and emotions.
It is important that it receives and sends the messages to for the production
of muscle movement and coordination.
• See also NeuroScience For Dumbies
Structure and Function of Diencephalon
• It is made up of the pons, medulla oblongata, and the midbrain.
• It’s two major divisions are: the thalamus and the hypothalamus.
• Thalamus: is an important relay station for sensory information, translating sensations
of sound, smell, taste, pain, pressure, temperature, and touch. It also controls some of
memories and emotions.
• Hypothalamus: it controls the heartbeat rate and digestion, helps regulate the endocrine
system and the body temperature, it also interprets hunger and thirst, and regulates
sleep, anger, and aggression.
• The diencephalon is like a relay system between the input sensory neurons and
other parts of the brain. It interconnects with other larger surrounding structures
called the limbic system, which controls the memories and emotions.
Structure and Function of the Cerebral
• The cerebral cortex can control sensations, voluntary
muscle movement, thought, reasoning, and memory.
The wrinkles, folds, and crumpled curves allow for
more surface area to pack in more cortical neurons.
The neurons carry out the rational thoughts and
emotions. The cerebral cortex is apart of the limbic
Somatic Sensory Pathways in the CNS
• There are a few major parts/systems to the somatic sensory pathways:
the anterolateral and lemniscal systems.
• Anterolateral system: the cells of origin of pain and temperature
conveying axons in the spinal cord lie in the dorsal horn. Axons arising
from these dorsal horn cells cross and ascend in the anterolateral portion
of the white matter of the spinal cord
• Lemniscal system: Axons of cells within nucleus gracilis and nucleus
cuneatus cross as internal arcuate fibers and form this system. It carries
information from specialized touch, pressure, vibration, and joint
receptors to the cerebral cortex.
Somatic Motor Pathways in the
• Motor commands coming from the brain and spinal cord,
through peripheral nerves to effecter organs.
• Somatic motor neurons innervate skeletal muscle to
produce conscious, voluntary movement; each somatic
motor pathway consists of a single somatic motor neuron
that extends from the CNS to skeletal muscle
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