Glossary of Terms

Autonomic nervous system- part of the peripheral nervous system that supplies neural connection to glands and smooth muscles of internal organs; made of two divisions (sympathetic and parasympathetic)

Axon- extension from the cell that carries nerve impulses from the cell body to other neurons

Brainstem- region of the brain that consists of the midbrain, ponds, and medulla

Cell Body- region of the neuron defined by the presence of a nucleus

Central nervous system (CNS)- portion of the nervous system that includes the brain and the spinal cord

Cerebellum- structure located in the back of the brain (dorsal to the pons) involved in central regulation of movement

Cerebral cortex- the outer covering of the cerebral hemisphers consisting mostly of nerve cell bodies and branches

Cerebral hemispheres- right and left halves of the forebrain

Corpus callosum- the band of axons that connects the two cerebral hemispheres

Dendrite- one of the extensions of the cell body that are reception surfaces of the neuron

Dorsal- anatomical term referring to structures toward the back of the body or top of the brain

Encephalization factor- a measure of brain size relative to body size

Forebrain- the frontal division of the brain which contains cerebral hemispheres, the thalamus, and the hypothalamus

Frontal lobe- the most anterior portion of the cerebral cortex

Glial cells- nonneuronal brain cells that provide structural, nutritional, and other supports to the brain

Hindbrain- the rear division of the brain, includes the cerebellum, ponds, and medulla (also called the rhombencephalon)

Hippocampus- the portion of the cerebral hemisphers in basal medial part of the temporal lobe; this part of the brain is important for learning and memory

Brain- a multi-layered structure containing billions of neurons and countless numbers of neuronal connections, thousands of specialized regions

Neuron- the basic building block of the brain; these cells receive input from other nerve cells and distribute information to other neurons; the information integration underlies the simplest and most complex of our thoughts and behaviors

Neuroscience- the science of the nervous system

Nervous System-

Neural Connectivity-estimated from length of dendritic trees of cortical neurons