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Introduction: Electrical Storm

PART I  The Cellular Components of the Nervous System

The Nervous System Contains Several Types of Cells

The neuron has four principal divisions

Information is transmitted through synapses

BOX 2.1: Visualizing the Cellular Structure of the Brain

The axon integrates and then transmits information

Glial cells protect and assist neurons

PART II  The Large Scale Structure of the Nervous System

The Nervous System Extends throughout the Body

The peripheral nervous system has two divisions

The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord

BOX 2.2: Three Customary Orientations for Viewing the Brain and Body

PART III  The Functional Organization of the Nervous System

The Brain Is Described in Terms of Both Structure and Function

The cerebral cortex performs complex cognitive processing

Important nuclei are hidden beneath the cerebral cortex

The midbrain has sensory and motor components

The brainstem controls vital body functions

Networks of connections between brain regions determine behavior

Specialized Support Systems Protect and Nourish the Brain

The brain floats within layers of membranes

The brain relies on two fluids for survival


Brain-Imaging Techniques Reveal the Structure and Function of the Human Brain

CT uses X-rays to reveal brain structure

MRI maps density to deduce brain structure with high detail

Functional MRI uses local changes in metabolism to identify active brain regions

PET tracks radioactive substances to produce images of brain activity

RESEARCHERS AT WORK: Subtractive analysis isolates specific brain activity

Magnetism can be used to study the brain