The Body in Time Nervous Arcs

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Just as the skull protects the brain, vertebrae protect the spinal cord. The vertebrae are separated by disks made of cartilage, which act as cushions, reducing the forces generated by movements such as walking and jumping.


The vertebrae and disks of cartilage extend the length of the spine and together form the vertebral column, also called the spinal column. A column of bones called vertebrae make up the spine spinal column.

Exercise 3: The Peripheral Nervous System and Reflex Arcs

The vertebrae protect the spinal cord, a long, fragile structure contained in the spinal canal, which runs through the center of the spine. Between the vertebrae are disks composed of cartilage, which help cushion the spine and give it some flexibility. Spinal nerves: Emerging from the spinal cord between the vertebrae are 31 pairs of spinal nerves.

Each nerve emerges in two short branches roots :. The motor roots carry commands from the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body, particularly to skeletal muscles. Cauda equina: The spinal cord ends about three fourths of the way down the spine, but a bundle of nerves extends beyond the cord. The cauda equina carries nerve impulses to and from the legs. Like the brain, the spinal cord consists of gray and white matter.

The butterfly-shaped center of the cord consists of gray matter.

Reflex Action and Reflex Arc: What Happens When You Accidentally Touch a Hot Pot

The front wings also called horns contain motor nerve cells neurons , which transmit information from the brain or spinal cord to muscles, stimulating movement. The back horns contain sensory nerve cells, which transmit sensory information from other parts of the body through the spinal cord to the brain. The surrounding white matter contains columns of nerve fibers that carry sensory information to the brain from the rest of the body ascending tracts and columns that carry motor impulses from the brain to the muscles descending tracts.

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Peripheral Nervous System: Crash Course A&P #12

The Manual was first published in as a service to the community. Learn more about our commitment to Global Medical Knowledge. Common Health Topics. Part of your in-class work will be an activity testing some of each other's reflexes.


This tutorial shows how a stimulus-response action can happen without the Brain's involvement. These are simple actions, often used for protection.

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The follow-up to this tutorial will be your Reflex Arc activity in class. Template that complements the tutorial for students to take notes. Also contains the diagrams in the tutorial. This is the lab that you will be performing to test reflex responses on yourself and your classmates.

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Source: anatomy. This is a neat lab from Stanford University Museum of Technology that explores reaction time by catching a dropping ruler. Explanations for results are provided. Check out some of the activities on this site A much more detailed video about the Reflex Arc. You will need to finish the next tutorial on the Action Potential before you will be able to understand some of the details. I have requested permission to post this directly.

Until then or if , the above url will get you to the sheet. It has a good explanation with many good examples - as well as some questions to check your understanding.

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Description: To demonstrate an understanding of the Organization of the Nervous System as well as the purpose and mechanism of the Reflex Arc, you need to be able to: summarize the main roles of the nervous system in the body.