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BIO303: Neurobiology

Unit 6: Neuroanatomy   During development, various levels of organization are built into cells in order to create structure and order. This unit will introduce the most important structures in neurobiology, from the cerebral cortex to the base of the spinal cord. Neuroanatomy can be broken down into the “cephalons” (i.e. the top of the head is the telecephalon). As many of these structures are functionally unique but visually similar, it can be difficult to distinguish one from another. Thus, while you are learning these structures, it is important to reference a visual aid that will show you the location and shape.

Unit 6 Time Advisory
This unit will take you 15 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 6.1: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.3: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.4: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 6.5: 3.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.6: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.7: 2.5 hours

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- identify the major lobes of the brain, their location, and list their primary functions; - identify the major structures of the limbic system, their connections, and their primary limbic functions; - list the cranial nerves and their major functions; - identify the location and major components and the major functions of the diencephalon, mesencephalon, metencephalon, and myelencephalon; and - explain the ventricular system and function of the cerebrospinal fluid.

6.1 Telencephalon   6.1.1 Cerebral Cortex   - Reading: Center for Neuro Skills: Dr. Robert Lehr’s “Brain Functions and Map” Link: Center for Neuro Skills: Dr. Robert Lehr’s “Brain Functions and Map” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the entire webpage, and click on the embedded links.
 
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6.1.2 The Cerebral Hemispheres   - Reading: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. Nachum Dafny’s “Ch 1: Overview of the Nervous System” Link: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. Nachum Dafny’s “Ch 1: Overview of the Nervous System” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the first paragraph titled “The Cerebral Hemisphere.”
 
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6.1.3 Limbic System Structures   - Reading: NCBI Bookshelf’s version of Sinauer Associates, Inc., Purves, Augustine, Fitzpatrick, et al., editors’ Neuroscience, 2nd Edition: “Ch 29: The Limbic System” Link: NCBI Bookshelf’sversion of Sinauer Associates, Inc., Purves, Augustine, Fitzpatrick, et al., editors’ Neuroscience, 2nd Edition: “Ch 29: The Limbic System (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the entire page and explore the hyperlinks to the figures.
 
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  • Web Media: YouTube: AndreeaOliviana’s “Limbic System and Prefrontal Cortex” Link: YouTube: AndreeaOliviana’s “Limbic System and Prefrontal Cortex” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch the video linked above (about 4 minutes). The limbic system includes many structures outside of the telecephalon.
     
     
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6.1.4 Basal Ganglia   - Reading: Research Institute Neurosciences Vrije Universiteit: Henk J. Groenewegen’s “The Basal Ganglia and Motor Control” Link: Vrije Universiteit, Neurosciences Research Institute: Henk J. Groenewegen’s “The Basal Ganglia and Motor Control” (PDF) 

 Instructions: Read this review on the basal ganglia to understand
the anatomy and function of the basal ganglia.

Reading this review should take approximately 3 hours.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)<span
style="line-height: 13px;">. It is attributed to Henk J.
Groenewegen, and the original version can be
found [here](http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2003/108384/abs/)</span><span
style="line-height: 13px;">.</span>

6.2 Diencephalon   6.2.1 Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Prethalamus, and Epithalamus   - Reading: About.com’s Biology: Regina Bailey’s “Diencephalon” Link: About.com’s Biology: Regina Bailey’s “Diencephalon (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the entire page, and click on the links for “thalamus,” “hypothalamus,” “pineal gland,” and “pituitary gland.”
 
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  • Web Media: YouTube: medbenmedben’s “Anatomy of the Brain: Diencephalon, Thalamus, and Hypothalamus” Link: YouTube: medbenmedben’s “Anatomy of the Brain: Diencephalon, Thalamus, and Hypothalamus (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch the video. 

    Watching this video should take approximately 5 minutes.
     
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  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Prethalamus, and Epithalamus” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Prethalamus, and Epithalamus” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Download the PDF linked above, and read the entire text.

6.2.2 Pretectum   - Reading: NCBI Bookshelf’ s version of Sinauer Associates, Inc., Purves, Augustine, Fitzpatrick, et al., editors’ Neuroscience, 2nd Edition: “Ch 12: Central Projections of Retinal Ganglion Cells” Link: NCBI Bookshelf’s version of Sinauer Associates, Inc., Purves, Augustine, Fitzpatrick, et al., editors’ Neuroscience, 2nd Edition: “Ch 12: Central Projections of Retinal Ganglion Cells” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Scroll down and read the fourth paragraph. Then, click the hyperlink to Figure 12.3. The pretectum (or pretectal area) is a region of neurons found between the thalamus and midbrain. The pretectum primarily controls the pupillary light reflex. The pupillary light reflex is controls the diameter of the pupil in response to the intensity of light that falls on the retina of the eye. The pupillary light reflex is important in adaptation to various levels of darkness and light. More intense light causes the pupil to become smaller (allowing less light in), and less intense light causes the pupil to become larger (allowing more light in). Thus, the pupillary light reflex regulates the intensity of light entering the eye.  

 The pretectum receives sensory information from the retinal
ganglion cells in both eyes. After receiving information, it
projects to the Edinger-Westphal nucleus and the ciliary ganglion,
which regulate the size of the pupil by controlling the pupillary
sphincter muscle and the pupillary dilator muscle, respectively.   

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6.3 Mesencephalon   6.3.1 Inferior and Superior Colliculi   - Reading: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. Nachum Dafny’s “Ch 1: Overview of the Nervous System” Link: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. Nachum Dafny’s “Ch 1: Overview of the Nervous System” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the paragraphs on “Mesencephalon.”
 
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  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Inferior and Superior Colliculi” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Inferior and Superior Colliculi” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Download the PDF linked above, and read the entire text.

6.3.2 Cerebral Peduncles   - Reading: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. James Knierim’s “Ch 2: Spinal Reflexes and Descending Motor Pathways” Link: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. James Knierim’s “Ch 2: Spinal Reflexes and Descending Motor Pathways” (HTML)

 Instructions: Scroll to the section entitled: “2.2 Descending Motor
Pathways” and read as far as “Rubrospinal tract.” You can stop
there.   

 The cerebral peduncles are three sets of paired bundles of the
hindbrain *(superior, middle,* and *inferior),* which carry body
movement information from the cerebrum to the brainstem and spinal
cord. By definition, a “peduncle” is a stem- or stalk-like structure
of nerve tracts that connect various regions of the brain.  

 The cerebral peduncles can be divided into anterior section, the
crus cerebri,and a posterior section, the tegmentum. The crus
cerebri and tegmentumare separated by the substantia nigra.  

 The corticospinal tract runs through the cerebral peduncles. The
corticospinal tract is a collection of axons that travel between the
cerebral cortex and the spinal cord, which is involved with discrete
voluntary skilled movements, particularly in the hands and fingers.
For example, when the cerebrum instructs your hand to reach behind
your back to grab a long stick, your corticospinal tract refines
that instruction to have you twist your hand to the position of the
stick which is easier to grab. The corticobulbar tract also runs
through the cerebral peduncles. The corticobulbar tract connects the
cerebral cortex and the brain stem and consists of motor neurons of
some cranial nerves. Therefore, the corticobulbar tract controls
muscles of the face, head, and neck.  

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6.4 Metencephalon   6.4.1 Pons   - Reading: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. James Knierim’s “Ch 5: Cerebellum” Link: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. James Knierim’s “Ch 5: Cerebellum” (HTML and Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Read the paragraph on the “Pons.”
 
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6.4.2 Cerebellum   - Reading: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. James Knierim’s “Ch 5: Cerebellum” Link: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. James Knierim’s “Ch 5: Cerebellum” (HTML and Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Read the entire webpage.
 
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6.5 Myelencephalon   6.5.1 Medulla Oblongata   - Reading: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. James Knierim’s “Ch 5: Cerebellum” Link: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. James Knierim’s “Ch 5: Cerebellum” (HTML and Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Read the paragraph on the “Medulla Oblongata.”
 
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6.5.2 Cranial Nerves   - Reading: NCBI Bookshelf’ s version of Sinauer Associates, Inc., Purves, Augustine, Fitzpatrick, et al., editors’ Neuroscience, 2nd Edition: “Table 1.1: The Cranial Nerves and Their Primary Function” Link: NCBI Bookshelf’ s version of Sinauer Associates, Inc., Purves, Augustine, Fitzpatrick, et al., editors’ Neuroscience, 2nd Edition: “Table 1.1: The Cranial Nerves and Their Primary Function (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the entire table for a summary of cranial nerves and major functions.
 
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  • Reading: Yale University School of Medicine: “Cranial Nerves” Link: Yale University School of Medicine: “Cranial Nerves” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Click on each of the 12 types of cranial nerves to read about them. There are 12 cranial nerves (each having a specific function) as well as individual branches of larger cranial nerves. You should know them all!
     
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6.6 Spinal Cord   6.6.1 Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, and Sacral Nerves   - Reading: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. Nachum Dafny’s “Ch 3: Anatomy of the Spinal Cord” Link: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. Nachum Dafny’s “Ch 3: Anatomy of the Spinal Cord” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the entirety of this webpage, except for the paragraph on the “dermatome.” This reading also covers section 6.6.2.
 
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6.6.2 Vertebral Column   Note: This topic is covered by the reading under subunit 6.6.1.

6.6.3 Dorsal and Ventral Roots   - Reading: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. Nachum Dafny’s “Ch 3: Anatomy of the Spinal Cord” Link: The University of Texas’s Neuroscience Online: Dr. Nachum Dafny’s “Ch 3: Anatomy of the Spinal Cord” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click “next” to page 3, and read the paragraph for the “Dorsal Root.” Then, click “next” to page 4, and read the paragraph for the “Ventral Root.” Dorsal roots are for sensory functions while ventral roots are for motor functions. Try not to mix these two up!
 
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6.6.4 Conus Medullaris and Cauda Equina   - Reading: Apparelyzed.com: “Spinal Cord Anatomy” Link: Apparelyzed.com: “Spinal Cord Anatomy” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the webpage linked above.
 
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6.7 Ventricular System   6.7.1 Cerebrospinal Fluid and Choroid Plexus   - Reading: NeuropathologyWeb.org: “Ch14 – Cerebrospinal Fluid” Link: NeuropathologyWeb.org: “Ch14 – Cerebrospinal Fluid” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the webpage linked above.
 
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6.7.2 Lateral Ventricles   - Reading: Psyweb.com: “Ventricles” Link: Psyweb.com: “Ventricles” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the webpage linked above.
 
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6.7.3 Third Ventricle   - Web Media: YouTube: Dr. Droual’s “Brain Stem Model – Lateral and Third Ventricles” Link: YouTube: Dr. Droual’s “Brain Stem Model – Lateral and Third Ventricles” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Watch the video, which should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
 
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6.7.4 Fourth Ventricle   - Web Media: YouTube: “Neuroanatomy – Ventricles” Link: YouTube: “Neuroanatomy – Ventricles” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Watch the video.

 Watching this video should take approximately 5 minutes.  
    
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displayed on the webpage above.

6.7.5 Summary of Ventricular System   - Reading: Academic.ru: “Ventricular System” Link: Academic.ru: “Ventricular System (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the entire webpage.
 
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  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Assessment” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Assessment (PDF)

    Instructions: Complete this quiz after working through Unit 6. The questions are either multiple choice, matching, or labeling diagrams. Your answers can be checked against The Saylor Foundation’s Unit 6 Assessment Answer Key (PDF).

    Completing this assessment should take approximately 30 minutes.