Chapter 18

Nervous System

What is a Nervous System?
The nervous system carries out a wide variety of functions—from regulating heart rate and breathing, to allowing for consciousness and…
The Parasympathetic Nervous System
18.2: The Parasympathetic Nervous System
The parasympathetic nervous system is one of the major divisions of the autonomic nervous system (ANS)—also known as the visceral motor…
The Sympathetic Nervous System
18.3: The Sympathetic Nervous System
The sympathetic nervous system—one of the major divisions of the autonomic nervous system—is activated in times of stress. For example,…
The Blood-brain Barrier
18.4: The Blood-brain Barrier
The transport of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body is a critical process that depends on circulation and the passage of chemical components…
Neuron Structure
18.5: Neuron Structure
Neurons are the cells of the nervous system that generate and transmit electrical signals. These signals are sometimes directly communicated to other…
Glial Cells
18.6: Glial Cells
The nervous system is composed of two main types of cells: neurons and glial cells. Though neurons alone are responsible for sending and receiving…
Action Potentials
18.7: Action Potentials
The action potential is a specific “all-or-none” change in membrane potential—characterized by a quick spike in voltage—that…
The Resting Membrane Potential
18.8: The Resting Membrane Potential
The relative difference in electrical charge between the inside and outside of a cell membrane is called the membrane potential. It can be measured…
Long-term Potentiation
18.9: Long-term Potentiation
Long-term potentiation, or LTP, is one of the ways by which synaptic plasticity—changes in the strength of chemical synapses—can occur in…
Long-term Depression
18.10: Long-term Depression
Long-term depression, or LTD, is one of the ways by which synaptic plasticity—changes in the strength of chemical synapses—can occur in…
Optogenetics
18.11: Optogenetics
Neural circuitry can also be investigated using optogenetics, in which neurons are modified to express light sensitive ion channels. When exposed to…
Developmental Biology: Immunostaining to Visualize Murine Enteric Nervous System Development
18.12: Developmental Biology: Immunostaining to Visualize Murine Enteric Nervous System Development
A functioning Enteric Nervous System controls motility, nutrient absorption, and blood flow and is formed from neural crest cells that colonize the…
Bioengineering: Three-dimensional Tissue Engineered Aligned Astrocyte Networks
18.13: Bioengineering: Three-dimensional Tissue Engineered Aligned Astrocyte Networks
The CNS has a limited capacity to counteract the loss of neurons and axonal pprjections from injury, stroke, or disease. In this article, living…
Medicine: A Drosophila In Vivo Injury Model for Studying Neuroregeneration
18.14: Medicine: A Drosophila In Vivo Injury Model for Studying Neuroregeneration
The inability of axons to regenerate after an injury or disease may lead to permanent disabilities in patients. This article presents a…
Measuring Orthostatic Tolerance
18.15: Measuring Orthostatic Tolerance
Orthostatic tolerance (OT) refers to the ability to maintain cardiovascular stability when upright, countering the natural pull of gravity that could…
Testing the Social Dimensions of Stress
18.16: Testing the Social Dimensions of Stress
Coping with stress can be greatly facilitated by the supportive behavior of other people as well as positive social relationships in our lives.…
Microinfusion System for Sustained Delivery of Neuroactive Agents
18.17: Microinfusion System for Sustained Delivery of Neuroactive Agents
Delivery of neuroactive compounds is an important tool to manipulate brain activity and test potential therapuetics. However, researchers often face…