Tutorial 37: Central Nervous System

Intro | Amygdala | Brainstem | Cerebellum | Cerebrum | Corpus Callosum | Reticular Formation | Hippocampus | Hypothalamus | Medulla | Pituitary Gland | Pons | Spinal Cord | Thalamus

Part 1: Image-Mapped Tutorial
Part 2: Matching Self-Test
Part 3: Multiple-Choice Self-Test

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Major Structures and Areas

The three major divisions of the Central Nervous System (CNS) are subdivided into numerous structures and areas that make unique contributions to the control and modulation of behavior, thought, and emotions. Figure 37 provides a cross-sectional view of the CNS and identifies key structures along with their principal functions.

Suggestions for further study


DeKoker, B. (1996, December). Sex and the spinal cord. A new pathway for orgasm, Scientific American, 262(6), 30-32.

Dold, C. (1996, September). Hormone hell, Discover, 17(9), 53-59.
Industrial chemicals, mimicking natural hormones, may be affecting fetal sexual development.

Glickstein, M, Gibson, A.R. (1976, November). Visual cells in the pons of the brain, Scientific American, 235(5), 90-98.

Grady, D. (1992, January). The brains of gay men. Discover, 12(1), 29.

Guilleman, R., Burgus, R. (1972, November). The hormones of the hypothatlamus, Scientific American, 227(5), 24-33.

Halloway, M. (1992, June). The estrogen factor, Scientific American, 266(6), 26.

Heller, H.C., Crawshaw, L.I., Hammel, H.T. (1978, August). The thermostat of vertebrate animals, Scientific American, 239(2), 102-110, 112-113.

LeDoux, J.E. (1994, June). Emotion, memory and the brain. Scientific American, 270(6), 50-57.

LeVay, S., Hamer, D.H. (1994, May). Evidence for a biological influence in male homosexuality, Scientific American, 270(5), 44-49.

Llinas, R.R. (1975, January). The cortex of the cerebellum, Scientific American, 232(1), 56-71.

Richardson, S. (1996, November). Tarzan's little brain, Discover, 17(11), 100-102.
Cerebellar contribution to mind, interpretation of physical cues for nonverbal communication.

Routtenberg, A. (1978, November). The reward system of the brain, Scientific American, 239(5), 154-164.

Rusting, R. (1990, June). Easing the trauma. Finally, a way to limit damage from spinal injuries, Scientific American, 262(2), 34, 36-37.

Segal, S.J. (1974, September). The physiology of human reproduction, Scientific American, 231(3), 52-62.


(Brain Anatomy)
Washington State University, Coronal and horizontal sections throughout the cerebrum.

(Bridging the Brain Gap)
from Science News, 1996 - The brain and social trust.

(Brain and Mind - Electronic Magazine)
Cardoso, State University of Campinas, Brazil

(Brain and Behavior Essay / Resource IndexCent)
Serendip, Extensive !! Click-on list of resources concerning brain and behavior.

(Brain and Function Topics)
Serendip - Click-on Essays - Brain and Behavior Function.

(Brain Stem Neuroanatomy Lab)
Loyola University Medical Center, Sections throughout the brainstem.

(Global Spinal Cord '97)
Hartig, University of Wisconsin Medical School

(On climbing fiber signals and their consequence(s))
Simpson, J. I., Wylie, D. R., De Zeeuw, C. I. (1996). Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19(3): 368-383.

(The detection and generation of sequences as a key to cerebellar function: Experiments and theory)
Braitenberg, V., Heck, D., & Sultan, F. (1997). Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (2): 229-277.

(Estrogen's Influence on the Brain)
from Society for Neuroscience - Brain Briefings, 1997.

(Medial Temporal Lobe & Limbic System
Washington University School of Medicine - Neuroscience Tutorial

(Fear and the Amygdala)
from Society for Neuroscience - Brain Briefings, 1998.

(Gender and the Brain)
from Society for Neuroscience - Brain Briefings, 1998.

(Hypothalamus and the Autonomic Nervous System)
Washington University School of Medicine - Neuroscience Tutorial

(Weight Control and Obesity)
from Society for Neuroscience - Brain Briefings, 1997.

(The Virtual Hospital - The Human Brain)
Williams, Gluhbegovic & Jew, University of Iowa
A superb detailed atlas of human brain dissections.

(The Whole Brain Atlas - Harvard University)
Johnson & Becker, Harvard University and Massachusetts Inst. of Technology

(The Digital Anatomist Project)
University of Washington, On-line Interactive Atlas including 3-D computer graphics, MRI scans and tissue sections.