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Free Anatomy Quiz

What is the difference between the central and peripheral nervous systems?



Test your knowledge of the nervous system by answering the following questions. If you get stuck on any of them, you'll find the answers in the article below.


1. The nervous system has _____ parts.


The brain and the spinal cord are parts of the _______ nervous system.


2. The ___________ nervous system is divided into the somatic and _____________ systems.


3. The ___________ system is under conscious control.


4. The actions of the ___________ system are unconscious.


5. The spinal cord extends from the medulla oblongata to the _________ lumbar vertebra.



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What is the difference between the central and peripheral nervous systems?



The central nervous system forms the control centre of the nervous system, and includes the brain and spinal cord.


The brain includes the cerebrum (parietal, occipital, frontal and temporal lobes), the cerebellum, the brain stem (midbrain, pons varoli and medulla oblongata), the thalamus, the hypothalamus, the limbic system, the hippocampus, and the amygdala. The brain is protected by three layers of connective tissue called the meninges, namely the dura mater, arachnoid mater and pia mater, with cerebrospinal fluid between the later two to provide cushioning against shock.


The spinal cord extends continuously from the medula oblongata, and down the spinal column to the level of the first lumbar vertebrae.


The peripheral nervous system is the nervous systems 'contact network' with the many organs and muscles of the body, and also its contact with the outside world. It includes the somatic (or 'voluntary') and autonomic systems. The somatic system is concerned with the parts and functions of the body that we can consciously control, and also with sensory information. The autonomic system is concerned with the parts and functions of the body over which we have no conscious control. These two systems make use of the 12 pairs of cranial, and 31 pairs of spinal nerves.



Reference: Clinically Oriented Anatomy, Moore


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