Anatomy of the Nervous System

Critical Thinking Questions


Studying the embryonic development of the nervous system makes it easier to understand the complexity of the adult nervous system. Give one example of how development in the embryonic nervous system explains a more complex structure in the adult nervous system.


What happens in development that suggests that there is a special relationship between the skeletal structure of the head and the nervous system?


Damage to specific regions of the cerebral cortex, such as through a stroke, can result in specific losses of function. What functions would likely be lost by a stroke in the temporal lobe?


Why do the anatomical inputs to the cerebellum suggest that it can compare motor commands and sensory feedback?


Why can the circle of Willis maintain perfusion of the brain even if there is a blockage in one part of the structure?


Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges that can have severe effects on neurological function. Why is infection of this structure potentially so dangerous?


Why are ganglia and nerves not surrounded by protective structures like the meninges of the CNS?


Testing for neurological function involves a series of tests of functions associated with the cranial nerves. What functions, and therefore which nerves, are being tested by asking a patient to follow the tip of a pen with their eyes?