3 questions 1/30

This week we talked about neurons and went over our leech lab where we looked at a simple nervous system. We also got new coloring plates on different types of the nervous system and completed a blog on sports drinks and the longest nerve in the body. Next week we are reviewing and taking our test and I’m am going to study for it and complete my glogs!

The Structure of a Neuron Essential Questions

Why do athletes use sports drinks? Sports drinks replenish your electrolytes after and during exercise. Those sports drinks contain electrolytes such as chloride, sodium, and potassium. These electrolytes are lost from the body through sweat and potassium and sodium play a huge role in muscle contractions. The sodium potassium pump is a significant step in a muscle correction because it controls the ions traveling on each side of the cell membrane. When those ions are lost through sweat the sports drinks can replenish them thus continuing the ability to produce strenuous exercise with muscle contractions. The longest nerve in the body is the sciatic nerve, and it runs from the bottom of the spinal cord to the big toe on each foot. That is a length of approximately three feet for one neuron!

Leech Lab

The point of the leech lab was to view a simple nervous system in a leech because even simple nervous systems perform much of the same functions as the complex ones, as we discuss in anatomy. I reviewed that the basic unit was the neuron and that was enforced in the explanation and use of electrode stimuli. I also got to identify five different cell types that were stimulated by the different utensils. These cells were named N,T,P,R, and X. This lab is applicable to people because although leeches are simple creatures the anatomy of their nervous system is very similar to that of humans. These simulations can help represent the human nervous system because most nerve cells are stimulated similarly. In the picture shown is an example of a dyed cell from the leech lab. Seeing it in UV light was really interesting and depicted what the cells looked like.
My source was the hhmi leach lab
leech cell

Play doh brain!

The human brain is a very strangely structured piece of art. You have the diencephalon which sits on the brain stem and is enclosed by cerebral hemispheres and is made of the Thalamus, Hypothalamus, and Epithalamus. The epithalamus forms the root of the third ventricle. It also houses the pineal body. The thalamus is what I like to refer as the “sensory switchboard.” It surrounds the third ventricle and acts as a relay station for sensory impulses. It then transfers those impulses to the correct part of the cortex for localization and interpretation. Lastly in this part of the brain we have the hypothalamus. This part of your brain plays a HUGE role in the “fight or flight” experience. It is located under the thalamus and is important in controlling body temperature, water balance, and metabolism as well as playing a big role in the limbic system of emotions. Now, in the brain stem you have the midbrain, which acts as a reflex center for vision and hearing and has two bulging fiber tracts called the cerebral penduncles. Next, is the medulla oblongata which contains important control centers such as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, swallowing, and vomiting. The medulla is the lowest part of the brain stem. Then of course there is the pons which is a bulging center part of the brain stem, is mostly composed of fiber tracts, and includes nuclei involved in the control of breathing. The reticular formation is next and it is involved in motor controls of visceral organs. the RAS plays a role in the awake and sleep cycle. You can thank it for your circadian rhythm later. Last in the brain stem is the cerebellum which is also know as the “mini brain.” It is composed of two hemispheres and provides involuntary coordination of body movements. Then you have the specialized areas of the brain like the somatic sensory area with receives impulses from sensory receptors, or the motor area that controls the impulses being sent to skeletal muscles, or even the Broca’s area which is involved in our ability to speak. All of the different parts of the brain must perform a different task to keep our body working the way we like it to. If something were to happen to the medulla for example, living would be nearly impossible. Each part of the brain plays a vital role in taking care of our body. We need each part of the brain to function so the body can keep doing all the things we like to do! So thank your Broca’s area the next time you’re feeling chatty, or even your hippocampus the next time you remember some funny memory!
For my sources I would like to cite my anatomy notes on the brain as well as my psychology notes on the brain!
Here is a picture of my play doh brain.


brain 2

3 questions 1/15/15

This week we graded our test on the muscular system. I learned I need to study more of the microscopic reactions and fully read each question. Then we did test correction on each question! To more prepare for class I should probably take the notes and pay more attention to them! Next I will try to read all the questions thoroughly especially since we are in the nervous system and it’s very complex.