Key Terms for Navigating the Brain


central nervous system (CNS) brain plus spinal cord
peripheral nervous system (PNS) nervous system other than CNS; includes spinal ganglia, cranial nerves III-XII, and autonomic nervous system (ANS)
autonomic nervous system the part of the nervous system that innervates internal organs, blood vessels, and glands; visceral PNS; consists of sympathetic, parasympathetic, and enteric divisions
midline line that bisects the nervous system into two halves
lateral away from the midline
medial toward the midline
rostral toward the nose (anterior)
caudal towad the tail (posterior)
frontal anterior to the central sulcus
ventral toward the belly
dorsal toward the back
sulcus (sulci) groove in surface of cerebrum between gyri
gyrus (gyri) bump or bulge between sulci of cerebrum
anterior pointing forward
superior pointing up
inferior pointing down
posterior pointing backward
central sulcus sulcus dividing frontal lobe from parietal lobe
cerebellum structure attached the brain stem at the pons; movement control
brainstem diencephalon including midbrain, pons, and medulla
frontal lobe region of the cerebrum anterior to the central sulcus (behind the forehead, above the roof of the mouth and nasal cavities)
parietal lobe region of the cerebrum posterior to the central sulcus (under the parietal [wall] bones forming sides and top of skull)
occipital lobe region of the cerebrum posterior to the parietal lobe, lying under the occipital bone (lower back of skull)
temporal lobe region of the cerebrum lying under the temporal bone (i.e., under the temples)