The Central Nervous System

Free Response

What methods can be used to determine the function of a particular brain region?


To determine the function of a specific brain area, scientists can look at patients who have damage in that brain area and see what symptoms they exhibit. Researchers can disable the brain structure temporarily using transcranial magnetic stimulation. They can disable or remove the area in an animal model. fMRI can be used to correlate specific functions with increased blood flow to brain regions.

What are the main functions of the spinal cord?


The spinal cord transmits sensory information from the body to the brain and motor commands from the brain to the body through its connections with peripheral nerves. It also controls motor reflexes.

Alzheimer’s disease involves three of the four lobes of the brain. Identify one of the involved lobes and describe the lobe’s symptoms associated with the disease.


Potential answers:

  1. Frontal lobe. Alzheimer’s patients experience changes in personality, judgment, and behavior.;
  2. Parietal lobe. Alzheimer’s patients experience difficulties with recalling and using language as disease progresses.;
  3. Temporal lobe. The hippocampus is one of the main areas of the brain affected in Alzheimer’s disease. Patients lose the ability to make new memories and access memories.