Sunday, March 11, 2012

Review of Neuroanatomy


The brain is encased in several fluid filled sacs which keep it from escaping by leaping out of your skull. These are the pia mater (gives it the silky, fresh sheen of a young brain), the arachnoid mater (hatchery for your brain-spiders), and the dura mater (your brain's hat).

Somatomotor Cortex

At the pre-central gyrus, the somatormotor cortex controls your muscle movement. It is often nicknamed the "humunculus" after the small man that lives there and controls your movements via a series of levers and buttons. This term is antiquated and racist, and these men prefer the term "Humunculed-Americans".

Babinski Reflex

Named after the famous physician and foot-enthusiast Joseph Jules Felix "The Babinskinator" Babinski, it is a test to localize a motor deficit lesion. It is performed by stabbing the patient in the foot with a stick and observing carefully. If the patient yells "Upper motor lesion, you f&#$%#@!" then the lesion is probably in the cortiospinal tract. If the patient yells "Lower motor lesion, you f#$%#$%&!" then the patient is faking it and deserves to be stabbed again.

Basal Ganglia

The basal ganglia are a complicated set of inhibitory and excitatory signals that regulate our movement. To help understand this, I've created this helpful figure:

Pictured above: Basal ganglia (simplified)

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