Okay. Here's a great kind of more in focused, in detail picture of the spinal cord.
Now, this is a slice of the spinal cord.
As if it was a carrot, we had sliced a dime - disk sized portion of it.
That's what you see here in the spinal cord.
Where I want you to start is first let's look at it as a whole set up.
You've got the white matter and the gray matter.
The gray matter's kind of that butterfly shaped slice of neurons in the middle.
So, I want you to start with a dorsal horn where it says "interneurons."
Let's talk about those first.
See, interneurons transmit impulses between other neurons, that's their job.
Now move down toward those other nerve roots.
You got the dorsal root that's the sensory one, the dorsal root ganglion, the somatic sensory neurons,
visceral sensory neurons, visceral motor neurons and the somatic motor neurons.
Well, hopefully that lines up with what we've been talking about.
The spinal cord communicates information both sensory and motor so you need pathways for both.
So we've got the ventral root there that's the motor.
The dorsal root is the sensory.
And the interneurons are the ones that communicate information between neurons
so that's pretty much how the gray matter is organized.
Now let's break that down a little bit more.
We've done a good job showing you the colors.
So, we talked about the interneurons receive input from the somatic sensory neurons.
We showed you that area in the kind of blue gray color.
Next, we're adding a light green color.
That's where the interneurons receive input from the visceral and sensory neurons.
Now, the kind of golden yellow color, the visceral motor or the autonomic neurons are there.
And finally, the kind of reddish color, they're the somatic motor neurons.
Okay. So why are we breaking this down to you?
Well, look what's in the back or the posterior. That's the somatic and the visceral sensory neurons.
What's in the front or the anterior? The visceral motor and the somatic motor.
That's important to remember because if someone doesn't have a complete spinal cord injury,
motor or sensory may be impacted more than the other.
So that's where we get the problems with spinal cord,
it all depends on location of the injury and the damage.