Sensory and Motor Tracts (Nursing)

by Jasmine Clark

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    00:00 Alright, so now let's switch gears and talk about the physiology of the spinal cord.

    00:06 So the purpose of the spinal cord is to maintain homeostasis.

    00:12 And in order to do that, it must propagate nerve impulses as well as integrate information.

    00:20 So how does information travel in the spinal cord? So first, let's discuss the two main parts of the spinal cord.

    00:28 You have white matter tracts which are going to conduct the nerve impulses to and from the brain.

    00:36 And you have gray matter tracts which are going to receive and integrate the incoming and outgoing information to perform spinal reflexes.

    00:47 So let's take a closer look at how sensory information is processed.

    00:54 First, a sensory receptor is going to detect a sensory stimulus in a part of the body.

    01:01 Then a nerve impulse from that sensory neuron is going to go into the spinal nerve via the posterior route.

    01:10 From this point, it can take three pathways, two of them include sensory tracts.

    01:17 In the first sensory tract, we will send directly into the white matter and then ascend to the brain.

    01:24 The second sensory tract involves a synapse with an interneuron that then ascends into the brain.

    01:33 A third pathway is to synapse with an interneuron that will then synapse with a motor neuron in a spinal reflex pathway.

    01:44 We can also have axons that originate from higher brain centers and descend from the brain into the white matter and synapse into a somatic motor neuron.

    01:59 These somatic motor neurons will then extend to the skeletal muscles.

    02:06 Third, we have the autonomic pathway.

    02:09 In an autonomic pathway, autonomic motor neurons are going to go to our cardiac muscles or smooth muscles and our glands.

    02:19 These autonomic motor neurons will synapse with other autonomic motor neurons in these effectors.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Sensory and Motor Tracts (Nursing) by Jasmine Clark is from the course Spinal Cord and Spinal Nerves – Physiology (Nursing).

    Author of lecture Sensory and Motor Tracts (Nursing)

     Jasmine Clark

    Jasmine Clark

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