The Neuroscience on the Web Series:
CMSD 620 Neuroanatomy of Speech, Swallowing and Language

CSU, Chico, Emeritus Professer, Patrick McCaffrey, Ph. D

CMSD 620 Study Questions

Chapter I Overview of the Nervous System

  1. Identify the ways in which a human figure can be divided or sectioned for study.


  2. Define the following directional terms:












  3. Explain the 3 major components of:

      The Central Nervous System


      The Peripheral Nervous System.


      The Autonomic Nervous System

Chapter 2. General Description of the Central Nervous System

  1. Define and differentiate between these terms:





  2. The basal ganglia is composed of two structures; name them and describe their locations and component parts.

  3. Describe the location of the internal capsule. What is its function?

  4. Briefly describe the functions of the limbic system.

  5. Discuss the general function of the thalamus. Explain its motor function.

  6. Describe the "path" of each of the following sensory modalities in relation to the thalamus.






  7. Describe the location of the hypothalamus.

  8. What general functions does the hypothalamus regulate?

  9. Why can the thalamus be described as primarily an "input structure"? The hypothalamus as an "output structure"?

  10. Name and describe the components of the midbrain.

  11. List the cranial nerves that originate in each of the component parts of the brainstem.

  12. What are two vital functions of the medulla?

  13. List and describe the importance of the "landmarks" found in the medulla.

  14. Discuss the role of the cerebellum in motor movement.

  15. What types of problems may result when lesions occur in the cerebellum?

  16. Describe the spinal cord, include specific location (where it starts and where it ends) and function.


Chapter 3. The Meninges and Cerebrospinal Fluid

  1. Describe the meninges. Include a discussion of location, function, and the spaces that are associated with them.

  2. Explain the functions of cerebrospinal fluid.

  3. Describe the pattern of circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, including a description of the ventricles and their connections.


Chapter 4. The Cerebral Cortex & Brodmann's Areas

  1. Describe Brodmann's areas

  2. Describe the four cerebral lobes in terms of their locations and boundaries.

  3. Describe the major parts of the Frontal Lobe and the processes for each.

  4. Describe the Parietal Lobe's major components and their associated functions.

  5. Describe the specific structures of the temporal lobe, and the abilities/processes for each.  

  6. Describe the functions of the occipital Lobe.

  7. Describe the disorders that may result from damage to each of these areas in the cerebral lobes.

    Broca's area.

    Angular gyrus.

    Wernicke's area

    Primary visual area

    Secondary visual.

  8. Can all functions be attributed to specific structures or parts of the brain? Why or why not?

  9. List and describe the six layers of the cortex. Where does the pyramidal tract arise?

  10. Describe the location in the brain with which each of Brodmann's areas is associated.

  11. Explain the medial and lateral aspects of the motor strip in terms of motor control and blood supply.


Chapter 5. The Corpus Striatum, Rhinencephalon, Connecting Fibers, and Diencephalon.


  • Explain the critical nature of the internal capsule (i.e., why it is a frequent location for lesions to occur).


  • Discuss the responses that are mediated by the limbic system. Give an example of primitive alarm and a higher level cancelling of the danger response.


  • Name and describe the cortical and subcortical structures that make up the limbic system. What is neo-cortex?


  • Differentiate between the following types of fibers.

    Efferent fibers

    Afferent fibers

    Interconnecting fibers

    Commisural fibers

    Association fibers


  • Describe the three major groups of commisural fibers.


  • What was the most important discovery resulting from "split-brain" research for the field of speech language pathology?


  • The following specific relay nuclei have been scrambled. Match them with the type of information that they are said to process. Explain input and the structures/locations to which information is relayed.

    Specific relay nuclei

    Sensory information

    Input from?

    Output to?

    lateral geniculate body

    somatosensory (pain, temperature, and proprioception)

    cerebellum and basal ganglia

    somato-sensory cortex in the parietal lobe

    medial geniculate body


    inferior colliculus of the midbrain

    somato-sensory cortex in the parietal lobe

    ventral posterolateral nucleus


    trigeminothalamic tract

    motor and premotor cortex in the frontal lobe

    ventral posteromedial nucleus


    superior colliculus of the midbrain

    auditory areas of the cortex in the temporal lobe

    ventral lateral/ventral anterior nuclei

    sensory information (mediated by the trigeminal nerve)

    spinothalamic tract and the medial lemniscus

    visual areas of the cortex in the occipital lobe

  • Name and describe the three association nuclei of the thalamus in terms of the areas of the cortex to which their output is sent. What is the major difference between these and the specific thalamic relay nuclei?

  • List the two "non-specific" nuclei of the thalamus, and the one "subcortical" nuclei.

  • Match the following groups of nuclei and regions of the hypothalamus to the functions that they regulate.

    preoptic area

    involved in regulation of water intake and output, through control of the kidneys, and production of ADH

    supraoptic area

    involved in control of temperature in cold environments, causes shivering, and also controls sexual behavior

    paraventricular nucleus

    involved in temperature regulation of the body (including dilation of peripheral blood vessels and sweating)

    dorsal-medial nucleus

    monitors the level of glucose in the blood, and sends messages to the stomach when this level drops to a certain point

    ventral-medial nucleus

    involved in water regulation, and production of ADH

    lateral region

    involved in control and expression of emotions like rage, fear, and extreme anxiety

    posterior region

    involved in control and expression of emotions like rage, fear, and extreme anxiety


Chapter 6. The Midbrain, Pons, Medulla, and Reticular Formation 

  • Describe the location, parts, and function of the corpora quadrigemina.

  • What are the two structures that the red nucleus connects?

  • The following Cranial Nerves originate in the brain stem. Describe their general functions (what do they control?). In what part of the brain stem does each originate?

    III Oculomotor

    IV Trochlear

    V Trigeminal

    VI Abducens

    VII Facial

    VIII Auditory

    IX Glossopharyngeal

    X Vagus

    XI Spinal Accessory

    XII Hypoglossal


  • Why is the medulla important in speech and swallowing?

  • What is the reticular formation? Where are its nuclei located?

  • Name, describe, and differentiate between the two parts of the reticular formation (in terms of the functions they mediate).


Chapter 7. The Cerebellum 

  • Name and discuss the function of the deep nuclei of the cerebellum. How (specifically) are they regulated?  

  • Describe, in detail, the "feedback loop" associated with the cerebellum. Why is the cerebellum important to speech and swallowing?

  • Name the three cerebellar peduncles. What structures does each connect to the cerebellum? Describe the fibers that travel in each of these, the information they carry, and its destination.

  • How are the ventrospinocerebellar and dorsospinocerebellar tracts related to the cerebellum? From where do they bring information, and on which peduncles do they travel?

  • What kinds of information does the cerebellum receive from the periphery?

  • From where do the reticulospinal and vestibulospinal tracts bring information?

  • Describe the cortical input received by the cerebellum. How does this information get to the cerebellum?

  • Why may output from the cerebellum be considered part of the extrapyramidal system?

  • Describe the pathway of information that allows the cerebellum to provide feedback to the motor cortex.

  • Discuss the destination of information carried on each of the following:

    rubrospinal tract

    vestibulospinal tract

    reticulospinal tract.

  • Describe a problem that is associated with cerebellar lesions.


Chapter 8. The Spinal Cord, Spinal Nerves, and Autonomic Nervous System

  • Describe the spinal cord, in terms of where it is located, and how it is protected.

  • Describe the internal composition (cells and neuronal types) of the spinal cord.

  • Describe the spinal nerves and their function.

  • Discuss the reflex arc that is formed by the spinal nerves and cord.

  • The autonomic nervous system is made up of two antagonistic components. Name them and describe their functions.

  • Name and describe the (groups of) nerve cells that make up the autonomic nervous system.


Chapter 9. The Cranial Nerves

  • Provide a general description of the cranial nerves. (Consider the parts of the body they innervate, whether they are sensory or motor fibers, and whether they are upper motor neurons or lower motor neurons.)

  • Describe the five cranial nerves that are involved in smell and vision. Indicate the origin and specific role for each.  

  • Describe the cranial nerves involved in speech, hearing, and swallowing.

  • List and describe the stages of deglutition. Include the time that is involved in each stage, the names and actions of the structures that are involved, the specific input from the cranial nerves at the various stages, and the overall contribution or control that is exerted.


Chapter 10. Upper Motor Neuronal Tracts

  • Define the term "upper motor neurons."

  • Define the term "lower motor neurons."

  • Describe the pyramidal tract. Name and describe the two main parts of the pyramidal tract.

  • Differentiate between the lateral corticospinal tract and the direct pyramidal tract.

  • What is bilateral innervation? Why is it important (especially to speech language pathologists)?

  • Which cranial nerves do not receive ipsilateral innervation?

  • Discuss the significance of unilateral lesions affecting the final common pathway.

  • Define the following terms.

    final common pathway

    bulbar lesions

    bulbar palsy

    peripheral lesions

    pseudo-bulbar palsy

    alternating hemiplegia  

  • Describe the corticopontine tract.

  • Describe the function and components of the extrapyramidal tract.

  • What neurotransmitters are involved in the inhibitory function of the basal ganglia?

  • List the tracts that are considered to be extrapyramidal projections to lower motor neurons. Describe each in terms of function and the pathway for the information that each carries.

  • List and describe the various types of diskinesias that are associated with lesions of the extrapyramidal system.


Chapter 11. The Blood Supply

  • Describe the internal carotid arteries. What parts of the brain does each of its two branches supply? Describe the problems that may result when blockages occur in these arteries.


  • What is the striata? What is its importance?


  • List the two other arteries that arise from the internal carotids. What do they join?


  • Describe the basilar artery, in terms of which artery(s) it arises from, and which arteries it forms when it divides. What other arteries arise from it?

  • What parts of the brain do the posterior cerebral arteries supply? What kinds of problems may result from blockages to these?

  • Describe the Circle of Willis.

  • Define the terms "collateral circulation" and "ancillary blood supply." How does collateral circulation occur? Why is it important? What happens if collateral circulation is impeded (due to lack of one or more communicating arteries)?

  • List and describe the extraneural factors that can affect the blood supply to the brain. Why might they have an effect on an individual's chance of experiencing a stroke?

  • Describe the blood-brain barrier.

Chapter 12. Neurochemistry

  • List and describe the parts of a neuron.
  • Describe the synaptic process.
  • Explain the neuronal types in the pyramidal tract and the final common pathway
  • Understand the chemicals involved

CSU Chico | Glossary | References | Neuroscience on the Web | Next

Other courses in the Neuroscience on the Web series:
CMSD 636 Neuropathologies of Language and Cognition | CMSD 642 (Neuropathologies of Swallowing and Speech)

Copyright, 1997-2014. Patrick McCaffrey, Ph.D..