Neuroanatomy Primer: Structure and Function of the Human Nervous System

  • Mike R. Schoenberg
  • Patrick J. Marsh
  • Alan J. Lerner


This chapter is provided as a general primer for the neuropsychologist and others interested in functional neuroanatomy. This chapter is not meant as a detailed examination of the nervous system, and readers are encouraged to review comprehensive texts in the area for further detail (e.g., Blumenfeld H, Neuroanatomy through clinical cases, 2nd edn. Sinauer Associates Inc., Sunderland, 2010; Fix JD, Neuroanatomy, 4th edn. Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2008; Heilman KM, Valenstein E, Clinical neuropsychology, 4th edn. Oxford University Press, New York, 2007; Kolb B, Whishaw I, Fundamentals of human neuropsychology, 6th edn. W.H. Freeman, New York, 2009; Lezak MD, Howieson DB, Loring DW, Neuropsychological assessment, 4th edn. Oxford University Press, New York, 2004; Mesulam MM, Principles of behavioral and cognitive neurology, 2nd edn. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000; Victor M, Ropper AH, Adams and Victor’s principals of neurology, 7th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York, 2001).

The primer is organized into two sections. “Introduction to the Human Nervous System” provides an overview of the anatomical structure of the human nervous system. “Functional neuroanatomy: Structural and Functional Networks” provides a primer on functional neuroanatomy. While neuropsychologists are generally well versed in aspects and organization of the central nervous system, particularly the cerebral cortex, less attention is given to the spinal cord, brain stem, diencephalon, and peripheral nervous system. This chapter will also provide a brief overview of gross pathology of the skull, meninges, cerebral spinal fluid, and important afferent and efferent pathways of the human nervous system. We begin with a review of some important terms and definitions.


Spinal Cord Basal Ganglion Temporal Lobe Ventral Tegmental Area Inferior Colliculus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References and Suggested Readings

  1. Blumenfeld, H. (2010). Neuroanatomy through clinical cases (2nd ed.). Sunderland: Sinauer Associates Inc.Google Scholar
  2. Fix, J. D. (2008). Neuroanatomy (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins.Google Scholar
  3. Heilman, K. M., & Valenstein, E. (2007). Clinical neuropsychology (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Kendel, E. R., Schwartz, J. H., & Jessell, T. M. (2000). Principals of neural science (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill companies.Google Scholar
  5. Kolb, B., & Whishaw, I. (2009). Fundamentals of human neuropsychology (6th ed.). New York: W.H. Freeman press.Google Scholar
  6. Lezak, M. D., Howieson, D. B., & Loring, D. W. (2004). Neuropsychological assessment (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Mesulam, M. M. (2000). Principles of behavioral and cognitive neurology (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Tsigos, C., & Chrousos, G. P. (2002). Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, neuroendocrine factors and stress. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 53, 865–871.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Victor, M., & Ropper, A. H. (2001). Adams and Victor’s principals of neurology (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mike R. Schoenberg
    • 1
  • Patrick J. Marsh
  • Alan J. Lerner
  1. 1.University of South Florida College of MedicineTampaUSA

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