Ch 06: Head Somatic & Visceral Sensory Systems


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Blood pressure

This photo shows a nurse taking a woman’s blood pressure with a blood pressure cuff. The nurse is pumping the cuff with her right hand and holding a stethoscope on the patient’s arm with her left hand.
A proficiency in anatomy and physiology is fundamental to any career in the health professions. (credit: Bryan Mason/flickr)

Chapter objectives

After studying this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Distinguish between anatomy and physiology, and identify several branches of each
  • Describe the structure of the body, from simplest to most complex, in terms of the six levels of organization
  • Identify the functional characteristics of human life
  • Identify the four requirements for human survival
  • Define homeostasis and explain its importance to normal human functioning
  • Use appropriate anatomical terminology to identify key body structures, body regions, and directions in the body
  • Compare and contrast at least four medical imagining techniques in terms of their function and use in medicine

Though you may approach a course in anatomy and physiology strictly as a requirement for your field of study, the knowledge you gain in this course will serve you well in many aspects of your life. An understanding of anatomy and physiology is not only fundamental to any career in the health professions, but it can also benefit your own health. Familiarity with the human body can help you make healthful choices and prompt you to take appropriate action when signs of illness arise. Your knowledge in this field will help you understand news about nutrition, medications, medical devices, and procedures and help you understand genetic or infectious diseases. At some point, everyone will have a problem with some aspect of his or her body and your knowledge can help you to be a better parent, spouse, partner, friend, colleague, or caregiver.

This chapter begins with an overview of anatomy and physiology and a preview of the body regions and functions. It then covers the characteristics of life and how the body works to maintain stable conditions. It introduces a set of standard terms for body structures and for planes and positions in the body that will serve as a foundation for more comprehensive information covered later in the text. It ends with examples of medical imaging used to see inside the living body.

Quiz PDF eBook: 
Ch 06: Head Somatic & Visceral Sensory Systems
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23 Pages
English US
Educational Materials

Sample Questions from the Ch 06: Head Somatic & Visceral Sensory Systems Quiz

Question: A person with a lesion of this nerve, between the brain stem and the ganglion, would have difficulty with which of the following?




Sensation from the cornea.

Pain from the anterior two thirds of the tongue

Question: Where are the cell bodies located for the axons that innervate the taste buds on the posterior third of the tongue?


Trigeminal ganglion.

Geniculate ganglion.

Petrosal or inferior glossopharyngeal ganglion.

Nodose or inferior vagal ganglion.

Question: Would you expect all portions of the face to be represented equally in this nucleus?




Question: Where are the cell bodies located for the axons that form the descending tract of V ?


Trigeminal ganglion.

Dorsal root ganglion.

Descending nucleus V.

Chief sensory nucleus of V.

Question: Neurons of this nucleus have synaptic connections with the nucleus of nerve VII (facial nerve) that are essential for the corneal reflex. If the reflex is absent, because the afferent limb is interrupted, which of the following would be present upon stimulation of the side of the lesion?


Ipsilateral reflex present, contralateral absent.

Contralateral present, ipsilateral absent.

Ipsilateral absent, contralateral absent.

Ipsilateral present, contralateral present.

Question: What other cranial nerve is most likely to be affected if a tumor of nerve VIII produced pressure in the cerebellopontine angle (the circled region)?






Question: How do axons from this nucleus reach the postcentral gyrus?


Internal capsule.

External capsule.

Extreme capsule.

Internal medullary lamina.

Question: The area of the medulla containing the spinal nucleus of V may be supplied by this artery (arrow). Name the artery?


Anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA).

Superior cerebellar artery.

Anterior spinal artery.

Posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA).

Posterior cerebral artery.

Question: If a growth in the region of the arrow produces sufficient pressure on the middle cerebellar peduncle to cause degeneration of the incoming axons, which of the following will occur?


Loss of facial sensation.

Loss of sensation from part of the tongue.

Loss of corneal reflex.

A and C.

A, B, and C.

Question: If this area was selectively destroyed on both sides, could vomiting be induced by either pharyngeal tickling or gastric distress?




Question: To what cortical region does this nucleus of the thalamus project?


Transverse temporal lobe.

Postcentral gyrus.

Precentral gyrus.

Prefrontal cortex.

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Disclaimer:  This course does NOT provide the education or experience needed for the diagnosing or treating any medical condition, all site contents are provided as general information only and should not be taken as a medical advice.
Source:  Stephen C. Voron, M.D., Suzanne S. Stensaas, Ph.D. , Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Utah, School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah 84132,
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