Integrative Functions of the Central Nervous System

  • R. F. Schmidt


The term “integrative” as applied to the CNS denotes those functions that are not directly involved in the processing of sensory inputs or in the activity of the motor and Autonomic centers. The main mechanisms in this category are those underlying the sleeping/waking cycle, consciousness, language, thinking (understanding, reason), memory (including learning), motivation (drives) and emotion (feelings). The structures subserving these integrative functions are located chiefly (but not exclusively) in two large parts of the telencephalon, the limbic system and the neocortex. The first of these is treated in the chapter on Autonomic functions, where the neurophysiological bases of motivation and emotion are also described (Section 16.6, Limbic System and Behavior, beginning on p. 362). Here we are concerned with the neocortex and the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the other integrative functions mentioned above.


Integrative Function Pyramidal Cell Traffic Noise Precentral Gyrus NREM Sleep 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

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  • R. F. Schmidt

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