Practice Question # 789.
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The spinal cord is the primary pathway for nerve impulses traveling between peripheral areas of the body and the brain. It also contains the sensory-to-motor pathway known as the reflex arc. A reflex arc is the route followed by nerve impulses to and from the CNS in the production of a reflex action.
The spinal cord extends from the upper border of the first cervical vertebra to the lower border of the first lumbar vertebra. It’s encased by meninges, the same membrane structure as the brain, and is protected by the bony vertebrae of the spine. The spinal cord is made up of an H-shaped mass of gray matter, divided into the dorsal (posterior) and ventral (anterior) horns. White matter surrounds the horns.