The aim of this post is to clarify some basic neuroanatomy terms and to give you a sound foundation. Before we start, a quick bit of housekeeping, I use the British spelling for neurone (also used by Gray's Anatomy, The Anatomical basis of clinical practice) as opposed to the American spelling neuron. Abbreviations used include CNS: central nervous system, PNS: peripheral nervous system, SNS: sympathetic nervous system and PSNS: parasympathetic nervous system.
I often get asked if I have any tips on how to study anatomy, so I thought a post would be the right place to express my views on this. There are lots of books on this subject, but I'm guessing you have more time to read a blog post than an entire book. With that said, I enjoy studying and teaching anatomy and have developed my own strategies based on the following principles:
Yes, I know, what a catchy title! Trust me this post says what it does on the tin. I came across these rules when I was a medical student (the days when using a tablet meant chiselling into stone) from Robert Whitaker's book Instant Anatomy, a superb book which I thoroughly recommend. Essentially the innervation of the muscles of the head & neck can be broadly covered by six rules;