What is gray matter?

Gray matteris defined, through research at theCEMIC School of Medicine, as the substance contained in the body ofneurons and axons. It is responsible for theprocess of information and signals, which even directs sensory stimuli to produce the reaction to them. (1)

Important: It is also essential for thetransport of nutrientsfrom neurons and their energy, promoting their proper functioning and communication.

There is a belief regarding gray matter, where it is said that the amount of it is consideredequivalent to the intelligence of the living being, which is excepted or refuted in the case ofdolphins, since they have more gray matter compared to humans, but it is seen in them a type ofintelligencecompletely different from ours.

Gray matter characteristics

The gray matter has certain characteristics that denote its functionality and its understanding, so they will be mentioned and described below in order to facilitate their identification and understanding.

Constitutes a tissue of the central nervous system

The Gray Matter is considered in general terms of anatomy, an Essential tissue in the Central Nervous System(CNS), being the external position and the internal the white matter, at least in the area of the brain.(two)

Note: It is considered tissue for its sensory and synaptic functions, as well as its structure and extent. It is recognized asLiving Tissue in some studies and its gray tone is the reason for the lack of myelin .

It consists of neuronal cells and axons

The Main Composition of gray matter, evidenced in all studies on it and on the Central Nervous System in general, are Neuronal cells and axons , which are considered as bodies that are responsible for processing and sending matter signals.

It is distributed in areas of the brain and spinal cord

This substance has its functions and extension throughout the brain and spinal cord. In the brain it is found in the external part , covered by the White matter , while in the medulla they are found in the opposite way.

Associated with intellectual abilities

As previously mentioned, a relationship between cognitive ability and the availability of gray matter is considered.

Important: In London there is a research article, where they mention a Genetic Linkon the density of gray matter and the possible learning difficulties existing in some individuals. It was then shown that the gray matter has anessential role in memory , thought, verbal and non-verbal language and consciousness. (3)

Does not rapidly transmit nerve impulses

The transmission capacity ofNerve impulses by the gray matter is not fast. This is related to theirprocessing and reasoning function, which slows down the process. In addition to that, the lack ofMyelin also influences that characteristic.

Needs to work in conjunction with white matter

Both substances are dependent on the functionalities of the othertag. TheWhite matter allows the communication of the gray with the organism and its independent compositions, very different from each other, complement their specificities to be carried out correctly.

Alterations in it impact cognitive functioning

As gray matter is an element and component tissue of the Central Nervous System (CNS) and Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) and has alliances with behavior and behavior , alterations in gray tissue have an impact on the cognitive functioning of the individual.

Note: Deficit disturbance can be the reason for psychoses such as Bipolar disorders and even schizophrenia , as well as progressive loss of abilities such as visual and hearing. (4)

Gray matter functions

The gray matter covers remove specificand important functions in the correct and complete development of our organism. They will be mentioned and described below.

Receive information

As we have been mentioning throughout the article, one of the most outstanding functions of the gray matter is the reception of information of different types and its way of being sent by the organs of our body.

Its structure is responsible for the reception of signals generated by other organs, including information that comes from sensory receptors.

Important: The gray matter is in charge of regulating and selecting the signals , to later be transmitted to the brain.

Process thought

Due to the connections that gray matter has with the brain and the organism, it fulfills both cognitive and mental functions , which become essential for the functionality of our body.

Important : Among these functions is thought processing , with the application of criteria and reasoning to transmit data and be received and accepted.

Process memory, language, interpretation and reasoning

Described through the previous topics, it has been shown how the gray matter is responsible for important and quite daily processes .

Memory, verbal and non-verbal language, interpretation and application of criteria and reasoning, functioning as a device with a base of operations throughout the Central Nervous System and allowing decision making.

Key Findings

  • The gray matter is called that way because of its characteristic color due to its composition, of neuronal cells, axons and its lack of myelin.
  • Gray matter does not function properly without the presence of White matter , where both are located in reverse in their extensive space in the brain and spinal cord respectively.
  • The Transmission of nerve impulses is slowed down, due to the aforementioned lack of Myelin and the process of receiving information and retransmitting it to the brain.
  • The deficiency of gray matter or a notorious lower volume, produces as a consequence a risk of psychosis and different diseases , among which bipolar disorders and schizophrenia stand out.

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