Grey vs. White Matter

Difference Between Grey and White Matter

The nervous system is divided into two parts: the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. The brain, which has organized multi-neurons and infinite neural connections, is divided completely into the gray and white matter. The gray matter (also called Substantia Grisea), forms an essential part of our brain, controlled by the neuron and a number of true dendrites (the filaments numerous, short, branching that carry impulses toward the cell body). The cell body is the neuron region which is accentuated by the existence of a nucleus. Gray matter has no myelin blanket.

The actual processing  is done in the gray matter. It was named because of its gray appearance. It has a gray color because of the nucleus that includes the gray cells. It fills about 40 percent of the entire brain in humans and consumes 94 percent oxygen. Neurons in the gray matter do not extending axons, projections of  long, thin neurons, that pass electrical signals from the soma (another name for the cell body of neurons). Neurons form networks in which the nerve signals travel. From the Dendrites to the end of its axon, the signals are reproduced in the neuronal membrane by electrical methods. The neurons do not make body contact while e sending messages. The neurotransmitters provide the medium used to connect one neuron to another. The senses of the body (speech, hearing, feeling, seeing and memory) and control of muscles are part of the function of the gray matter.

The white matter or the Substantia Alba is nothing but a neuron which consists of the stretched and myelinated axons or nerve fibers. It includes structures in the center of the brain, such as the thalamus and the hypothalamus. It is located between the brainstem and cerebellum. White matter enables to and from communication from areas of gray matter, between gray matter and other body parts. It works by transmitting information from different parts of the body to the cortex. It also controls the functions that the body is not known, such as temperature, blood pressure and the rate of the heart. Despension of hormones and control of food, as well as water consumption and exposure of emotions, are the extra features of the white matter.

Axons are protected by the myelin sheath, which provides electrical insulation processes, allowing them to carry nerve signals faster. It is also the myelin that is responsible for the white appearance of white matter. 60 percent of the brain is composed of white matter.


1. The gray matter consists of nerve cell bodies and white matter consists of fibers.

2. Unlike the white matter, gray matter neurons do not  have extended axons.

3. The gray matter occupies 40 percent of the brain, while the white matter fills 60 percent of the brain.

4. The gray matter has a gray color because of the nucli that includes the gray cells. Myelin is responsible for the white appearance of white matter.

5. The processing is concluded in the gray matter, while the white matter enables communication to and fro, from regions of gray matter between gray matter and other body parts.

6. Myelin sheath id present in case of grey matter and the same is absent in case of white matter.



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