[L. centrum, center fr. Gr. kentron, point, needle, pivot]

1. The middle point of a body.
2. A group of nerve cells within the central nervous system that controls a specific activity or function.

academic health center

A health care institution dedicated to patient care, professional education, research, and innovation.

acoustic center

The hearing center in the brain, located in the temporal lobe of the cerebrum.

adult day care center

A center for daytime supervision of adults. These centers provide supervised social, recreational, and health-related activities, usually in a group setting. The centers permit caregivers a respite and free them for other activities (work, play, appointments, socialization) during the day.

ambulatory endoscopy center

An outpatient care facility where colonoscopies, sigmoidoscopies, and upper gastrointestinal endoscopies are performed.

ambulatory surgery center

ABBR: ASC An outpatient surgical center for cardioversions, endoscopies, and other relatively minor operations that do not require prolonged confinement in a hospital.

apneustic center

A cluster of brainstem neurons, located in the lower pons, that regulate breathing by prolonging inhalation.

association center

The center controlling associated movements.

auditory center

The center for hearing located in the Heschl gyrus.
SEE: auditory area

autonomic center

The center in the brain or spinal cord that regulates any of the activities under the control of the autonomic nervous system. Most centers are located in the hypothalamus, medulla oblongata, and spinal cord.

birth center

An alternative facility that provides family-oriented maternity care for women judged to be at low risk of experiencing obstetrical complications.

Broca center

SEE: Broca, Pierre-Paul

burn center

A hospital-based health care facility staffed with specialists essential to the comprehensive care of burn patients.

call center

A communications center that manages incoming and outgoing telephone calls with customers and clients. In health care, the center may help to manage appointments and messages or may provide patients with information about illnesses, health care resources, services provided, or self-management of disease.

cardioaccelerator center

The center in the medulla that gives rise to impulses that speed up the heart rate.

cardioinhibitory center

The center in the medulla that gives rise to impulses that decrease the heart rate.

chondrification center

The center of cartilage formation.

ciliospinal center

The source of sympathetic impulses in the spinal cord leading to dilation of the pupils.

day care center

A place for the care of children when their parents are unable to care for them. Initially, such facilities were open during normal working hours, but many now offer early drop-off and late pickup.

defecation center

Either of two centers: a medullary center located in the medulla oblongata or a spinal center, the anospinal center, located in the second to fourth sacral segments of the spinal cord. The anospinal center controls the reflex aspects of defecation.

deglutition center

A group of structures in the brain that controls swallowing. These structures are located in the medulla oblongata and in the inferior pons.

diabetic center

1. An area in the floor of the fourth ventricle of the brain.
2. A health care facility that provides specialized care to patients with diabetes mellitus.

epiotic center

The ossification center of the temporal bone, forming the upper and posterior part of the auditory capsule.

expiratory center

The part of the respiratory center, located dorsal to the inspiratory center, which promotes a forced exhalation.

feeding center

An area in the ventrolateral nucleus of the hypothalamus that originates signals to the cerebral cortex that stimulate eating.
SEE: satiety center; SEE: set point weight

gaze center

Those regions of the brainstem or cerebral cortex that control ocular conjugation.

germinal center

A collection of B cells undergoing proliferation within the follicle of a lymph node or other lymphoid tissue after antigen stimulation.

gustatory center

The center, primarily located in the parietal lobes, that feels and interprets taste.
SYN: SEE: taste center; SEE: taste area

heat-regulating center

Either of two centers, a heat loss and a heat production center, located in the hypothalamus. They regulate body temperature.

higher center

A center in any portion of the brain, in contrast to one in the spinal cord.

independent living center

A community facility that coordinates services for the disabled, including counseling, training, rehabilitation, assistance with devices, and respite care.

inspiratory center

The respiratory center, located in the rostral half of the reticular formation overlying the olivary nuclei, that generates impulses that cause contraction of the diaphragm and the external intercostal muscles.

lower center

A center in the brainstem or spinal cord, in contrast to one in the brain.

micturition center

A reflex center in the sacral spinal cord that controls emptying of the urinary bladder. Higher centers responsible for modifying the reflex are in the medulla oblongata, hypothalamus, and cerebrum.

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MICTURITION CENTER (1) Afferent nerve. (2) Efferent nerve controlling bladder muscles. (3) Spinal cord and medulla oblongata. (4) Efferent nerve controlling bladder outlet.

motor cortical center

An area in the frontal lobe in which impulses for voluntary movements originate.

nerve center

An area in the central nervous system or in a ganglion that is responsible for certain functions, e.g., the motor areas in the frontal lobes of the cerebrum.

organization center

1. An embryonic group of cells that induces the development of another structure.
2. A region in an ovum that is responsible for the mode of development of the fertilized ovum.

ossification center

The site or sites in bones where calcification begins and bone replaces fibrous connective tissue or cartilage. The region of bone formation at the center of the body of a long bone is called the primary (diaphyseal) ossification center. Most secondary ossification centers are found in the epiphyses.

panoramic rotational center

The axis on which the tube head and cassette of a panoramic x-ray machine rotate.

pneumotaxic center

The center in the pons that rhythmically inhibits inspiration.

poison center

poison control center A facility meeting the staffing and equipment standards of the American Association of Poison Control Centers and recognized to be able to give information about poisoning or treatment to patients suffering from poisoning. A poison information center consists of specially trained staff and a reference library but does not have treatment facilities. Fifty-five poison centers are scattered throughout the U.S., offering 24-hr service. They are commonly associated with or are part of large hospitals or medical schools. A government agency (the Bureau of Drugs Division of the Poison Control Branch of the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) is also active in poison control programs and in coordinating the efforts of individual centers. In the U.S., all poison control centers can be reached by calling 1-800-222-1222.
SEE: Health Care Resources Appendix

psychocortical center

Any of the centers of the cerebral cortex concerned with voluntary muscular contractions.

reflex center

A region within the brain or spinal cord where connections (synapses) are made between afferent and efferent neurons of a reflex arc.

respiratory center

A region in the medulla oblongata that regulates movements of respiration. This area consists of an inspiratory center and an expiratory center. The pons contains the apneustic center and the pneumotaxic center.

satiety center

An area in the ventromedial hypothalamus that modulates the stimulus to eat by sending inhibitory impulses, following a meal, to the feeding center. Blood levels of nutrients and gastrointestinal hormones influence its activity.

senior center

A community building or meeting room where older adults gather for education, recreation, and services and activities that reflect their interests, enhance their dignity, support their independence, and encourage their involvement with the community. There are approx. 15,000 centers across the U.S., serving close to 10 million older adults annually. Most are supported by government and local nonprofit organizations. Since 1965, the Older Americans Act has provided some funding support to over 6000 senior centers through service contracts for program activities.

speech center

SEE: Broca area.

stroke center

A tertiary care hospital that specializes in the care of patients with acute neurological dysfunction, esp. the administration of thrombolytic drugs to appropriately selected patients with acute ischemic stroke; the management of patient blood pressure, glucose levels, and electrolytes; early mobilization of patients; and the prevention of complications of stroke, including deep venous thrombosis, depression, malnutrition, and pressure ulcers.

study center

A clinic, hospital, laboratory, or university where scientific research is performed.

suicide prevention center

A health care facility for preventing suicide by counseling and crisis intervention.

sweat center

Any of the principal centers controlling perspiration located in the hypothalamus; secondary centers are present in the spinal cord.

taste center

SEE: Gustatory center.

temperature center

SEE: Thermoregulatory center.

thermoregulatory center

A center in the hypothalamus that regulates heat production and heat loss, esp. the latter, so that a normal body temperature is maintained. It is influenced by nerve impulses from cutaneous receptors and by the temperature of the blood flowing through it.
SYN: SEE: temperature center

trauma center

A regional hospital capable of providing care for critically injured patients. A surgical team, operating suite, surgical subspecialties, intensive care unit, and specialized nursing team are always available.

vasoconstrictor center

The center in the medulla oblongata that brings about the constriction of blood vessels.

vasodilator center

The center in the medulla oblongata that brings about the dilation of blood vessels.

vasomotor center

The center that controls the diameter of blood vessels: the vasoconstrictor and vasodilator centers.

visual center

A center in the occipital lobes of the cerebrum that receives visual information transmitted from the retina.

vital center

Any of the centers in the medulla concerned with respiration, heart rate, or blood pressure.