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FSU / Psychobiology / PSB 2000 / Why is the human cerebral cortex so heavily folded?

Why is the human cerebral cortex so heavily folded?

Why is the human cerebral cortex so heavily folded?


School: Florida State University
Department: Psychobiology
Course: Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Professor: Orenda johnson
Term: Fall 2018
Cost: 50
Name: PSB 2000 Study Guide 1
Description: These cover our next exam
Uploaded: 09/17/2018
25 Pages 144 Views 1 Unlocks

PSB 2000 Study Guide 1

Why is the human cerebral cortex so heavily folded?

What is the CNS? The PNS? Differences and similarities?

The CNS (central nervous system) is located within protective bone like the skull and vertebral column. It consists of the brain and spinal cord.

The PNS (peripheral nervous system) is outside the brain and spinal cord, and connects the brain to the rest of the body. Nerves within the PNS communicate to the brain and spinal cord and connect the CNS to skin, muscles, and sensory experiences.

What is a nerve? What is a ganglion?

A nerve is a neuron, or nerve cell, which is the specialized cell that transmits nerve impulses.

A ganglion is cluster of neural bodies outside the CNS of glial cells, neurons, and connective tissues.

Why couldn’t a brain that’s been disconnected from its body never function properly?

What refers to the major brainstem structure?

In order to function properly, the CNS must receive information from the PNS. The order goes as follows: Stimuli -> PNS -> CNS

Without this PNS throughout the body, there is no way for the CNS to receive information.

How could a patient with "locked-in syndrome" be consciously aware of their surroundings, and be able to communicate with others?

A patient with “locked-in syndrome” is aware and fully conscious, but is paralyzed and unable to communicate by traditional means. However, some people with this syndrome have been able to communicate through subtle movements of what they are in control of, such as eye lids or fingers.

Why is the human cerebral cortex so heavily folded when the brains of other animals are not?

The human cerebral cortex is heavily folded because of the complexity of our brains. Other animals such as rats or mice typically

What do you call the behaviors that are instinctively known?

Don't forget about the age old question of What is the occipital lobe responsible for?

have some of the same structures as humans, but much simpler, and don’t require as many folds as they are smaller.

What is the "cerebrum"? Is the cerebrum or the brainstem more similar between humans and snakes? Explain why. What's the difference between "cerebrum" and "cerebellum"?

The cerebrum is responsible for most cognitive behaviors. In the comparison between humans and snakes, their cerebrum will differ greatly. In mammals, the cerebrum is very prominent and heavily folded, unlike in reptiles. Don't forget about the age old question of What is the function of a current asset in accounting?

The cerebellum is a major brainstem structure. It is responsible for coordinating movements and the ability to learn. It assists the cerebrum in behavior.

What is the difference between "innate" behaviors and "learned" behaviors? Give a few examples of each, including a few that are mixtures of both types.

Innate behaviors are behaviors that are instinctively known, such as a baby knowing how to cry and suckle their moms for milk. Learned behaviors are behaviors that are learned by watching or being taught, such as a toddler learning to ask for food and eat solid foods.

What is the evolutionary value of having both innate and learned behaviors?Don't forget about the age old question of Does the dna or protein part of the phage serve as the genetic material and is transmitted to the phage progeny?

Being able to have both innate and learned behaviors allows you to develop more skills and improve those naturally known.

How is nervous system complexity related to behavioral complexity?

The more complicated the nervous system, the wider range of behaviors the organism is capable of, and more advanced and complicated the species can become.

What is required for a living being to display behavior?

It must have some ability to move and think based on its surroundings. This means it must have some sort of nervous system.

Know the differences between "nerve net", "segmented nerve trunk", "ganglia", and "brain", and how these structures are related to behavioral complexity.

Nerve net: the simplest nervous system without a center. It is made up of neurons that receive information and connect to other neurons that move muscles

Segmentation: vertebrae in humans that contains repeating nervous system segments of the spinal cord

How did René Descartes propose that the "mind" produced behavior? Why is his theory called "dualism"? Don't forget about the age old question of What types of tools were used by early geographers?

Rene Descartes proposed that within the brain is a nonmaterial “mind” that is what allows us to have rational thought, emotions, and human experiences. He believed the nonmaterial mind instructs the pineal gland. Don't forget about the age old question of How is a molecular orbital formed?
We also discuss several other topics like Who wrote the canterbury tales?

How does "materialism" (Darwin's theory) differ from Descartes' theory of "dualism"?

Darwin believed that all behavior can be explained as biological functions without the need for a nonmaterial mind.

Describe what is meant by "natural selection", from a genetic standpoint.

Only the strongest gene pools go on to survive and reproduce. The rest die out.

What is a genotype? What is a phenotype?

Genotype: particular genetic make up

Phenotype: observable physical or biochemical characteristics of an organism 

What are "epigenetic factors"? Give a few examples of their influence on phenotypes and behaviors.

Epigenetic factors: differences in gene expression related to environment and experience

Do modern theories about brain and behavior support "dualism" or "materialism"?

In modern science, both are still plausible theories.

Explain what is meant by "bilateral symmetry" in the nervous system.

Bilateral symmetry is when the nervous system on one side mirrors the other. Think of it as being split down the middle of the nervous system with a mirror in between. The nervous system in humans is bilaterally symmetrical.

What animals are included in the phylum Chordata? Amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

What are four key features that characterize nervous system organization in all chordates?

1. All chordates are bilaterally symmetrical and segmented. 2. Brain and spinal cords (CNS) are protected and enclosed in bone, such as a skull, or cartilage.

3. Have hemispheres in the brain which receives information and has control over the opposite side of the body. This is also known as crossed organization.

4. Each chordate species displays specializations related to distinctive behaviors of said species

The cerebral and cerebellar cortices (pl. for cortex) are highly folded in humans, so that more tissue can be packed into a smaller space (skull). What are a couple of advantages of having a smaller skull? (Or, what would be a disadvantage of having a larger skull)?

The folding of the skull in humans allows us to have a larger brain that is capable of more advanced cognitive function, while still allowing the surface area to remain relatively small. This can be an evolutionary advantage because

What is the "encephalization quotient" (EQ)? What species has the highest? How do we interpret this?

Given the weight of the animal, the EQ is the largest size relative to the animals body weight. Humans have the highest EQ. This is interpreted as humans having the most densely packed brains.

Fact: Professional basketball players tend to have larger brains, on average, than professional jockeys (who ride horses in races). Why is this? Does this mean that professional basketball players tend to be more intelligent than professional jockeys? Explain your answer.

No. Because the brain is so densely packed, the size of the brain does not indicate intelligence, there are many different factors.

Other than programming computers, think of a few modern-day human activities that require learning and skill, but were unheard of 50 years ago. Are there similar types of "new behavior" examples if we consider the behaviors of squirrels? If not, explain the basis for the difference.

No. Humans have the ability to teach and learn from one another, an ability that squirrels do not. Humans can progress fast because they can pass on their knowledge to others, unlike squirrels.

Part 2

" --- cephalon" regional terms for human brain(e.g., diencephalon, myelencephalon, etc.), and major structures included in each region.

Diencephalon: integrates sensory and motor information on its way to the cerebral cortex; controls motivated behaviors and visceral functions; two principle structures: thalamus and hypothalamus

Prosencephalon: cerebral cortex regulates mental activity (cognition); basal ganglia controls voluntary movement; limbic system regulates emotion, memory, and behaviors that require memory

Define the terms ganglion, nerve, tract, nucleus (not the nucleus of a cell)

Ganglion: cluster of neural bodies outside the CNS of glial cells, neurons, and connective tissues

Axon: neural process (fiber) that delivers signals towards another cell (to another neuron, or to a muscle cell)

Tract: large collection of axons (fiber bundle) coursing together within the CNS

Nerve: Large collection of axons (fiber bundle) coursing together within the PNS


What is the difference between one's perception, and reality? Why is there a difference?

The brain integrates information from the environment and constructs a subjective interpretation of reality. Because it is merely an interpretation of reality, it cannot be deemed completely accurate.

What does it mean when we say the brain is "plastic" (i.e., what is "neuroplasticity")? Give a few examples.

Neuroplasticity: the nervous systems ability to adapt

The way neural tissue can adapt to the world around it

What is "phenotypic plasticity"? How does that concept relate to genetic and environmental influences on behavior?

Phenotypic plasticity: when the genotype interacts with the environment to elicit a phenotype

Genotype: the genetic makeup of an organism

Phenotype: observable characteristics within an organism

As a useful exercise, after studying, create an outline/diagram of the nervous system from memory (include CNS, PNS, subdivisions of each, and subdivisions of those subdivisions). This can look like a map, or like a bulleted list (with subheadings), or a line diagram, whatever works for you.

Dorsal: structures atop the brain

Medial: structures towards the brain’s midline

Anterior: front of the brain

Posterior: back of the brain

Ventral: bottom of the brain

What does "afferent" and "efferent" mean, in relation to the CNS and PNS?

Afferent: signals that refer to info coming into CNS

Efferent: signals that refer to info leaving the CNS

What's the general direction of signal/information flow in sensory systems vs. motor systems?

Sensory information flows up through the telencephalon (cortex) Motor signals flow down through myelencephalon (spinal cord)

How are "rostral" and "caudal" related to "anterior" and "posterior"? Considering the human spinal cord, can "anterior" and "ventral" refer to the same thing?

Rostral and caudal are the same angles of view, but are used on different animals. Because humans and animals have different brains with different head orientations, they are not the same things.

How would a brain need to be cut to yield a good dorsal view? How about a medial view? A frontal view?

Dorsal view: horizontal section

Frontal view: coronal section

Medial view: sagittal section

Describe the 3 layers of meningest, and how they surround and protect the CNS. How is each layer different from the others? Where does fluid accumulate to add a cushion?


Dura mater: tough outer layer of fibrous tissue (“hard mother”) Arachnoid: thin sheet of delicate tissue; like a spider web

Dia mater: (“soft matter”) inner layer that clings to surface of the brain and spinal cord

If you make a fist, how do your fingers/knuckles and the spaces between your fingers represent sulci and gyri?

Wrist: Occipital lobe

Knuckles: parietal lobe

Fingers: frontal lobe

Thumb: temporal lobe

Identify one or two major functions of each cortical lobe. How are these lobes arranged relative to each other?

Occipital: visual

Temporal lobe: hearing, taste, smell, memory

Frontal lobe: motor planning and executive function; front of the skull Parietal lobe: sensory integration; behind frontal lobe

Gray vs. white matter

Gray matter: mostly neuron cell bodies

White matter: predominantly axons (long processes of neurons) wrapped in an insulation of white lipid/fatty tissue

Is the corpus callosum white or gray matter?

White matter

What is located inside the ventricles? Where else can you find the same thing?

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); you can also find this in the subarachnoid space

What does it mean when we say that the nervous system has a "hierarchical" organization?

Certain processes must happen in order in order to produce experience and behavior

What is the difference between serial and parallel processing of neural signals?

Serial is a simple process of primary, secondary, tertiary, etc functions

Parallel is a more complicated process of different levels of function that span off into other functions

What are the major PNS and CNS components of a spinal sensory-motor reflex, like the patellar tendon reflex?

It is an automatic movement controlled by the PNS that cannot be inhibited by the CNS

How is the structure of the cerebellum related to motor skills/speed/coordination?

The cerebellum controls complex movements and cognitive function

How is the reticular formation related to the "brainstem", and what is its major function?

The reticular formation is located in the hindbrain of the brainstem. It’s major function is stimulating the forebrain and regulating sleep-wake behavior and arousal

The tectum (in midbrain) is important for auditory orienting movements. What's another example of orienting movements, based on another sensory system?

The tegmentum regulates eye and limb movements, as well as pain percetion

Which of the 12 cranial nerves does NOT enter/leave the brainstem? (all the other 11 do)

What are three main components of the limbic system? Are these all part of the forebrain? Are they all part of the telencephalon? Are they all subcortical?

Regulation of:

Emotional and sexual behaviors


Spatial navigation

Is the basal ganglia subcortical? Is it part of the brainstem?

The basal ganglia is subcortical and part of the forebrain in the brainstem.

Which of the 12 cranial nerves is linked to the digestive viscera (gut)? Vagus

How are the upper (cervical), middle (thoracic, lumbar) and lower (sacral) segments of spinal cord related to the control of different body regions?

How does the CNS control the enteric nervous system?

The brain and CNS connect through the vagus nerve through the autonomic nervous system

Part 3

1. Review how electrical batteries work. How does the movement of electrons (negative charges) related to "current"?

● Electrical batteries work by a flow of electrons from a region with more electrons to a region with fewer electrons ● A current is an electrical flow that can be transduced into some kind of outcome

2. Neurons are similar in some ways to batteries, but of course there are differences. How are "ions" in neurons comparable to "electrons" in electrical devices/batteries?

● Axons are too slow to be an actual flow of electricity ● Electricity: 3x10^8 meters/sec

● Nerve/axon: 30-40 meters/sec

● Ions themselves do not travel along axon to carry a current, but rather conduct a wave of charge repelling ions similar to Newton’s Cradel

3. When making a lemon or potato battery, why is it important that the wire connecting the two "poles" (negative and positive) be insulated?

It provides the conduit for the current flow

Are axons insulated?

Yes, myelin insulates axons

How is "electrical potential" related to a neuron's "membrane potential"?

Electrical potential: electrical charge difference that creates potential for a current (+ and -)

Membrane potential: electrical charge across cell membrane when the ions reach equilibrium and are in the absence of simulation

Do ions travel down axons to carry current from one end to the other? If not, explain how a signal does travel down the axon.

Ions themselves do NOT travel along an axon to carry current. Instead, a wave of charge of sodium ions inside the axon and repel and displace neighboring ions like newton's cradle

How do concentration gradients and voltage gradients affect the movement and distribution of ions?

Concentration gradient: diffusion of substances from an area of high concentration to low concentration. Caused by differences in concentration of the substance

Voltage gradient: difference in charge between two regions that allow a flow of current when connected. Opposites attract, similar repel. Ions move down a voltage gradient from an area of higher charge to lower charge

What does it mean to say that an ion channel is "gated"?

Gated channels control what can pass in and out of the membrane

Is the neural membrane impermeable, or semi-permeable to ions? Explain.

Semi-permeable, as channels can open and close to ions

When ions are in equilibrium on both sides of a neural membrane, does this mean that both sides have the same numbers and distribution of ions?


What is resting membrane potential? Why is it usually about -70 mV? (why is that number negative?)

The resting potential is the comparison of the inside of the cell membrane to the outside, which is somewhere around 70 mV less

Describe the distribution of A-, K+, Na+, and Cl- across the membrane in a resting neuron.

A- and K+ ions have a higher concentration inside the axon relative to the outside while NA+ and Cl- ions have more concentration outside of the axon

How does the sodium-potassium (Na+ - K+) pump contribute to the resting membrane potential?

Na+-K+ pumps push Na+ ions out and bring K+ in

What does it mean when we say that a neuron's membrane is "polarized"? How is this like a battery?

A membrane’s polarization refers to the separation of ions that produce voltage, or resting potential, through the actions of channels, gates, and pumps

When a neuron membrane becomes "depolarized", what has happened to the separation of ion charges across the membrane? Same question for "hyperpolarized".

Depolarization: less separation of ion charges; less polarized; decrease in electrical charge across membrane; usually due to inward flow of NA+ ions

Hyperpolarization: more separation of ion charges; more polarized; increase in electrical charges (becomes more negative); usually due to inward flow of Cl- ions or outward flow of K+ ions

Is depolarization or hyperpolarization necessary to initiate an action potential?

During an action potential, the voltage across the cell membrane briefly reverses. What does this mean, and how does it happen?

What opens voltage-sensitive (V-gated) ion channels? Specific membranes, such as Na+ and K+ channels

How is the action potential refractory period similar to flushing a toilet?

It produces one impulse that travels in one direction along the axon

How does the "domino effect" describe the "all-or-none" characteristic of an action potential?

When one domino falls and knocks over the other, there is no decrement in fall size, they are all equal

What is myelin? What are "nodes of Ranvier"?

Myelin: produced in oligodendroglia in CNS and Schwann cells in PNS; goal is to speed up neural impulse along axon

Node of Ranvier: small part of myelinated axon where myelin is not present; enables faster action potential along axon

Where are V-gated ion channels located in unmyelinated axons? In myelinated axons?

In the node of ranvier

23. What is "saltatory conduction", and why does it speed up the nerve impulse traveling down an axon?

Propagation of action potential at nodes of ranvier

24. Why is neural signaling disrupted in Multiple Sclerosis? (what's the mechanism for the disruption?)

The myelin formed in the oligodendroglia is damaged which disrupts the neurons whose axons it encases

25. What is an EPSP? What is an IPSP? How are they related to membrane polarization?

EPSP (excitatory postsynaptic potential): brief depolarization of a neuron membrane in response to simulation, which is more likely to produce an action potential

IPSP (inhibitory postsynaptic potential): brief depolarization of a neuron membrane in response to stimulation, which is less likely to produce an action potential

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