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PSYC 220, WEEK 1 Notes

by: Lynde Wangler

PSYC 220, WEEK 1 Notes PSYC 220

Lynde Wangler
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These are lecture notes for the week!
Meghan Jones
Class Notes




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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lynde Wangler on Saturday January 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 220 at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill taught by Meghan Jones in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 43 views. For similar materials see Biopsychology in Psychlogy at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.


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Date Created: 01/09/16
PSYC 220: WEEK ONE Monday Lecture: Chapter 3 Neuroanatomy and Brain Research Methods  Neuron parts: dendrites, axon terminal, myelin sheath, axon, soma (cell body), nucleus  Structure of Vertebrate Nervous System o Central Nervous System (CNS): consists of brain & spinal cord o Peripheral Nervous System (PNS): consists of afferent sensory neurons and efferent motor neurons; facilitate communication between CNS and the rest of the body  Somatic Nervous System: axons carry information from sensory organs to the CNS and from the CNS to the muscles  Autonomic Nervous System: controls innate/unconscious bodily functions; i.e., breathing, digestion, heartbeat, etc.  Terminology: o Dorsal(“back” – for humans closer to brain)/Ventral(“belly” – for humans downward or lower) o Anterior(front)/Posterior(back) o Rostral(towards the head)/Caudal(towards the tail) o Planes for Viewing the Brain: Horizontal(side to side), Sagittal(front to back), Coronal(top to bottom)  Spinal Cord: (Bell-Magendie Law) o Dorsal root ganglia (collection of sensory neuron cell bodies): Carry sensory information to the CNS o Ventral roots: carry motor information to innervate muscles o Gray matter: center of spinal cord, densely packed cell bodies and dendrites o White matter: outer edge of spinal cord, mostly myelinated axons that carry information from gray matter to the brain and other parts of the spinal cord ***The dorsal roots carry sensory (afferent) information to the brain, while the ventral roots carry motor (efferent) information to command muscle movements. SAME – sensory, afferent, motor, efferent.  Peripheral Nervous System (PNS): o Autonomic Nervous System (ANS): controls “automatic” bodily functions by commanding heart, lungs, intestines, and other organs o Divided into Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems:  Sympathetic Nervous System:  “fight or flight”  Prepares body for activity by increasing blood pressure & heart rate and slowing digestion  Communicates primarily via neurotransmitter norepinephrine  Parasympathetic Nervous System:  “rest and digest”  Regulates activities including sexual arousal, salivation, urination, & digestion  Communicates primarily via neurotransmitter acetylcholine  The Vertebrate Brain: o Forebrain: Prosencephalon (“forward-brain”), Diencephalon (“between- brain”), & Telencephalon (“end-brain”) o Midbrain: Mesencephalon (“middle-brain”) o Hindbrain: Rhombencephalon (“parallelogram- brain”)  Structures of Fore-, Mid-, and Hindbrain: o Forebrain: thalamus, hypothalamus, cerebral cortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia o Midbrain: tectum, tegmentum, superior colliculus, inferior colliculus, substantia nigra o Hindbrain: medulla, pons, cerebellum  Hindbrain: o Medulla:  Extension of spinal cord; controls vital bodily functions (breathing, heart rate, coughing/sneezing, salivating) o The Cranial Nerves (V-XII):  Allow medulla to control sensations and muscles movements of the head; many parasympathetic outputs o Pons:  Anterior and ventral; site of decussation (crossing over) of motor information – axons from each hemisphere of the brain cross to the contralateral side of the spinal cord  Cranial Nerves: MEMORIZE  I. Olfactory: smell  II. Optic: vision  III. Oculomotor: control of eye movements; pupil constriction  IV. Trochlear: control of eye movements  V. Trigeminal: skin sensations from most of the face; control of jaw muscles for chewing and swallowing  VI. Abducens: control of eye movements  VII. Facial: taste from the anterior 2/3 of the tongue; control of facial expressions; crying; salivation; and dilation of the head’s blood vessels  VIII. Statoacoustic: hearing; equilibrium  IX. Glossopharyngeal: taste and other sensations from posterior third of the tongue; control of swallowing, salivation, and throat movements during speech  X. Vagus : sensations from neck and thorax; control of throat, esophagus, and larynx parasympathetic nerves to stomach, intestines, and other organs  XI. Accessory: control of neck and shoulder movements  XII. Hypoglossal: control of muscles of the tongue  Hindbrain: o Reticular Formation  Descending: controls motor areas of spinal cord  Ascending: sends output to cerebral cortex  Affects arousal and attention o Raphe System:  Sends axons to forebrain; regulates attention/readiness (raphe nuclei origin of serotonergic system) o Cerebellum:  Important for movement, balance, and coordination; shifting attention from one stimuli to another  Many folds (gyri & sulci)  (size/proportion) highly conserved across species  Midbrain: o Tectum: roof of midbrain o Superior and inferior colliculus: structures important for processing sensory information; inferior colliculus: hearing & superior colliculus: vision o Tegmentum: contains nuclei for cranial nerves; part of reticular formation o Substantia nigra: critical for movement planning and control; lack of dopamine in this region associated with Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases  Forebrain: o Outermost constitutes the cerebral cortex which is highly involved in processing sensory information and controlling movement of contralateral side of the body o Thalamus: “gateway to the cortex;” all sensory information is relayed through this region with the exception of olfaction o Pituitary gland: releases hormones into the blood stream (signaled by the hypothalamus) o Basal ganglia: caudate nucleus, putamen, and globus pallidus – critical for attention, planned movements, and learning (muscle memory) o Nucleus basalis (basal forebrain): critical for arousal, wakefulness, and attention  The Limbic System o Surrounds the brainstem; consists of several structures (olfactory bulb, hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, cingulate gyrus) o Limbic structures are associated with emotion and regulate motivated behaviors (eating, drinking, sexual activity, anxiety, aggression, etc.)  The Cerebral Ventricles: o Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) protects the brain from harm by absorbing the impact should the brain be jostled; provides hormones and nutrients to the brain and spinal cord; interconnected system divided (only by name) into regions – lateral ventricle, third ventricle, fourth ventricle, cerebral aqueduct, spinal canal Wednesday Lecture: Neuroanatomy and Research Methods  Cerebral Cortex: o Most prominent in mammals; utilized for higher brain functioning and information integration o Divided into two hemispheres connected by anterior commissure and corpus callosum o Differences in size and folding between animals; more folds = greater surface area  Organization of the Cerebral Cortex: six layers are divided into perpendicular columns; divisions are based on functions  I. Molecular Layer – mostly dendrites and long axons  II. External Granular Layer – small pyramidal cells  III. Pyramidal Cell Layer – pyramidal cells  IV. Internal Granular Layer – small cells; main site for incoming sensory information  V. Inner Pyramidal Layer – large pyramidal cells; main source of motor output  VI. (a., b.) Multiform Layer – spindle cells  Human Cerebral Cortex: o Gyrus: ridges on cortex; hills; pl. gyri o Sulcus: groove on cortex; valley; pl. sulci o Four Lobes: Frontal (planning of movements, recent memory, aspects of emotion), Parietal (body sensations), Temporal (hearing and advanced visual processing), and Occipital (vision) o Precentral gyrus (primary motor cortex); Central Sulcus (divides Frontal and Parietal lobes); Postcentral gyrus (primary somatosensory cortex)  Occipital Lobe: striate cortex/ primary visual cortex; heavily involved in visual processing; cortical blindness – people with this affliction have impaired visual cortices but intact visual structures so they can sense and detect visual stimuli to an extent but cannot perceive it; when asked to move out of the way when a ball is thrown at them, they are able to complete the task; also activated by visual imagery  Parietal Lobe: postcentral gyrus (primary somatosensory cortex); spatial information; integration of information from eyes and head; contains cortical map of the body (homunculus – explains foot fetishes)  Temporal Lobe: contains primary auditory cortex; language processing/production; damage can cause Kluver-Bucy Syndrome, which turns people into assholes – most common symptoms in humans include hyper orality, dietary changes, apathy or placidity, and may also cause agnosia and/or other memory disorders  Frontal Lobe: precentral gyrus (primary motor cortex); prolific dendritic branching to facilitate integration of information; Phineas Gage – railway construction worker who had a pipe blasted through his frontal lobe causing severe damage and ultimately a changed personality  negative effects (he became an asshole)  Prefrontal Lobotomy: removal of parts of the brain that connect prefrontal cortex to the remainder of the brain; used as a treatment for seizures and schizophrenia with very poor results  The Binding Problem o How do visual, auditory, and other parts of the brain operate to form a single perception of an object?  Maybe: the brain binds activities in areas when there is synchronous waves of neuron activity; “neurons that fire together, wire together”  For binding to occur, a person must perceive two sensations happening at the same time and same place (more information and examples in the book)  Brain Research Methods:  Examine the effects of brain damage  Examine the effects of stimulating a brain region  Record brain activity  Examine the relationship between neuroanatomy and human behavior  Brain Damage: o Natural damage – damage or impairment might occur as result of an accident; not always reliable as much of the time, many areas are damaged simultaneously and so it is hard to study the effects of one not in conjunction with the other o Ablation: surgical removal of parts of the brain (archaic/crude method) o Lesions: destroying neurons in a specific area to study the effects – there are now much more sophisticated ways of suppressing activity in very specific neurons (stimulation, GABA, optogenetics, etc.) o Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) – application of strong magnetic field to portion of scalp to suppress neuronal activity below the magnet; important to include controls (study active vs. inactive minds)  Gene Knock-out Approach: biochemical in nature; manipulates a gene of interest; can inactivate certain neurotransmitters or neuropeptide systems for a given phenotype or behavior  Brain Stimulation: o Electrical Stimulation – activates neurons in targeted region o Optogenetics – insertion of a light-activated proteins called opsin (can be achieved with an injection of a virus) to activate or silence particular neurons in the brain with a beam of light (laser will either depolarize or hyperpolarize the cells) o DREADD (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) – gene manipulation is used to express muscarinic receptors (which would normally be activated by Acetylcholine) that are now activated by Clozapine-N-Oxide; not as specifically localized as optogenetics but can use G-proteins to hyperpolarize and depolarize a neuron (to activate or inhibit an action potential); slower but longer lasting effects  Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT/CT Scan): o injects dye into the blood to increase imaging contrast; x-rays are passed through the head while the scanner rotates; used to diagnose/detect tumors, strokes, and atrophy in the brain provides structural information  Recording Brain Activity: o Electroencephalograph (EEG) – measures neuronal electrical activity in the brain; displays average activity of a given population of cells; used to measure activity during a task (controls are necessary) o Magnetoencephalograph (MEG) – uses magnetic fields to measure neuronal activity; better temporal resolution than EEG; when used during a task, requires necessary controls  Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): o Hydrogen atoms exposed to magnetic field will align with said field; brief pulse of radio frequency applied; atoms will release energy as they return to their original positions; complex computer systems analyze the energy released and use it to map the structures of the brain and transform it into an image  Recording Brain Activity: o PET (Positron-Emission Tomography) – creates an image of the most active brain regions; uses radioactive tracer to measure activity; detects collision of positron and electron (from the decaying radioactive tracer, usually glucose) and measures the radiation that is emitted; high radioactivity means higher blood flow, which indicates greater activity; risk because of exposure to radioactivity but can look at specific neurotransmitters o fMRI (functional MRI) – uses BOLD(blood oxygen level dependent) signal (deoxygenated hemoglobin) to measure brain activity; better temporal resolution; oxygenated and de-oxygenated blood react differently to the magnetic field; often used when subject is performing tasks in the scanner; measures areas of activity by locating regions with deoxygenated blood  Relationship of Brain Mass to Body Mass Across Species: not very reliable  Cortical Areas Whose Size Correlate With IQ: (.3) weak relationship between size of brain and IQ; certain brain regions do correlate with IQ; neither measure of IQ nor measures of cortical area mass are reliable enough at this point to produce significant experimental results Friday Lecture: Nerve Cells and Impulses  Neurons: communication cells; humans have approximately 100 billion  Santiago Ramon y Cajal: Father of Neuroscience; created detailed and complex drawings that were mostly accurate; discovered that neurons are not connected to one another; Neuronal Doctrine – neurons are the smallest functional unit of the nervous system  Camillo Golgi – thought that neurons were connected (wrong); invented Golgi stain that uses silver chromate solution to stain individual neuronal cell bodies  Cell Structure: o Plasma Membrane – phospholipid bilayer; selectively permeable; serves as a barrier between outside environment and inside of the cell o Nucleus – located in soma; contains DNA o Mitochondria – energy source for the cell’s activities; powerhouse of the cell o Ribosomes – molecules than synthesize proteins in the cell o Endoplasmic Reticulum – structure that houses many ribosomes  Cellular Membrane: phospholipid bilayer (hydrophobic lipid tails and hydrophilic phosphate heads); have embedded protein channels (some voltage-gated) that either allow or do not allow certain molecules into the cell  Neuronal Structure: o Neurons have many of the same organelles as other cells but have distinct structures o Muscles and sensory organs are reached by long axons o Components of the neuron include soma, axon (with terminal), and dendrites  Dendrites: receive incoming cell signals; branching may be more or less extensive – the more branching there is, the more information can be received (more surface area for incoming “message”)  Dendritic Spines in Disorders: the number and condition of dendritic spines can be indicative of pathology in the brain – some diseases associated with abnormal spines are ASD (autism spectrum disorders), schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease  Soma: contains the nucleus (and, accordingly, the cell’s DNA); determines cell differentiation; also contains other organelles such as mitochondria and ribosomes; densely packed site for synapses  Axons: o Structure for carrying/transmitting messages from soma to other neurons o Myelin sheath covering speeds propagation down an axon; Nodes of Ranvier are breaks in the myelin sheath where ions can reenergize the action potential o Ex. A fibers carry pain information very quickly because they have myelination all along the fiber (initial pain felt), whereas C fibers transmit pain information more slowly and are less myelinated (aching pain felt – a reminder to the body to rest and recover) o Presynaptic terminals on the ends of axons release neurotransmitters that influence postsynaptic cells  Motor Neuron vs. Sensory Neuron: o Sensory Neuron (afferent) – dendrites are sensitive to incoming sensory information; transmit information along axon to the spinal cord o Motor Neuron (efferent) – cell body is in the spinal cord; sends information along axon to innervate muscles  Afferent vs. Efferent: think SAME (Sensory Afferent Motor Efferent)  The Diverse Shape of Neurons: neurons can be many different shapes and have different numbers of neurites and different amounts of branching; structure correlates with function; ex. Purkinje cell versus bipolar cell – more branching (in the Purkinje cell) means less acuity but it other cells (bipolar cells in the retina) there are fewer dendritic branches resulting in a more specific message o Bipolar Neurons – two neurites: one axon and one dendrite branching away from the soma (connector cell in retina) o Unipolar Neurons – some is attached to one neuron with one end branching to receive information o Multipolar Neurons – one axon with many dendrites branching off of the soma  Glia: o Astrocytes:  Immune system of the brain; use cytokines (proteins), which can affect emotions; take up ions from the synapse and can release other molecules; remove waste materials when neurons die; “glue” ( really much more than that)  Also involved in memory, learning, and regulation of stress and emotions  Synchronizes the nervous system – tripartite synapse: glutamate regulation, gliotransmission, and calcium transients o Microglia:  Main immune defense for the nervous system; phagocytes – gobble up waste and dead neurons  Play a critical part in restructuring the brain with experience; neuroplasticity; “neurons that fire together wire together;” neurons not used may die and be consumed by microglia  Early in development, many synapses are restructured by microglia as our brain builds more efficient neural circuits (removes weak synapses)  Nervous system trauma incites immediate response from microglia (pro-inflammatory cytokines are released in abundance)  Oligodendrocytes and Schwann Cells: cells that compose the myelin sheath around axons; oligodendroglia are only found in the CNS, whereas Schwann cells are in the PNS only; nourish cell  Radial Glia: guide migration of neurons; most eventually differentiate into neurons but others become astrocytes and oligodendrocytes  Fun Fact: Neurogenesis only occurs (as far as we know) in two regions of the brain – the olfactory bulb and an area of the dorsal hippocampus  Neurons vs. Glia: neurons have axons and glia do not; neurons house synaptic vesicles and communicate at the synapse and glia possess neither of the features; glia have the ability to divide (in response to injury, for example), whereas neurons do not  Blood-Brain Barrier: filtering mechanism of blood vessels that carry blood to brain and spinal cord o Why do we need a blood-brain barrier???  In much of the body, our immune systems fight pathogens by killing off infected cells… neurons do not regenerate readily, so this is NOT a viable option in the nervous system hence, we have a barrier to keep out unwanted viruses, molecules, other substances, etc.  Microglia do have the ability to lead an immune response without killing neurons but it is often not completely effective (ex. chicken pox shingles) o What can get through the blood-brain barrier???  Small uncharged particles can get through (oxygen and carbon dioxide); any molecules that are fat-soluble and will dissolve in the membrane (this includes vitamins and drugs that act on the brain); active transport (requires energy so that a protein embedded in the membrane can transport a molecule across) allows useful chemicals such as glucose, amino acids, and hormones to cross o Why do we sometimes get annoyed with the blood-brain barrier???  It prevents molecules getting through that might be helpful in solving problems in the brain – for example, this is why brain cancer is so difficult to treat  Nourishment of Vertebrate Neurons: o Glucose and Oxygen – readily available/accessible (more so than ketones or lactate); made with amino acids and carbohydrates; PET – glucose, fMRI – deoxygenated hemoglobin o Thiamine and Vitamin B (prerequisite to using glucose) – Korsakoff’s syndrome: neuronal death  memory impairment  The Nerve Impulse: neurons are responsible for transmitting information to all the remote regions of the body and often over long distances; message (action potential) is regenerated along the axon and does not decay as it is propagated to the axon terminal  Balancing Electrochemical Forces: living cells possess electrical charges; anions are negative and cations are positive; vocab to know: ions, cations, anions, intracellular/extracellular fluid important for discussion of action potentials (neuron communication)  Resting Membrane Potential: o Electrical Gradient (or Polarization) – the difference in charge across a membrane; the difference in electrical charge of the inside of the cell versus the outside environment o Voltage-gated ion channels in the semi-permeable cell membrane determine the state of the cell…(more to come)


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