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Chapter two notes

by: Jesse Watkins

Chapter two notes 1013

Jesse Watkins

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These are the notes for chapter 2.
General Psychology
Rebecca Armstrong
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jesse Watkins on Wednesday September 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 1013 at Mississippi State University taught by Rebecca Armstrong in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 147 views.


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Date Created: 09/07/16
Chapter 2: The Biology of Mind I. Neural and Hormonal Systems A. Biology, Behavior, and Mind Early 1800s, Franz Gall “created” Phrenology. Phrenology is the study of bumps on the skull and how they relate to character traits and mental abilities. What we can take from phrenology: the localization of function in the brain. In the last century we have found: The body’s cells are nerve cells that use electric currents to talk. Specific brain systems serve specific functions We process and integrate all the information from different systems then form experiences. The “adaptive brain” is wired through our experiences. B. Neural Communication 1. Neurons Neurons are the building blocks of the brain. Neurons consist of: a cell body, Branching fibers for receiving messages called dendrites Then the axon for sending messages to other neurons The axon is wrapped in a fatty insulation called the myelin sheath “Dendrite listen. Axons speak.” Myelin increases the speed of impulses/neural efficiency. Problems: multiple sclerosis: when the myelin degenerates causing slow communication between neurons. Glial Cells= worker bees that assists the neurons by providing myelin and nutrients. 2. The Neural Impulse Neurons fire when stimulated by senses and the neurons fire an impulse called the Action Potential which travels down the axon. Resting potential is when the inside of the neuron is negative and the outside is positive The neurons become depolarized before acting. After firing the neurons have a resting period called the Refractory Period. That’s when the neuron pumps the positive ions back out of the neuron. In order to fire the excitatory signals have to pass the minimum intensity or Threshold. And neurons work of the all or none response, basically it will fire the same no matter how much it surpasses the threshold. A neuron cannot partially fire. 3. How Neurons Communicate Neurons meet at a junction called the synapse. Discovered by Charles Sherrington. The space in between the two neurons is called the synaptic gap. Messages transported across the synapse is called a neurotransmitter. After sending the messages/neurotransmitters are sent, the excess can be reabsorbed called Reuptake. 4. How Neurotransmitters Influence Us Acetylcholine Enables muscle action, learning, When ACh neurons and memory deteriorate it can cause Alzheimer’s Dopamine Influences movement, learning, Oversupply= attention, and emotion Schizophrenia Undersupply= Parkinson’s Serotonin Affects mood, hunger, sleep, Undersupply= depression arousal Norepinephrine Controls alertness and arousal Undersupply= depression GABA A major inhibitory Undersupply= seizures neurotransmitter and insomnia Glutamate A major excitatory Oversupply= migraines or neurotransmitter; involved in seizures memory a. How Drugs and Other Chemicals Alter Neurotransmitters Drugs can cause neurons to fire differently. Drugs immolate neurotransmitters Agonists are molecules that increase action and an antagonist blocks action. C. The Nervous System The nervous system is a system that takes information and helps form decisions Peripheral nervous system is responsible for taking in information then gives the information to the Central nervous system. Nerves help connect the Central nervous system with the sensory receptors in the body Information is transmitted through three different types of neurons. Sensory neurons are carry messages inward from the sensory receptors, these neurons are also called afferent neurons. Motor neurons carry messages from the Central Nervous System to the muscles, called Efferent neurons Interneurons are used to process messages from the sensory neurons and gives them to the motor neurons. 1. The Peripheral Nervous System Peripheral Nervous system is split into two parts: Somatic & Autonomic The somatic nervous system helps with voluntary movement. Also, in control of sensory input and motor output. The Autonomic nervous system controls the internal organs and glands, involuntary actions. The Autonomic is split into the sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous systems The Sympathetic nervous system arouses and energizes. Controls the “fight or flight” and adrenal glands. Parasympathetic nervous system will calm the body down and bring the body back to homeostasis. 2. The Central Nervous System The brain and spinal cord form the Central Nervous System The brain enables our personality. Neural networks are neurons that cluster together in work groups. The spinal cord works as an information highway It connects the peripheral nervous system to the brain. The spinal cord also sends motor neurons and receives sensory neurons. The interior of the spinal cord contains many interneurons to process information quicker. The interneurons cause our reflexes such as the knee-jerk reaction. D. The Endocrine System The endocrine system is another bodily system that controls messages. The messengers for the endocrine system are called hormones. Hormones travel via blood stream instead of by electric signals. Hormones can affect the brain as well as other tissues; the hormones influence our interests in: sex, food, and aggression. The Endocrine system is similar to the nervous system in that it transmits molecules across the body; however, the endocrine system is much slower because it uses the blood stream instead of neurons. Hormonal messengers are longer lasting. The pituitary gland is the most influential gland in the endocrine system, and is referred to as the master gland. It is controlled by the hypothalamus The pituitary gland controls all kinds of hormones such as; growth hormones, social trust, and even birthing contractions. II. Tools of Discovery and Older Brain Structures A. The Tools of Discovery: Having Our Head Examined An electroencephalogram (EEG) can give a display of brain waves and mental activity. The PET scans can show brain activity as well; however, unlike the EEG a PET scan can show what part of the brain had been activated. An MRI uses a strong magnetic field then disrupt atoms in the brain when the brain fixes it then can give an image to the machine. B. Older Brain Structures 1. The Brainstem Medulla- controls heartbeat and other vital processes. Pons- control sleep and coordinates movement 2. The Thalamus Circuit board Receives all sensory information EXCEPT smell and routes it up to higher regions. 3. The Reticular Formation Filters incoming sensory information. Relays important information Controls arousal 4. The Cerebellum Enables nonverbal learning and skill memory Helps with understanding of language/noise, judging time, coordination of voluntary movements. 5. The Limbic System Contains: amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampus a. The Amygdala Controls aggression and fear If the right amygdala is over stimulated, then anxiety can be a result. b. The Hypothalamus Below the Thalamus Conducts the body’s maintenance. Influence thirst, hunger, and sexual behavior. Together all of the functions of the hypothalamus bring the body back to homeostasis. Controls the pituitary gland. III. The Cerebral Cortex and Our Divided Brain A. The Cerebral Cortex Master of thought, basically where much of the information is processed. 1. Structure of the Cortex The cortex is separated into four lobes. Frontal Parietal Occipital Temporal 2. Functions of the Cortex a. Motor Functions Motor cortex: controls voluntary movement. If movement happens on the left side of the body is controlled by the right side of the brain. i. Mapping the Motor Cortex ii. Brain-Computer Interfaces b. Sensory Functions Somatosensory cortex receives information from the skin and movement of the body. c. Association Areas Association areas are clusters of neurons that are focused on higher processes that make us distinctly human. Prefrontal cortex- controls judgement, planning, and processing of new information. 3. The Brain’s Plasticity This is the ability the brain possesses to recover from injury. Most effects can be traced to two reasons. 1. Severed brain and spinal cord neurons. 2. Some brain functions seem to be preassigned to different areas. Basically after injury the body is injured, especially when you’re younger, your brain can rewire itself. Explains why deaf people can see better. Neurogenesis is when the brain creates new cells to fix itself. B. Our Divided Brain 1. Splitting the Brain Corpus Callosum- links the two sides of the brain. Relays messages between the left and right side of the brain. C. Right-Left Differences in the Intact Brain Right brain is good at: Excels in making inferences Helps us modulate our speech to make meaning clear. Helps orchestrate our self-awareness


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