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Brain & Behavior Week 1 Lecture Notes

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by: Willow Frederick

Brain & Behavior Week 1 Lecture Notes Natural Science 2

Marketplace > New York University > CORE > Natural Science 2 > Brain Behavior Week 1 Lecture Notes
Willow Frederick
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About this Document

Notes from the first two classes.
Brain and Behavior
Andre Fenton
Class Notes
split, brain, neurons, psych, Experiments




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Willow Frederick on Friday September 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Natural Science 2 at New York University taught by Andre Fenton in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 129 views. For similar materials see Brain and Behavior in CORE at New York University.


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Date Created: 09/09/16
Brain & Behavior Fall 2016 09/06/16: Lecture 1 The Neuron Doctrine 1. Neural units: the brain is made up of individual units that contain specialized features such as dendrites/cell body/axon- all different parts of neurons 2. Neurons are cells 3. Neurons are specialized 4. Nerve fibers are outgrowths of nerve cells 5. Neurons contact each other thru specialized junctions 6. Law of dynamic polarization: there is a preferred direction for transmission from cell to cell (dendritecell bodyaxon) a. A neuron is a communicating element- it has an input & an output 7. Unity of transmission: the contact bw 2 cells can be either excitatory or inhibitory, and will always be of the same tyoe for life 8. Dales’ law: the axon terminal releases a single type of transmitter substance (there are exceptions to this law) Biological Levels of Analysis- ‘the circle of being’ 09/08/16: Lecture 2: Brain Organization 1: Structure & Function Is the function localized (better) or distributed?  Localization of function- sensory & motor in the brain Thomas Willis (1600s)  The brain has particular parts and are associated with particular functions  Distinguished cerebrum, cerebellum & hind-brain  Assigned memory Franz Joseph Gall: localization of function & the origins of phrenology  For ex, you can tell when someone is in love, or is a republican/democrat, based on what parts of their brain are activated when shown different images Phineas Gage- railroad spike went thru his head & he survived  His behavior changed in ways that the phrenology map didn’t nevessarily correspond to, but it makes sense that he became more irritated/angry person  Certain parts of the brain wre damaged—certain emotions Localization & language (aphasia)  Broca o Studied ppl w speech deficits o Aphasia- inability to coherently talk or use sign language-can’t produce language o Broca found that aphasic patients had specific brain lesions of the left brain & always included a small region of the frontal lobe of the cortex, now called Broca’s area o Broca’s area is very close to the primary motor cortex in the brain  Vernicke (german physician) noticed a different kind of “receptive aphasia” o Wernicke’s area is near auditory part of the brain—difficulty comprehending language  Face specialization in the primate brain o Fusiform face area- full faces o Occipital face area- face parts o STS face area- eye/facial movements  Thatcher Effect (Peter Thompson 1980)- when you see someone’s face upside down it’s hard to tell that for ex, their face or mouth is right side up o Our brain has a model for what a face looks like, which doesn’t really work for an upside-down face  Sensory & Motor “homunculus” o Motor cortex: movement o Somatosensory cortex: sensation o There’s a lot of brain dedicated to your head—a lot going on there  1981 Pulitzer Prize- Roger Sperry, for split-brain experiments o revealed lateralization of functions o corpus collosum connects right to left side o left side-language abilities  if you present the word ‘face’ on the right side, the info travels to the left side and he says ‘face’  if you present the word on the left side, the info travels to the right side and he says nothing. But he can draw it o Right side controls left side of the body, collects info from the left side of the world, and vice versa  Henry Molaison (1926-2008)/ Patient H.M.- had terrible epilepsy, w/many seizures a day o Brenda Milner (neuropsychologist) – figured out that the seizures seemed to be coming from the temporal lobe  Removed his hippocampus & amygdala – he became completely amnestic- he couldn’t remember anything – you could hold a convo w him, but if he got distracted, he wouldn’t know who you were  something like memory is localized in its function, in the hippocampus  the hippocampus is a neural circuit, and like all brain areas, is itself a functional system.  From H.M., we learned that the hippocampus is real important for memory  Morris’ Water Maze – a test for spatial memory with rats o Destroy the hippocampus to see if memory relies on it?  How?  Put a rat in the pool of milky cold water-rat doesn’t like that but he can’t get out, so he has to find the platform (early learning trial)  Then in the recollection trial, the rat found the platform in ~10 seconds, whereas in the learning trial the rat took about a minute to find it  Dorsal Hippocampus is crucial for spatial learning & memory o When neocortical control is cut, the rat can still find the platform quickly, but when the hippocampus is cut, the rat swims all around & has a hard time finding the platform  Ventral Hippocampus is crucial for anxiety-related behavior o Turning off the ventral hippocampus makes the rat really brave, & not anxious Are brain functions localized or distributed? –mostly localized Sensory responses in monkey motor areas  The motor part is also responsive to touch Connections  The brain is a set of connected functional systems  The set of connections is crucial for what functions are possible  The set of connections is called the ‘connectome’ or ‘circuit diagram’ of the brain o Recent tech allows us to see the connectome


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