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PSY 111 Week 2

by: Christa Aaron

PSY 111 Week 2 PSY 111

Christa Aaron
GPA 4.0

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About this Document

These notes go over the biological setup of your brain and its functions, as well as explaining neurons.
Intro To Psychology
Jeffrey Wagman
Class Notes
brain, Psychology, psych111, psy, psy111, week, 2, notes, neurons, important, phinneas, Gage
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Christa Aaron on Wednesday September 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 111 at Illinois State University taught by Jeffrey Wagman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views.


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Date Created: 09/14/16
Psychology 111 Day 1:  ○ Experience and behavior begin with the nervous system ● Biology: ○ The nervous system translates things and transmits that  information ● There are two main parts of the nervous system ○ Central Nervous System (CNS) ■ Brain and spinal cord ○ Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) ■ All the remaining nerve cells in your body ○ Neurons speak a different language through chemical and  electrical signals. Both systems are made up of neurons.                              1: Dendrites 1: Dendrites    3: Terminal Endings  (Axon  Terminals)                                                                                  2: Axon ● Huge system ○ 1 quadrillion neurons (1,000,000,000,000,000)  ■ (to count this high would take 30  million years if you counted one neuron every second) ■ 150x the amount of people on Earth ■ 2.5x the number of stars in our  galaxy ○ Your brain alone houses about 100 billion neurons ○ Why so many? ■ Faster communication ■ More subtle changes in patterns ■ It’s like a highway system ■ Connections are like interchanges  between highways (which are very important) ○ Sensory Neurons ■ Bring information from the world to  brain (or spinal cord) ○ Motor Neurons ■ Bring information from brain (or  spinal cord) to muscles ■ When it goes right to spinal cord and out again → reflex arc (when you get burned and pull away or at the doctor when they hit your knee) ○ How neurons work (3 steps: refer to picture above  of neuron) ■ 1. Chemicals called  “neurotransmitters” (produced by other neurons) enter the neuron  through the (1) Dendrites (on diagram) ■ 2. If enough of the right chemicals  enter the dendrites, the neuron will transmit an electrical signal  down the length of the (2) Axon ■ When the impulse makes its way to  the (3) Terminal Endings neurotransmitters are released into the  space between nerve cells (called a “synapse”) ● These  neurotransmitters are then picked up by other neurons,  which starts the whole process over again ○ Some psychological disorders might be linked to  abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters ■ Depression may be linked to  abnormally low levels of serotonin ■ Alzheimer’s disease may be linked  to abnormally low levels of acetylcholine ■ Parkinson’s may be linked to low  levels of dopamine ■ Schizophrenia may be linked to  abnormally high levels of dopamine This brings us back to the Mind Body Problem ● Neurons are like 1000 billion twinkly Christmas lights  ● Most important: a pattern of activity across groups of neurons ● Experience and behavior is a  consequence of complex patterns from neuron to neuron. Day 2: ● Phinneas Gage injured his frontal lobe and it changed his personality ○ Conclusion: This part of the brain (frontal lobe) has something to  do with decision making, planning, social interaction, personality, etc… ● How to study the brain and its functions: You can study “clinical cases” (patients  with brain injury from tumor, stroke, or brain damage from an accident) and observe the  effects on their behavior. ○ This is often ineffective because the injuries are seldom in the  same place, in addition to the fact that we can’t possibly control when the person  will get injured. We also don’t know how they acted beforehand. ○ So we study animal brains with carefully controlled lesion of a  particular brain areas. ○ We also take images of the brain as people do tasks (such as  reading or listening) ■ The images that are most useful are those that  show brain activity during certain tasks (certain images show blood flow in your brain, so when one part of your brain is receiving more blood, we  know that your brain is using that area) ■ These methods measure blood flow into and out of  different areas. ■ Like a muscle, your brain gets stronger with use. ● Localization of function: Different parts of the brain seem to do different things ○ There are front­back differences ■ Front: expression (actions, plans) ■ Back: reception (perceptions, interpretations) ○ 4 Lobes ■ Right view: Right cerebral hemisphere ● Frontal lobe, occipital lobe ● Top: parietal lobe, temporal lobe ○ (frontal: cognitive  functions, parietal: touch, reason, occipital: vision         temporal: language,  hearing) ■ “Your brain is like high priced realty” ­Dr. Wagman  (I found this humorous and helpful so here you go) ○ The brain is mouldable ● Lateralization of function: Different halves of the brain seem to do different things ○ Left hemisphere: controls movement of and processes stimulation  from the right side of the body (left hemisphere is particularly good at language,  i.e. producing and understanding words) ○ Right hemisphere: controls movements and processes stimulation from left side of body (right hemisphere is particularly good at spacial tasks, i.e.  reading, maps, drawing, and location) ■ Your right and left side abilities can be done by  both but it’s like writing with your left hand (when you’re right handed) ○ Broca’s Area: planning language­speech ○ Wernicke’s Area: ability to understand speech (speech perception) ○ Brain imaging techniques help us see this damage and/or the separation between functions like (language) speech production and speech perception. ○ The corpus callosum connects the right and left hemispheres ■ Allows for fast and efficient sharing of information ● Like a town divided by a river, with  bridges. ● If there are detours, it delays travel  or makes it impossible ● If there are no bridges, ●


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