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Module 4: The Brain

by: Danielle Chapman

Module 4: The Brain Py101

Marketplace > McPherson College > Science > Py101 > Module 4 The Brain
Danielle Chapman

GPA 3.9

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Week 2 notes in intro to psychology and these notes are over the brain and how psychology ties into it.
Intro to Psychology
Professor James Lumley
Class Notes
Intro to Psychology
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This 32 page Class Notes was uploaded by Danielle Chapman on Tuesday September 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Py101 at McPherson College taught by Professor James Lumley in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Intro to Psychology in Science at McPherson College.


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Date Created: 09/20/16
Module 4: The Brain The Brain What we’ll discuss: ▪ how we learn about the brain ▪ tbrainstem and limbic systemrts of the brain: the ▪ the outer, wrinkled “bark”: the cortex ▪ left, right, and split brains Questions about parts of the brain: ▪ Do you think that the brain is the sum of its parts, or is the brain actually about the way Is it possible to they are connected? ‘understand’ the brain? ▪ What do you think might happen if a particular area of the brain was stimulated? “If the human brain were so simple that we ▪ What do you think might happen if a could understand it, we not working well?f the brain was damaged or would be so simple that we couldn’t.” –Emerson M. Pugh Exploring the Older Brain, Cerebral Cortex, and Divided Brain How we learn about the ▪ Cerebral Cortex brain: Structure: The Lobes ▪ Scans and more ▪ Motor and sensory strips ▪ Association areas The primitive, life- ▪ Brain Plasticity sustaining, inner parts of the ▪ Functioning of the right brain: and left hemispheres ▪ The brainstem and limbic from cases of the divided system and intact brains Monitoring activity in the brain Tools to read electrical, metabolic, and magnetic activity in the brain: EEG: electroencephalogramPET: positron emission tomography MRI: magnetic resonance imaging fMRI: functional MRI EEG: electroencephalogram An EEG (electroencephalogram) is a recording of the electrical waves sweeping across the brain’s surface. An EEG is useful in studying seizures and sleep. PET: positron emission tomography The PET scan allows us to see what part of the brain is active by tracing where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task. MRI: magnetic resonance imaging fMRI: functional MRI MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) Functional MRI reveals brain activity and makes images from signals produced by function rather than brain tissue after magnets align the spin structures. of atoms. The arrows below show ventricular Functional MRI compares enlargement in a schizophrenic patient successive MRI images (right). taken a split second apart, and shows changes in the level of oxygen in bloodflow in the brain. The Brain: Less Complex Brain Structures Our tour of the brain begins with parts of the human brain found complex functions:imals; these parts generally deal with less Brainstem (Pons and Medulla) Thalamus Reticular Formation Cerebellum Limbic System The Brainstem: Pons and Medulla The Base of the Brainstem: The Medulla ▪ The medulla controls the most basic functions such as heartbeat and breathing. ▪ Someone with total brain damage above the medulla could still breathe independently, but someone with damage in this area could not. The Thalamus ▪ The thalamus is the “sensory switchboard” or “router”: All sensory messages, except smell, are routed through the thalamus on the way to the cortex (outer brain). The crossover ▪ These messages cross over from one side of the body to the opposite side of the brain. Reticular (“net-like”) Formation ▪ The reticular formation is a nerve network in the brainstem. ▪ It enables alertness (arousal); stimulating this makes us wide awake. ▪ It also filters incoming sensory information and relays it to other brain areas. Cerebellum (“little brain”) The cerebellum helps coordinate voluntary movement such as playing a sport. The cerebellum has many other functions, including enabling nonverbal learning and memory. The Limbic (“Border”) System The limbic system coordinates: ▪ emotions such as fear and aggression. ▪ basic drives such as hunger and sex. ▪ the formation of episodic memories. The hippocampus (“seahorse”) ▪ processes conscious, episodic memories. ▪ works with the amygdala to form emotionally charged memories. The Amygdala (“almond”) ▪ consists of two lima bean- sized neural clusters. ▪ helps process emotions, especially fear and aggression. The Amygdala: Enabling two different responses to threat ▪ Electrical stimulation of one area of a cat’s amygdala provokes aggressive reactions. ▪ If you stimulate a different part of the amygdala and put the cat in a cage with a mouse, the cat will cower in terror. The Hypothalamus: ▪ lies below (“hypo”) the thalamus. Thalamus ▪ radequate food and water intakeensures (homeostasis), and is involved in sex drive. ▪ directs the endocrine system via messages to the pituitary gland. The Hypothalamus as a Reward Center Pushing the pedal that stimulated the electrode placed in the hypothalamus was much more rewarding than food pellets. Review of Brain Structures Higher Brain, Split Brain Topics for your cortex to process: ▪ Cerebral Cortex Structure: The Lobes ▪ The motor and sensory strips and association areas ▪ Brain Plasticity ▪ Functioning of he right and left hemispheres from cases of the divided and intact brains The Cerebral Cortex : ▪ to create more surface area for 20+ billion neurons.order ▪ Organized into 4 lobes in each of two hemispheres. 300 billion synaptic connections The brain has left and right The Lobes of the Cerebral Cortex: Preview making plans and judgmentsuscle movements and in Frontal Lobes include the sensory cortex Parietal Lobes include the visual areas; they receive visual information from the opposite visual field Occipital Lobes include the auditory processing areas Temporal Lobes 20 Functions of the Brain: T he Motor and Sensory Strips Output: Motor Input: Sensory cortex cortex (Left receives input from then hemisphere body’s right side) section controls the body’s right side) ← Axons ←Axons sending receiving motor sensory information TO the cortex signals FROM the cortex Sensory Functions of the Cortex ▪ The sensory strip deals with information from touch stimuli. ▪ The occipital lobe deals with visual information. ▪ Auditory information is sent to the temporal lobe. The Visual Cortex This fMRI scan shows increased activity in the visual cortex when a person looks at a photograph. Association function of the cortex devoted to integrating/associating information Case study: Phineas Gage In a work accident, a metal rod shot up through Phineas Gage’s skull, destroying his eye and part of his frontal lobes. After healing, he was rude, odd, irritable, and unpredictable. Possible explanation for the change in personality: Damage to his frontal lobes hurt his ability to inhibit emotions and impulses. Whole-brain Association Activity Whole-brain association activity involves complex activities which require communication among association areas across the brain such as: ▪ memory ▪ language ▪ attention ▪ meditation and spirituality ▪ consciousness Plasticity: The Brain is Adaptable If the brain is damaged, especially in the general association areas of the cortex: ▪ the brain does not repair damaged neurons, BUT it can restore some functions ▪ it can form new connections, reorganize, reassign brain areas to new functions. ▪ Some neurogenesis, hemispherectomy to end life- production of new brain threatening seizures; her remaining cells, helps rebuild hemisphere compensated for the damage. Split-Brain Studies To end severe whole-brain surgery to cut the corpuse had callosum, hemispheres.ons connecting the Researchers have studied the impact of this surgery on patients’ functioning. Separating the Hemispheres: Factors to Keep in Mind ▪ Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body AND is aware of the visual field on that opposite side. ▪ Without the corpus callosum, the halves of the body and the halves of the visual field do not work together. ▪ Only the left half of the brain has enough verbal ability to express its thoughts out loud. Split visual field Each hemisphere perceives the half of the view in front of you that goes with the half of the body that is controlled by that hemisphere. Our Two Hemispheres Lateralization (“going to one side”) The two hemispheres serve some different functions. How do we know about these differences? ▪ Brain damage studies revealed many functions of the left hemisphere. ▪ Brain scans and split brain studies show more about coordinate with each other.mispheres, and how they The intact but lateralized brain Right-Left Hemisphere Differences Left Hemisphere Right Hemisphere ▪ Thoughts ▪ Feelings and logic and ▪ Language: intuition ▪ Language: words and tone, definitions ▪ Pieces and inflection, details context ▪ Wholes, including


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