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PSY Week 4 Brain Structures

by: merlec16

PSY Week 4 Brain Structures PSY 151

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Notes taken from textbook in chapter 2
Introductory Psychology
Ashley L. Heffner
Class Notes
brain, functions, structures, lobes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by merlec16 on Tuesday September 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 151 at Wake Forest University taught by Ashley L. Heffner in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views.


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Date Created: 09/27/16
Ch. 2 Textbook/Lecture Notes p. 69-95 Central Nervous System  Central Nervous system- (CNS) the brain and the spinal chord o Organizes and interprets information received from the PNS and sends commands back to the PNS to take actions or make adjustments to bodily functions  Spinal cord- thin, tubular bundle of nerve tracts contained in the vertebrae of the spinal column o Communication pathway between the brain and the rest of the body o Grey matter- interior of the spinal cord  Cell bodies, unmyelinated axons, dendrites, and glia o White matter- surrounds grey matter  Axons with myelin sheaths o Spinal reflexes- automatic motor actions in response to stimulation  Bypass the brain entirely o Central pattern generators- circuits of neurons that generate routine, rhythmic movements and are controlled entirely by the spine with no input from the brain Peripheral Nervous System  Peripheral Nervous System- (PNS) cranial and spinal nerves that allow communication to take place between the brain and body, consists of two divisions: somatic nervous system and automatic nervous system  Somatic nervous system- nerves that regulate voluntary actions and convey sensory information to the brain o Under conscious control  Autonomic nervous system- consists of sympathetic and parasympathetic sub-systems that regulate involuntary activities of muscles, glands and organs o Sympathetic nervous system- mobilizes the body for arousal, particularly in response to a threat of some sort, but also in response to certain other conditions  Fight or flight  Heart rate increases, lungs expand, perspiration increases, digestion hats o Parasympathetic nervous system- returns the body to resting state following arousal and maintains that resting state I. Brain Structures a) Hindbrain: a lower geographic are of the brain containing the following Vital “housekeeping” functions for survival, control over heart rate and breathing Very old regions in evolution of brain i. Function: ii. Medulla and Pons- (medulla oblongata) o Medulla- controls various autonomic processes like breathing and heart rate o Contributes to intellectual functioning o Pons- regulates body during sleep and in relaying info from hindbrain to forebrain o More sensitive and responsive to sensory input under conditions of threat o Also involved in retrieving memories associated w/ emotional events iii. Reticular Formation- medulla and pons include within then the RF o Net-like web of neurons that begin at medulla and thread upward through pons toward midbrain and down toward cerebellum and areas of spinal cord involved in motor activity o Plays role in consciousness, sleep/wakefulness, alertness/fatigue, and attention/inattention o Can be put “off-line” iv. Cerebellum- “little brain” o Second largest structure in the CNS o Coordinates sensory inputs and affects balance by assisting visual-spatial perception o Involved to some degree in attention, learning, memory, and appropriate expression of emotion b) Midbrain: i. Function: essential for conveying auditory and visual information from the cranial nerves to the forebrain areas where the information is interpreted as sounds and sights ii. Superior Colliculus & Inferior Colliculus- iii. Substantia Nigra- plays important role in reward and movement c) Forebrain: large upper geographic area of brain controlling the “higher brain functions” Thought processes, emotion, personality, memory, intelligence, language, consciousness Cerebral hemispheres- forebrain divided symmetrically, connected by axons known as corpus callosum Structures in each hemisphere correspond almost exactly to opposite hemisphere, subtle but important, differences i. Thalamus ii. Limbic System- group of large structures and smaller nuclei that regulate mood, emotion, memory, and basic drives (primal emotions such as fear and aggression) the seat of emotion 1. Hypothalamus- a. Part of the limbic system and nervous system b. Helps control the production of hormones by the endocrine system c. Links nervous system to the system of glands and hormones that support it d. Manages essential life-sustaining drives (hunger, thirst) e. Four F’s (fighting, fleeing, feeding, and fornicating) 2. Amygdala- neurons that work together to create and understanding of one’s own emotions and those of others a. Important in emotionally charged emotions b. Survival and self-defense 3. Hippocampus- a. Crucial structure involved in forming new episodic memories (personal experiences) b. Critical to imagination and the ability to envision future events 4. Basal ganglia- smaller “work groups” of nuclei a. Dopamine and GABA producing clusters of neurons surrounding the thalamus b. Process of voluntary movement c. Emotional communication (understanding facial expressions/ non-verbal behavior) Thalamus- lower forebrain structure that conveys sensory information to the cerebral cortex and receives instructions from the cortex regarding the regulation of sensory and emotional signals i. Cerebral Cortex- allows us to perceive, think and act a. The outer layers of the hemispheres of the forebrain b. Interprets raw sensory information, initiates voluntary movement, and is home to higher cognitive processes c. White (outer) and gray (inner) matter 2. Hemispheric – right and left (will return to this); note that left hemisphere controls right side of body and vice versa 3. Lobes – in each hemisphere a. Frontal Lobe- makes up the bulk of the cerebral cortex and 30% of the entire brain o Functions o Motor Cortex- deliberate body movements are planned and executed by sending neural commands to muscles and joints 1. More muscle given to movements that are critical to daily life 2. Motor cortex in one hemisphere primarily controls movements on the opposite side of the body o Broca’s Area- “sister” structure to Wernicke’s 1. Allows a person to produce structured speech b. Parietal Lobes- lobe of cerebral cortex containing the somatosensory cortex and the somatosensory association areas o Functions- process the sensations of heat, cold, pain, and touch, and to inform us about the placement of our limbs and bodies in space o Somatosensory cortex- strip of tissue which runs the whole diameter of the parietal lobe, from the bae on one side, across the top, to the bottom of the other side 1. Processes information from the opposite side of the body c. Temporal Lobe- lobe of cerebral cortex containing the auditory cortex, auditory association areas, and Wernicke’s area o Function- interprets as sound neural messages received from the ears, allows us to recognize sounds for what they are o Wernicke’s area- critical to speech comprehension 1. Exists in the left cerebral hemisphere only 2. Example of hemispheric specialization- the tendency for some differences to exist in the way the two hemisphere function d. Occipital Lobe- cerebral cortex lobe containing the primary visual cortex (VI) and visual association areas o Function- impressions received translated into images in back of your brain (VI) 4. Hemispheric Lateralization & Specialization a. Corpus Callosum- bundle of axons that enable communication between the right and left hemispheres to occur b. Right Hemisphere Functions o Receives sensory signals from, and controls muscles on, left side of body o Musical and artistic expression and awareness o Visual-spatial sills and pattern recognition o Non-verbal emotional expression recognition c. Left Hemisphere Functions- o Receives sensory signals from, and controls muscles on, right side of body o Logical reasoning o Numerical and scientific skills o Spoken, written, and sign-language skills  Hemispheric Specialization- unique specializations of the two hemispheres of the cerebral cortex Male and Female Brains are NOT Identical  Women experience at least some language processing using their right hemispheres as well as their left  The majority of men use their left hemisphere virtually exclusively Although The Brain is Specialized, It Is Also Plastic  Plasticity- the brain’s ability to change in response to learning, practice, and sensory input; and the ability of specialized regions of the brain to adapt if necessary to perform tasks for which they are not ordinarily used  Neural tissue generally “assigned” to specific types of processing tasks may sometimes be used for other tasks of the need arises  This is a website that has a 3D brain you can rotate and better visualize the parts discussed above.


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