PSYC 100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Visual Cortex, Autonomic Nervous System, Fusiform Face Area

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20 Jul 2016
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Hippocampus:+ plays+ an+ important+ role+ in+ the+ storage+ of+ new+ memories+ by+ creating+ new+
interconnections+ within+ the+ cerebral+ cortex+ with+ each+ new+ experience.+ A+ new+ hypothesis+
suggests+ that+ it+ may+ be+ involved+ in+ how+ we+ remember+ the+ arrangements+ of+ both+ places+ and+
objects+in+space.+(Maguire+found+that+the+hippocampus+was+more+developed+in+taxi+drivers+than+
other+drivers,+2003).+Thus,+it+changes+with+experience.+
Amygdala:+ serves+ a+ vital+ role+ in+ our+ learning+ to+ associate+ things+ in+ the+ world+ with+ emotional+
responses,+enabling+the+organism+to+overrule+instinctive+responses+by+connecting+memories+of+
things+to+the+emotions+engendered+by+those+things.+It+also+intensifies+memory’s+function+during+
times+ of+ emotional+ arousal.+ It+ plays+ a+ special+ role+ in+ responding+ to+stimuli+ that+ elicit+ fear+
(evolution:+protection+of+animals+from+danger)+and+is+involved+in+evaluating+a+facial+expressions’+
emotional+ significance+ (activates+ specially+ in+ response+ to+ a+ fearful+ face).+ Recent+ studies+ show+
that+it+is+involved+in+the+processing+of+more+positive+emotions+(sexual+arousal).(Study+Hamman,+
amygdala+activity+increases+when+ people+view+ sexual+things+ and+its+ activity+ is+ greater+in+ men,+
because+men+are+more+responsive+to+visual+sexual+stimuli;+this+suggest+that+the+amygdala+may+
play+a+role+in+greater+responsiveness.+
Basal+ganglia:+a+system+of+subcortical+structures+crucial+for+planning+and+producing+movement.+
They+receive+input+from+the+cortex+and+project+to+the+motor+centers+of+the+brainstem+and,+via+
the+thalamus,+back+to+the+cortex’s+major+planning+areas.++
Nucleus+ accumbens:+ structure+ within+ the+ ganglia+ that+ provides+ a+ good+ example+ of+ how+
environment+ interacts+ with+the+ brain.+It+has+been+shown+that+it+is+important+for+experiencing+
reward.+(A+study+shows+that+viewing+pictures+of+sports+cars+lead+to+greater+activation+in+men)+
The(cerebral(cortex(underlies(complex(mental(activity(
+Cerebral+cortex:+the+outer+layer+of+the+brain+tissue,+which+forms+the+convoluted+surface+of+the+
brain.+It+is+the+site+of+all+thoughts,+detailed+perceptions+and+consciousness.+It+is+also+the+source+
of+culture+and+communication+that+allow+us+to+learn+fine+distinctions+and+intricate+details+of+the+
outside+world.+Each+cerebral+hemisphere+has+4+lobes:+occipital,+parietal,+temporal+and+ frontal.+
The+ corpus+ callosum:+ a+ massive+ bridge+ of+ millions+ of+ axons+ that+ connects+ the+ 2+ hemispheres+
together+and+allows+information+to+flow+between+them.++
Occipital+ lobe:+ back+ portion+ of+ the+ brain+ devoted+ mainly+ to+ vision.+ It+ consists+ of+ many+ visual+
areas.+ The+ primary+ visual+ cortex+ is+ by+ far+ the+ largest+ and+ is+ the+ major+ destination+ for+ visual+
information+which+is+typically+organized+for+the+cerebral+cortex+in+a+way+that+preserves+spatial+
relationships.+ Surrounding+ the+ primary+ visual+ cortex+ is+ a+ patchwork+ of+secondary+ visual+ areas+
that+process+various+attributes+of+the+visual+image+(colors,+forms+and+motions)+
Parietal+lobe:+devoted+partially+to+touch+and+includes+the+primary+somatosensory+cortex.+The+left+
hemisphere+ receives+ touch+ information+ from+ the+ right+ side+ of+ the+ body+ and+ the+ right+
hemisphere,+ from+ the+ left+ side+ of+ the+ body.+ This+ information+ is+ represented+ by+ the+
somatosensory+cortex+in+a+way+that+groups+nearby+sensations.+The+result+is+a+distorted+(because+
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