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Lecture 2

PSYC 211 Lecture 2: PSYC 211 NEURO NOTES SEPT 29
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 211
Professor
Gary Brouhard

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Description
Experimental and Research Methods in psychology: Woman complains after stroke that she doesnt enjoy sex. Computerized Tomography (CT scan): cheap, fast, effective, not super resolution in images. Large problems jump out at viewer. Xray does this. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): NOT XRAYS, uses strong magnetic fields. Protons orient themselves in a particular direction in strong magnetic fields. You shine radiowaves into the body, when they hit a proton, itll get knocked out of place but when it jumps back to its proper orientation it releases radiowaves relative to the amount. More brain matter = more protons release radio waves. Sex drive: ventral lateral portion of the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. Experimental ablation: do a radiofrequency lesion (most common way) that heats up a metal wire using a current and slicing that part of the brain and see if the female rat has a sex drive. But you do a lot of glial damage there. OR you can inject glutamate or an excitatory drug that causes so much excitation that the most active neurons (ex: seizurecausing cells) undergo apoptosis. It kills entire cell bodies, because those are what have glutamate receptors. Passing axons are thoroughly unaffected. Visualizing the human brain: o MRI: expensive, takes a couple of hours, gives highquality pictures. Brain Lesions (Experimental Ablation): o Excitotoxic: only targets cells bodies, not passing axons. Which is good, it doesnt destroy everything. o Reversible lesion: You insert a drug into the brain, usually a cocktail of GABA receptor agonists (hyperpolarize cells so that nothing will happen in that area, that area of the brain is temporarily quiet until the drugs are processed). Lidocaine is an example. Temporary inactivation of part of the brain to analyze behaviour. o How to Lesion: o Stereotaxic apparatus: clamps the head. Then you cut open the skin, drill a hole in the scull above the area you want to deal with. There is also a stereotaxic atlas which is a map of the brain for different animals. These maps are based on a part of the skull called bregma, this is the soft spot during fetal development, where the foreplates fuse together. This is a consistent spot for all species. Every number in the atlas is based on its relation to bregma. o Sometimes a chemical or virus is used to lesion a VERY specific part of the brain, for a brain area we use excitotoxic lesion and for a specific type of cell will kill the dopamine neurons in that area (dopamine cells have their own transporters which can be targeted). To stop a specific protein from working, you use viral mediated gene delivery.
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