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Lecture 4


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PSYC 100
Sherri Atwood

1 The Brain NEUROIMAGING TECHNIQUES: MRI, CT scan, and fMRI focus on brain structure PET scan and fMRI focus on function of the brain EEG((electroencephalogram)) records electrical waves sweeping across the brain's surface – useful for studying seizures and sleep PET ((position emission tomography)) scan shows which parts of the brain are active while the brain performs a given task – does this by tracing where a radioactive form of glucose goes MRI ((magnetic resonance imaging)) makes images from signals produced by brain tissue after magnets align the spin of atoms fMRI reveals brain activity and function – also shows changes in the level of oxygen blood flow in the brain BRAIN HIERARCHY: recently developed structures sit on the top of structures of the past core: breathing and heart rate newer systems: complex functions like thinking, reasoning, emotions AREAS OF THE BRAIN AND THEIR FUNCTIONS: hindbrain: brainstem and cerebellum ◦  coordinates the body midbrain: the limbic system ◦  manages emotions, and connects thought to body ◦  sensory portion of midbrain has centers for hearing and seeing ◦  involved in vision and hearing, so has sensory and motor neurons ◦  its motor neurons control eye movement forebrain: cerebral cortex ((outer covering)) ◦  integrates information ◦  parts are cerebrum, limbic system, thalamus, hypothalamus CEREBRAL CORTEX: ◦  outer covering of two hemispheres of the brain ◦  highest level of the brain ◦  responsible for most complex aspects of perception, emotion, movement, and thought ◦  ultimate control and information-processing center 2 The Brain CORPUS CALLOSUM: ◦  axon fibres connecting the two cerebral hemispheres OCCIPITAL LOBE: ◦  visual information ◦  vision signals are processed here PARIETAL LOBE: ◦  information about touch ◦  sensations like pressure, pain, touch, temperature ◦  has somatosensory cortex ◦  attention and mental operations; manages input from multiple senses ◦  performs spatial and mathematical reasoning ◦  monitors the sensation of movement TEMPORAL LOBE: ◦  hearing, language; auditory information is sent here; manages sensory input related to sound, which helps the understand of spoken words ◦  has auditory cortex and Wernicke's area ((left hemisphere)) ◦  memory, perception, emotion ◦  gives you the ability to recognize specific faces FRONTAL LOBE: ◦  planning, judgement, memory, reasoning, abstract thinking, movement ◦  inhibition of impulses ◦  active in use of working memory and the processing of new memories ◦  includes motor cortex and Broca's area ((left hemisphere, language)) ◦  motor functions, speech, emotions, creative thinking LESS COMPLEX BRAIN STRUCTURES: BRAINSTEM: MEDULLA: ◦  responsible for autonomic functions like breathing and heart rate ((giraffe structure)) PONS: ◦  its neurons regulate sleep; involved in dreaming ◦  its motor neurons control muscles and glands of the face and neck ◦  helps control respiration, vital functions ((swallowing, bladder function, hearing, equilibrium, taste, eye movement, facial expressions, facial sensation and posture)) ◦  acts as a bridge between higher and lower levels of the nervous system ◦  helps coordinate automatic and unconscious movements 3 The Brain DAMAGE TO THE BRAIN STEM CAN RESULT IN DEATH RETICULAR ACTIVATING SYSTEM ((RAS)): ◦  extends from brain stem; arouses cortex and screens incoming information ◦  reticular formation ◦  filters incoming sensory information ◦  nerve network in the brainstem ◦  enables alertness, from coma to wide awake ◦  regulates sleep, wakefulness, and levels of arousal THALAMUS: ◦  "sensory switchboard" or "router"
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