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PSYCH 211 (210)
Lecture 2

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University of Waterloo
Mattieu Lecorre

PSYCH 211 – Lecture 2 Genes and Brain Development Brain Development 1) The objective of development: the mature brain - Cerebral cortex o Development of cortex primary difference between human & other mammalian brains o Folds o Made up of six layers of cells, thin layer that surrounds brain that is responsible for higher functions eg. Decision making, understanding, producing language, facial reasoning, inhibiting inappropriate behaviour o Organized into general regions  Occipital lobe: visual information  Temporal lobe: memory, visual recognition & auditory information  Parietal lobe: spatial processing, integration of senses  Frontal lobe: planning, organizing, deciding o Removed pieces of the epilepsy patients  Over electrical locations  Reported sensation with different responses eg. Kicks o all have different sizes but the general architecture is the same - a short voyage through the internal structure of the brain o My point: show you the complexity of what needs to be assembled in development o Hooval and Weezle: Nobel Prize o The retinotopic map  Neurons that are near each other represent parts of space that are near each other (eg. Study with monkeys)  Place glowing chemical solution in monkey’s brain  Neuron glows when active  Monkey had one eye closed, by showing grid, represented almost completely the same image when brain of the monkey is cut  Only neurons in that one eye is seen in the sliced part of the brain o There were black dots and not full lines, reason is because those neurons were not active and connected to the opposing eye - Building blocks of the brain are neurons - Three identifiable parts o Synapse  Where neurons exchange information  Chemical signals, electrical stations  Terminal buttons o Axon  Where the electrical signal is sent through o Dendrites  Receives the chemical signals o Nucleus  DNA o Myelin  Fat  Conduction of the electrical signal faster - Two general problems o Making neurons  General process  Axonal and dendritic growth o Getting them to the right place o Hooking them up the right way - Neurulation: making neurons o Neural plate: bunch of cells in zygote that becomes brain and spinal cord o At 10 weeks, neurolation starts o 240,000 neurons/min (at peak)  4,000/s o All neurons born by 28 week  In the human embryo - Layers pile up from inside to outside o The brain is made inside out o By 5months, more neurons are made and on the top o By 7 months, beginning of folding - Layer process: Migration o Migration in cortex  Start with innermost layer  Work way up on supporting cells  Make all 6 layers this way  Have all 6 layers by 7 month - Growing axons and dendrites o Once cells are located, must make connections with others o Process starts a little before birth  Continues even after birth (2 years) - Synaptic pruning o In neonates, synapses are overabundant  Excess connections between different perceptual areas (visual & auditory cortex)  Hypothesis: neonates, expe
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