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Chapter 2

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Najwa Haddad

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Chapter 2 Neurotransmitters and their functions III. The brain (CNS) A. Introduction: - Aristotle: heart was the source of feeling, brain simply cool the blood from the body - Hippocrates: Father of modern medicine B. Tools of discovering 1. Clinical observation: Was once the only way to observe the brain ex. Brain dissection 2. Brain manipulation - Surgical: only done on animals - Chemical: Inject a chemical to one’s part of brain - Electrical: Implant electrodes, send small currents to stimulate the brain and observe what happens - Magnetic: Expose a part of the brain to a magnetic field Ex. Therapy for depression - Optogenetics: Genetically engineer brain to respond to a certain light frequency, shoot the light on the targeted brain part and see what happens 3. EEG - Place electrodes on the skull, it will pick up electro activity of the brain - Accuracy up to a single neuron 4. Neuroimaging Techniques - CT or CAT scans Very sophisticated X-RAY scan from different angles Does not show the brain in action - MRI (non invasive) Exposed to powerful magnetic field, the tissue will start to emit electromagnetic radiation. Pick up the radiation and transfer it into the structure of the brain - PET scans (invasive) Injected with radioactive molecule (glucose), the computer follow the activity of the molecule Brain consumes lots of glucose. Radio glucose will get consumed, the more active the brain is, the more glucose it’ll consume Can find out which part of the brain is in action - fMRI (functional MRI) Show the brain in action Track the oxygenic blood in the brain, the more active the brain is, the more blood flows to that part C. Tour of the Brain 1. Lower Brain Structure 1.1 Brain Stem 腦腦: The oldest part of the brain Information coming from the right side of the body will cross to the left side of the brain when it reach the brain stem Medulla : Control heartbeat and breathing Pons: help coordinate movements Reticular formation: control consciousness. If injured will fall in coma 1.2 Thalamus Center of the brain, sits on top of the brain stem All senses except smell will send to Thalamus Highlight or emphasis senses passes down from the higher area to the lower The part of brain that directs attention, motivation, awareness or focus 1.3 Cerebellum Control balance, muscle tone and some other voluntary movements May be also involved in higher mental function such as learning or memory Alcohol will affect the functioning of cerebellum 1.4 Limbic system Consists of a number of different structures Link to emotions (fear and anger) and basic motives (hunger and sex)  Amygdala influence aggression and fear Involved in detecting and alert to frightening situation May detect a threatening situation without our conscious knowing Involved in formation of memories with emotion associated with it  Hypothalamus (hypo = below, below thalamus)
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