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Lecture 2

PSY270H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Cerebrum, Parietal Lobe, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY270H5
Professor
Christine Burton
Lecture
2

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Jan 14th 2014 Ch2/3: Cognitive Neuroscience and Perception Week 2
TODAY’S GOAL
Describe structure and function of a neuron
Review major anatomical divisions of the brain
Introduce theories of object recognition
Compare object vs. facial recognition
KEY THEMES OF ANATOMY
1. Structure vs. Function
2. Localization vs. Distributed Processing
THE NEURON
- The range and size of axon varies.
THE SYNAPSE
Electrical signals reaches terminal button,
release neurotransmitters across the synapse.
They neurotransmitters bind to the post synapse.
This causes an excited or inhibitory
action.
Information is conveyed chemically at the
synapse
The majority of neurotransmitters can be
classified into 3 categories:
Amino acids (e.g. GABA-
inhibitory neurotransmitter- ON single; glutamate-
Primary excitatory neurotransmitter- ON single
Monoamine (e.g. DA, NE, 5-
HT)- get the brain ready to response.
Neuropeptides
(enkephalins- stopping feeling of pain; substance
P- signals pain)
NEURONAL COMMUNICATION
Stimulus intensity is represented by the
firing rate of neurons
Soma – cell body, live sustaining
function
Dendrites- receives info.
Axon: info travels down through
action potential
Myelin: insulates the action
potential.
Spontaneous firing
Excitatory activity
inhibitory

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Jan 14th 2014 Ch2/3: Cognitive Neuroscience and Perception Week 2
All cells have some action if they receive
signals or not. There are action potentials
happening even when at rest.
A very strong signal is indicated by a lot of
action potential.
BRAIN IMAGING
Techniques used to investigate structure:
Post-mortem investigation: oldest and only way at one point in time. Wait for
someone to die.
CT: an X-ray of different angles that gives us an image of the brain.
MRI: Much clearer (high spatial resolution) picture than a CT.
Techniques used to investigate function:
Single-cell recording/stimulation/lesions/TMS- exclusively on humans, allows
temp lesion. Handheld device of magnetic devise and it lesions a certain part of
the brain: record activity from an individual brain cell. Insert electrode and record
brain wave. ONLY DONE IN ANIMALS.
EEG- measures the electrical potential of the brain as a whole. / ERP- measure
EEG with an event related change. Looking for when the change occur. Can tell
WHEN the brain is processing, but not WHERE (Spatial resolution) /MEG-
measures magnetic fields. Excellent temporal and spatial resolution
PET: measures blood flow/ metabolic function. Insert radioactive die to enter
blood system. Active part of the brain requires more blood and will show up more
on the scan. Relatively poor spatial and temporal resolution.
FMRI: causes hydrogen to wiggle and you measure the energy produced. Takes
advantages of the fact that oxygenated and deoxygenated have different
residence. Much better spatial than pet but still not good temporal resolution.
When brain activity is measured, it need to be compared to baseline activity.
The subtraction technique used to interpret the results of brain imaging experiments. (a)
Colored area indicates activation when a person is holding a small object. (b) Colored
areas indicate activation when the person begins manipulating the object. (c) Subtracting
the activation in (a) from the activation in (b) indicates the activation due to manipulation
of the object.
BRAIN STRUCTURE & FUNCTION
There are a number of ways we can
discuss brain structure:
Anatomical references
Developmental areas

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Jan 14th 2014 Ch2/3: Cognitive Neuroscience and Perception Week 2
Lobes/gyri/sulci
Brodmann areas
Functional divisions
ANATOMICAL REFERENCES
We describe different parts of the brain
based on directions from the spinal cord.
An imaginary line running down the middle
of the spinal cord is called the midline
Imagine a rat:
ANATOMICAL REFERENCES
The same system applies in humans
THE BRAIN
The brain is divided into sections based on
how it develops
Neurotube
ROM: HIND
MESDEN: MIDBRAIN
PEOSEN: FOREBRAIN.
TELE
DIENCEPHALON
HINDBRAIN: ROMBON
Cerebellum: fine motor control- finger
control or reaching/ posture imbalance-
slight adjustment
Pons: relay station. Conveys between
cerebellum and cerebral.
Medulla: Important for basic life
sustaining system- muscle tone/ cardio
vascular
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