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NROB60 Study Package: Week 1 Homira Osman Week 1: Lecture May 6, 2008 Lecture Topics Lecture I Readings: Chapter 7: Pages 168 170; Chapter 1: pages 1 - 18 Lecture Summaries [L1] - 7000 years ago, people were doing brain surgery o Evidence suggests that even our prehistoric ancestors appreciated that the brain was vital to life o The archaeological record is rife with examples of hominid skulls, dating back a million years and more, bearing signs of fatal cranial damage, presumably inflicted by other hominids o As early as 7000 years ago, people were boring holes in each others skulls with the aim not to kill but to cure A process called trepanation This procedure may have been used to treat headaches or mental disorders, perhaps by giving the evil spirits an escape route o Recovered writings from the physicians of ancient Egypt, dating back almost 5000 years, indicate that they were well aware of many symptoms of brain damage - Ancient Greeks: The organ of sensation but debate on if it is the seat of intelligence o If you consider the brain as the organ of sensation, then you have reached the same conclusion as several Greek scholars of the fourth century B.C. o The most influential scholar was Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, who stated his belief that the brain not only was involved in sensation but also was the seat of intelligence However, this view was not universally accepted o The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle clung to the belief that ht eheart was the center of intellect o Aristotle reserved the brain as a radiator for the cooling of blood that was overheated by the seething heart o The rational temperament of humans was thus explained by the large cooling capacity of our brain - Roman Empire: Separate functions for cerebrum and cerebellum o The most important figure in Roman medicine was the Greek physician and writer Galen who embraced the Hippocratic view of brain function o As physician to the gladiators, he must have witnessed the unfortunate consequences of spinal and brain injury o However, Galens opinions about the brain probably were influenced more by his many careful animal dissections o Cerebrum In the front Rather soft Recipient of sensations Largely concerned with sensation and perception Repository of memory o Cerebellum In the back Rather hard Command the muscles Primarily a movement control center NROB60 Study Package: Week 1 Homira Osman o Galen recognized to form memories, sensations must be imprinted onto the brain this occurs in the doughy cerebrum o Galen cut open the brain and found that it is hollow In these hollow spaces, called ventricles, there is fluid According to Galen, the body functions as a balance of four vital fluid, or humors Sensations were registered and movements initiated by the movement of humors to or from the brain ventricles via the nerves, which were believed to be hollow tubes, like blood vessels th - Renaissance to 19 century: Mechanistic view and the pineal gland o Galens view of the brain prevailed for almost 1500 years o More details was added to the structure of the brain by the great anatomist Andreas Vesalius during the Renaissance o Ventricular localization of brain function Devices supported the notion that the brain could be machine-like in its function Fluid forced out of the ventricles through the nerves might literally pump you up and cause the movement of the limbs o Rene Descartes proposed that brain mechanisms control human behavior only to the extent that the behavior resembles that of the beasts o Human mental capacities exist outside the brain in the mind o Descartes believed that the mind is a spiritual entity that receives sensations and commands movements by communicating with the machinery of the brain via the pineal gland The pineal gland was the conduit th - 17-18 century: Distinct grey and white matter with functional interpretations o White matter, because it was continuous with the nerves of the body, was correctly believed to contain the fibers that bring information to and from the gray matter - End of 18 thcentury: Complete dissection of the brain lead to CNS and PNS o The nervous system consists of two divisions: CNS & PNS o Nervous system has a central division, consisting of the brain and spinal cord Two parts of the CNS are the brain and the spinal column The brain consists of the cerebellum, the cerebrum, and the brain stem o Nervous system has a peripheral division, consisting of the network of nerves that course through the body The PNS consists of the nerves and nerve cells that lie outside the CNS 31 pairs of nerves leave the spinal cord Each nerve consists of incoming sensory fibers and outgoing motor fibers Fibers divide into spinal roots where they attach to the cord o The same general pattern of bumps (called gyri) and grooves (called sulci and fissures) could be identified on the surface of the brain in every individual NROB60 Study Package: Week 1 Homira Osman o This pattern, which enables the parceling of the cerebrum into lobes, was the basis for speculation that different functions might be localized to the different bumps on the brain - The Lobes of the Cerebrum o Everyone has the same general pattern: o Bumps: gyri o Grooves: sulci & fissures o Used to separate portions of the brain into lobes o Set the stage for Cerebral Localization NROB60 Study Package: Week 1 Homira Osman - Review Thus Far o Injury to the brain can disrupt sensations, movement, and thought and cause death o The brain communicates with the body via the nerves o The brain has different identifiable parts, which probably perform different functions o The brain operates like a machine and follows the laws of nature - Nerves as Wires o Different functions localized to different spinal roots o Started in 1751 In 1751, Benjamin Franklin, published a pamphlet titled Experiments and Observations on Electricity, which heralded a new understanding of electrical phenomena Muscles can be caused to twitch when nerves are stimulated electrically and that the brain itself can generate electricity Nerves are wires that conduct electrical signals to and from the brain Bidirectional communication along the
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