Lecture 1-4 detailed notes
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Parts of the Brain:
Cerebellum: sensory-motor intergration, ability to balance stand up on 2 legs, manoeuvre
forward, when damaged resemble drunk person in movements, constantly taking sensory
input, stand erect
Medulla: basic life process (heart-rate, breathing), if tumour there: fatal.
Reticular Formation: involved in sleep-wakefulness cycles, if damaged: don’t wake up
most of the human brain
Thalamus: major relay centre particularly in humans and higher mammals because we
have huge neocortex. Info from every sensory parts of the body goes to thalamus and is
relayed to appropriate section of neocortex. Some processing of info occurs but most of it
happens in the cortex.
Hypothalamus: Fun stuff. Keeps species alive. Thirst, hunger, territoriality, sexual
behaviour. 4 F’s. Drugs that feel good stimulates that area.
Limbic system: emotions and emotionality. Almost everyone agrees that the amygdala,
hippocampus, (hypothalamus partially involved), are involved is this system. Allows
animal feel emotion.
Cerebral Cortex: most anterior sector, curves back and looks like it is everything in the
brain. Also known as neo-cortex. Higher brain function. Comprises most of human brain.
Involves in things like speech, reasoning, info processing, planning.
Evolution of our brain: ability to get info from environment important and affects
survival. Those animals that developed nuclei which could process more information
from environment had greater chance of survival (visual) and became larger. This
occurred in the anterior section of the nervous system (bumps). Those organisms that
developed more nuclei survived. We have developed cerebral cortex. We don’t have
larger cortex but based on body weight, we’re 2nd (dolphins are first). Size of structure
directly related to importance of use and function of that particular specie (eg. Rats have
big olfactory bulb because they rely on sense of smell)
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Brain Development: “ontogeny recapulates phylogeny”: what individuals go through is
similar to evolution of its species. For example when humans first conceived, humans
have gills slits, tails, mamillary glands which are all reabsorbed (except mamilary which
retains 2) embroitic fluid resembles sea water.
This is also true for human brain. At 3 weeks, brain is primitive, bumps develop of
nuclei. At 7 weeks, forebrain starting to get larger (rats). At 9 weeks, forebrain is bigger
and folding upon itself. Cerebral cortex starts off development in the anterior but as it
gets bigger pushes back and covers rest of the brain all the way back and curves back.
Covers everything but cerebellum. Since there is no room it starts to fold into itself and
becomes rough (mountains and valleys). Through, development cerebral cortex is new in
evolution. Newer structures both ontogeny and phylogeny, develops in the anterior part
of the brain.
Maclean’s theory: (Maclean’s Triune Theory of Brain Function)
Human brain is made up of 3 basic component of the brain. 3 brains in 1.
1) reptilian brain: oldest, brain stem. Basic things to keep alive was needed and is
still needed way back to the reptiles.
2) Old (paleo) mamallarian brain: limbic systems, added on the ability to emote.
3) neo mammalarian brain: process intellectual
Cerebral cortex has mountains (gyrus) and valleys (sulcus)
Brain doesn’t look connected, right and left hemisphere
Right hemisphere controls left side of body, left hemisphere controls right (everything
2 hemisphere are connected by a broad fibre pathway corpus collosum which connects
similar side of the hemisphere
three main sulci- fissures (when sulci gets big)
1) longitudinal fissure: separates hemispheres, on the bottom is corpus collosum
2) Central sulcus (fissure) : separates anterior and posterior parts of brain
3) Sylvian (lateral) Fissure: separates central parietal lobe
Cerebral cortex divided into 4 lobes
1) Frontal Lobe: (4,6, also known as motor strip which is the pre-central gyrus.)
begins anterior portion of the brain, continues backwards until central sulcus,
controls motor movements. Most anterior portion of frontal lobe is involved in
planning. People without frontal lobe won’t do things that don’t provide instant
gratification. Inhibiting inappropriate behaviour. As you move forward from
primary motor strip, higher function is sub served into the association cortex.
2) Parietal Lobe: (3,1,2 post-central gyrus): starts at central sulcus and moves
backward to occipital lobe. There isn’t a clear boundary between occipital and
parietal lobe. Primary function is somato-sensory input (receives info from the
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