Notes for Lecture on Cognitive Neuroscience

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24 Feb 2011
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HOW TO STUDY THE TEXT
never read a chapter all at once
1 major section at a time (no notes) then think about whats important,
the experiments (& how they provide evidence for what they’re
studying) etc
oTHEN take notes on one major section, then move on to the
nexty.
JANUARY 18th NEURO
NEURONS
Building blocks of the nervous system
NERVOUS SYSTEM controls our mental life, cognitive theories should
be neurally plausible to be useful.
We have approx. 100 billion neurons
Certain activities may increase dendrite growth, increase connections
20-25% of oxygen in body is used by BRAIN!
75% of BRAIN = WATER
COMMUNICATION
You gotta transform energy from outside around us certain internal
signals/messages
Via TRANSDUCTION
Neurotransmitters = messengers. Chemicals that affect the electrical signal
of the receiving neuron
Excitatory: increases CHANCE that neuron will fire
oNorepinephrine: adrenal gland in hormone system blood &
CNS. Stress hormone & lots more
She had a horse who was very anxious
oEndorphins/ endogenous morphine: body’s natural pain-killer
oDopamine: pleasure, parkinsons, schizophrenia
inhibitory: decreases CHANCE neuron will fire
oGABA
DOPAMINE FUNCTION:
Dopamine crosses the gap binds to receptors on postsynaptic cleft, new
electrical impulse is generated, message continues on. Extras go back to
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presynaptic axon terminal & are sucked up by reuptake pump. DO NOT
STAY IN CLEFT
DOPAMINE & CO-CAIIINE
Blocks dopamine reuptake pumps accumulates in synapse intense
pleasure
Adaptation reducing the amt of dopamine produced. Brain abnormalities
can persist long after the person has stopped using cocaine
GABA FUNCTION: decreases neuronal activity
GABA & ALCOHOL: increases the quieting effect you can be made sleepy,
but ALSO respiration heartbeat etc can slow down
COGNITIVE PROCESSES & THE BRAIN
Cognitive processes are signaled by activity in many areas of the brain
CEREBRAL CORTEX:
most highly developed part of the human brain
most info processing in the brain takes place here
lotta people think that CC is what makes us HUMANs different
consciousness & higher thinking
LOCALIZATION OF FUNCTION: diff areas serve diff functions fxn breaks
down in specific ways? Then specific areas of the brain are damaged.
HEMISPHERES: connected by commissures neural fibers connect & allow
communication between left&right lobes. Corpus Callosum = biggest
commissure. Split brain usually severed corpus callosum. Rain Man guy
had severed corpus callosum.
Split brain studies:
SPERRY 1960-1997
oFirst to study w/ PATIENTS found that lobes can fxn
independently
GAZZANIGA (1980s current)
oBelieves 2 lobes function COMPLIMENTARILY even if split
omethodology
LOBES:
Frontal: Reasoning & Planning
oOrganization, multitasking, social activities
oAbilities can be affected by stress, fatigue, sleep, etc.
[central fissure]
Parietal: Touch, Temperature, Pain & Pressure
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