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NATS 1860 Lecture Notes - Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Corpus Callosum, Electroencephalography

Natural Science
Course Code
NATS 1860
Keith Schneider

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NATS 1860 Note
Review of The Brain
Weighs about 3 lbs.
10 billion neurons
1000- 10,000 synapses each
~100 trillion synapses
100 trillion glial cells
Moore’s Law: Every two years a single computer chip is becoming more
powerful and can hold twice as much information as before.
Knowing Moore’s law can help us predict when computers will be as strong,
or stronger than the humans brain. Will computers be teaching us?
In approximately 2020, your computer will achieve the computational power
of a single human brain (a single thousand dollar computer)
Everything you learn changes your brain structurally no matter what
Cerebral Cortex
- Memory/ pattern recognition, compression and decompression
- 1- 4.5 mm thick
Brain Imaging (Pay special attention to Fig. 5.1- fill in the method)
MEG and ERP can sample information from your brain every millisecond
EEG: you get a fuzzy picture of a brain, you can see very precisely the activity
of the brain and monitor exactly what is going on but you cannot see minor
details. An inconvenience is that a gel must be put on patient’s brain (messes
up their hair, time consuming, etc.)
Spatial Resolution: how small a bit on the bran you can see; How big does the
object have to be before you can see it (examines individual neurons)
EEG: Electroencephalography
The activity of neurons in your brain involves electroencephalography
A very small but detectible electric field can be measured on the surface of
the scalp using sensitive electrodes and amplifiers
Different electrodes can give you different wave forms, electrical oscillations
occur in your brain
Mental processing occurs on the scale of 100 m/s (EEG allows you to almost
see thoughts)
Oscillations: measuring a wave form (plucking a guitar string) specific
frequencies occur that allows the information to be sent regularly
EEG helps you by figuring out how the brain is working and records
information from the cortex
Essentially measures brain activity that we use to analyze/see the brain
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