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NATS 1860- T2P2L1.docx

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Natural Science
NATS 1860
Keith Schneider

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 activity  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  Advantages: very good temporal resolution  Disadvantages: limited spatial resolution: difficult to accurately localize the source of the measured signal. MEG  Advantages: very good temporal resolution, improved set up time and subject comfort compared to EEG, degradation of signal due to scalp, skill, etc., than EEG. Optical Imaging  Directly view the surface of the cortex using a video camera  Intrinsic activity (blood related) can be measured  Electrical activity can also be measured by using a voltage- sensitive dye  In a mouse: Mouse is all about the whickers (most sensitive). Each whisker has an according brain stimulant. Hole in mouse’s scalp and you can see through the barrel cortex at high resolutions how its whisker cortex is replying to running around. The dye would be injected into the mouse’s blood.  Advantages: very good temporal and spatial resolution, allows measurement and comparisons of both intrinsic and electrical activity  Disadvantages: very invasing, requires viewing access to the surface of the brain, confined to the surface of the brain Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)  Good for soft tissue damage or scanning of the brain  Look at anatomy, measure cortical thickness, VBM (population of people brain and morph them together in studies, examines how peoples brains are different, what is more developed in certain people)  Cerebral cortex is lighter, axons are darker, black is blood vessels  Corpus callosum can be different shapes and sizes, everyone has the same stuff I their brain, yet everything is di
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