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PSYC 2240
Rebecca Jubis

Chapter 4 Biology of Behaviourhuman brain15 kg contains 10 billion100 billion nerve cells and about as many helper cells nerve cells differ in shape size and chemicals they producenerve cells organized into modules clusters of nerve cells that communicate with each other that are connected through neural circuits to other modules that communicate with each otherPeirre Flourenssuggested different parts of nervous system were responsible for different functions but conflicting evidence nowsome functions more spread outDonald Hebb 50 years agoprovided better understanding by showing that nerve cells are organized into larger unitsfunctioning could be understood by individual cells and larger networks they comprisedStructure of Nervous Systembraincontrols behaviour processes and retains information we receive from environment and regulates bodys physiological processesreceives information from bodys sensory receptors and is connected with muscles and glands of body nervous system consists of two divisions central nervous systembrain and spinal cordspinal cordlong thin collection of nerve cells attached to base of brain and running length of spinal collumncontains circuits of nerve cells that control some simple reflexes pulling away from hotcommunicates with rest of body through nerves nervesbundle of nerve fibers that transmit information netween CNS and bodys sense organs muscles and glandsattached to spinal cord and base of brain peripheral nervous systemcranial and spinal nerves that part of the nervouse system peripheral to brain and spinal cordconsists of nerves that connect central nervous system with sense organs muscles and glandshuman brain has 3 major parts brain stem cerebellum cerbral hemispherelower part of cerebellum and brain stem projects beneath left cerebral hemisphereupper part is normally hidden see fig 43Brain stemmost primitive regions of brain and its functions are basic onescontrol of physiological functioning and automatic behaviour amphibeans have brain stem and simple cerebellumcerebral hemispheresconstitue large portion of brain contains parts of brain that evolved most recently involved in behaviours of particular interest to psychologycerebellumattached to bain of brain looks like miniature version of cerebral hemispheresfunctions are control and coordination of posture and movement especially rapid onesbrain is encased in skull and spinal cord runs through middle of hollow bones vertebra vertebral columnboth brain and spinal cord are enclosed in 3 layered set of membrane called meninges float in clear liquid called cerebrospianl fluid CSFfills between 2 meninges providing cushioningcerebral cortexouter layer of cerebral hemisphere of brain approxiamtely 3 mm thickoften referred to as grey mattercontains billions of nerve cells abundant in nerve cell bodies rather than axonswhere perceptions take placememories are stored plans are formulated and executednerve cells in cerebral cortex are connected to other parts of brain by layer of nerve fibres called white matter shiny white appearance of substance that coats and insulates axons that travel trough area axons myelin sheathvery wrinkled appearancefull of bulges seperated by groovesbulgesgyrigroovesfissuresthey expand amount of surface are of cortex and greatly increase number of nerve cellsmore complex the brain larger cortexPeripheral nervous systemconsists of nerves that connect central nervous system with sense organs muscles and glandsnerves carry incoming and outgoing informationsense organs detect changes in environment and send signals throughnerves to central nervous system brain sends signals trhough nerves to muscles causing behaviour and glands producing adjustments in internal physiological processesnervesbundles of many thousands of individual fibres all wrapped in tough protective membrane look like table clothesnerve fibres transmit message through nerve from sense organ to brain or from brain to muscleglandthese make up white matter and other axon tractssome attached to spinal cord and others to brainspinal nervesbundle of nerve fibres attached to spinal cord conveys sensory information from body and carries mesages to muscles and glandscranial nerves12 pairs attached to base of brain conveys sensory information from face and head and carries messages to muscles and glandsCells of Nervous SystemNeuronsnerve cell consists of cell body with dentrites and an axon whose branches end in terminal bittons that synaps to muscle fibres gland cells or other neuronselements of nervous system that bring sensory information to brain store memories reach decisions control activity of musclesassisted by gliaGlial cellscell of central nervous system that provides support for neruons
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