PSYC1110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 22: Postcentral Gyrus, Visual Cortex, Occipital Lobe

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1. Cell Body- The Cell Body, also referred to as the soma, contains a neuron's nucleus. The
cell body is the round end of the neuron where dendrites branch off from. As the
metabolic center of the neuron, it controls the cell’s key processes for survival. Along
with the nucleus, the cell body contains many other organelles common to all living cells,
such as ribosomes and mitochondria, contained within a fluid called cytoplasm. (G, H&H;
Wiki; WB; Nagel, S. M., & Grant, L. K. (2008, March 17). Introductory Biological
Psychology Tutorials. Retrieved from
https://psych.athabascau.ca/html/Psych289/Biotutorials/)
2. Dendrite- Dendrites are the short branch like structures protruding from the cell body.
These function as the major signal receiving area of the neuron. The structure of
dendrites increase surface area, thus increasing receptivity of the neuron. The surface of
the dendrite is covered in junctions that allow the reception of incoming information in
the form of chemical signals from neighboring neurons. (G, H&H; Wiki; WB; Nagel, S.
M., & Grant, L. K. (2008, March 17). Introductory Biological Psychology Tutorials.
Retrieved from https://psych.athabascau.ca/html/Psych289/Biotutorials/)
3. Axon- The axon, also referred to as the nerve fibre, is a long and slender fiber which
extends out of the cell body. The role of the axon is to carry information, in the form of
electrical impulses, away from the cell body to other neuron’s synaptic areas. Axons can
vary in length, from millimeters to a meter long. An axon is protoplasmic protrusion that
differ from dendrites in size, length, and function. (G, H&H; Wiki; WB; Nagel, S. M., &
Grant, L. K. (2008, March 17). Introductory Biological Psychology Tutorials. Retrieved
from https://psych.athabascau.ca/html/Psych289/Biotutorials/)
4. Axon Branches- The branches that occur at the end of an axon before the terminal
buttons. These carry electrical signals to the very end of the neuron, at the synapse,
where the branch interact with surrounding cells, sending information to the dendrites of
other neurons. Most axons have at least one axon branch, and some even have
hundreds. (Wiki; What Is An Axon Branch. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-axon-branch.htm)
5. Buttons- Terminal buttons are small button-like structures that occur at the end of the
axon branch and form presynaptic neurons of the synapse. These send information to
dendrites of postsynaptic neurons in the form of chemicals known as neurotransmitters
carried in vesicles which bind to the presynaptic membrane and are released. This is the
site where the most information is sent to other neurons. Mitocondria are plentiful in this
region due to the huge amount of energy used to release the neurotransmitters. (G,
H&H; Wiki; WB; Nagel, S. M., & Grant, L. K. (2008, March 17). Introductory Biological
Psychology Tutorials. Retrieved from
https://psych.athabascau.ca/html/Psych289/Biotutorials/)
6. Synapse- The synapse is where the chemical communication between different neurons
occur, between the axon/terminal buttons and dendrites. There are three parts of the
synapse, the presynaptic membrane of the buttons, the postsynaptic membrane of the
dendrite, and the synaptic cleft, the space between the two other structures. These are
mostly found on dendrites and the soma, but can be located on other parts of the
neurons also. (G, H&H; Wiki; WB; Nagel, S. M., & Grant, L. K. (2008, March 17).
Introductory Biological Psychology Tutorials. Retrieved from
https://psych.athabascau.ca/html/Psych289/Biotutorials/)
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7. Dendrite Receptive Area- The combination of dendrites and cell body is the dendrite
receptive area. This is where the neuron receives the most synaptic input, and dendritic
development dictate the pattern and the number of synapses received by the neuron.
Dendritic development is locally regulated by the synaptic activity and communication
amongst other neurons. (WB; McAllister, K.A. (2000) Cellular and Molecular
Mechanisms of Dendrite Growth. Cereb. Cortex, 10(10), 963-973. Retrieved from
http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/content/10/10/963.full#cited-by)
8. Axon Hillock- The connecting, cone shape area of the axon and the cell body. This is the
site of summation of EPSPs (excitatory postsynaptic potentials) and IPSPs (Inhibitory
postsynaptic potentials), determining whether or not an action potential will be initiated.
When excitation levels outweigh the inhibitory levels, the sufficient amount being called
the threshold of excitation, action potential is produced. (G, H&H; Wiki; WB; Nagel, S.
M., & Grant, L. K. (2008, March 17). Introductory Biological Psychology Tutorials.
Retrieved from https://psych.athabascau.ca/html/Psych289/Biotutorials/)
9. Frontal Lobes- The frontal lobes are one of the four major lobes of the cerebral cortex,
located in the two regions of the cerebral hemispheres that are anterior to the central
fissures. This part of the brain contains most of the dopamine sensitive neurons, which
associate this area with executive functions, reward, motivation, planning, attention, and
short term memory. The rearmost part is called the primary motor cortex, which
functioning is split down the middle. (G, H&H; Wiki; WB)
10. Parietal Lobes- The parietal lobes are involved in touch and attention. Divided down the
middle, the processing of touch on the right side of the body is received by the left side
of the brain and vice versa. The information is sent to the primary somatosensory cortex,
located inside the parietal lobe as a strip in the front of the lobe. The parietal lobe is also
important in the processing of languages, two point discrimination, and graphesthesia.
(G, H&H; Wiki; WB)
11. Occipital Lobes- The occipital lobes are located in the back of the head, the posterior
pole of each hemisphere.The paired occipital lobes are the smallest of the four lobes of
the cerebral hemisphere. Known as the visual processing center of the mammalian
brain, they are devoted almost exclusively to vision. Visual information is processed in a
way that preserves spatial relationships in the primary visual cortex. (G, H&H; Wiki; WB)
12. Temporal Lobes- Inferior to the lateral fissures, the temporal lobe contains is two regions
of the cerebral hemisphere, one lobe located in each hemisphere. The temporal lobe
consists of the primary auditory cortex, specialized visual areas, the hippocampus, and
the amygdala. The fusiform face area, an area of the temporal lobe which intersects
occipital lobe, becomes much more active when viewing faces rather than objects. (G,
H&H; Wiki; WB)
13. Primary Motor Cortex- The primary frontal cortex is located is the dorsal region of the
frontal lobe, or the precentral gyrus of the frontal lobes. This area of the brain is
anatomically defined as containing Betz cells, or large neurons that send long axons
down the spinal cord to move the body’s muscles. The left hemisphere controls the right
side of the body, while the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body. (G, H&H;
Wiki; WB)
14. Primary Somatosensory Cortex- The Primary Somatosensory cortex is a strip in the front
part of the parietal lobe. This part of the brain processes and produces sensations of
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