Complete PSYC1020 notes

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Prof John Mc Lean

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PSYC1020 MENTAL PROCESSING Top-down processing/Mental set: What one already knows and what one presently thinks has a direct impact on how you absorb, interpret and act upon new information  We have some degree of control over these voluntary processes  Mondegreen: misperceptions of song lyrics PARADIGMS Paradigm: a perspective, approach or frame of reference in regards to subject matter, methods or concept Biological Subject matter Scientific study of biological basis of behaviour Specific focus Behavioural and cognitive topics Methods Experimental, case study, correlational Language & concepts Biological terms Root metaphor Biological machine Intellectual Neuroanatomy and physiology, behaviourism, cognitive perspectives influences Cognitive Subject matter Scientific study of mental processes (as shown in behaviour) Specific focus Attention, memory, thinking processes Methods Experimental (mostly human) Language & concepts Input, output, codes, memory stores Root metaphor Programmed computer Intellectual Mentalism, Behaviourism, computer science influences Behavioural Subject matter Scientific study of behaviour Specific focus Learning Methods Experimental (mostly animal) Language & concepts Stimulus, response, conditioning, reinforcement, shaping Root metaphor Blank state, lump of clay Intellectual Mentlaism, Darwinian biology influences Psychodynamic Subject matter Study of conscious and unconscious processes as seen in ‘mental illness’ Specific focus Mental illness Methods Case history Language & concepts Ego, Id, Superego, Defence Mechanisms Root metaphor Psychological condition is like mental illness, fluid dynamics Intellectual Philosophy, Victorian culture, Darwinian struggle influences Humanistic Subject matter Study of conscious human experience Specific focus Individual awareness, conscious choices, well-being Methods Case history Language & concepts Personal growth, self-actualisation, awareness, transcendence, human potential Root metaphor Growth Intellectual Behavioural, Existentialism, ‘Eastern’ philosophies influences STRUCTURE OF THE HUMAN BRAIN Multi-layered: youngest (exterior) – oldest (interior) Weighs about 1.36 kg Complexity of brain is related to its organisation rather than size  Intelligence best indexed by the complexity of the cortical bulges (gyri) and indentations (sulci)  Long stretch of fibre in human brain creates more folds Neuroanatomical references Sagittal: lateral view; into left and right down longitudinal fissure (used in MRI) Coronal: from above; into anterior and posterior (front and back) Horizontal: axial slice; into superior and inferior (top and bottom) Basic divisions  Hemispheres are asymmetrical and divided by longitudinal fissure  Hemispheres connected by ‘corpus callosum’ (a bundle of nerve axon fibres) Cyroarchitectonics: division of brain based on differences in structure of stained tissue FUNCTION OF THE HUMAN BRAIN Brodmann’s guess: Structural differences may reflect functional differences Broca’s area: speech production Wernicke’s area: language comprehension Cortexes of the brain Frontal cortex  Located anterior to the central sulcus  ‘Executive functions’  Plays an integral role in: - Reasoning, planning, problem-solving - Parts of speech and movement (motor cortex) - Emotions Phineas Gage: metal pole went through frontal cortex and was physically unaffected but had changed personality completely Cerebral cortex  Outermost layer of grey mater (about 3mm)  Divided into 6 layers  Where most functioning occurs Motor cortex  Located anterior to central sulcus (pre-central gyrus)  Cortical site involved with controlling body movements  Sends signals to other areas of the brain for voluntary movement initiation  Parts of body that require more fine-tuned movement represented more on cortex Somatosensory (parietal) cortex  Located posterior to the central sulcus (post-central gyrus)  Receives signals from other brain regions for sensory perception of stimuli related to touch, pressure, temperature and pain  Involved in spatial awareness  More sensitive areas of body represented more on cortex Occipital (visual) cortex  Located at posterior part of brain  Concerned with many aspects of vision  Processes form  Motion  Orientation  Colour  Dimensions  Integrates into ‘whole’ picture that we see Temporal (auditory) cortex  Inferior to the lateral sulcus  Contains Wernicke’s area  Concerned with perception and recognition of - Auditory stimuli i.e. hearing, sound frequency - Aspects of language i.e. prosody, comprehension - Links to memory Cerebellum  Coordinates movement and balance  Coordinates complex movements (via sensory feedback)  Stores procedural memories (fine motor learning)  More neurons than entire brain The Limbic system Loosely connected network of structures which plays a role in learning, memory and expression of emotion Amygdala  Serves a vital role in processing emotional information, particularly learning of fear responses  Learning and remembering emotionally significant events Hippocampus  Important role in memory, particularly consolidation of new memories  Converting short-term memory into long-term memory  Damage means one may not be able to retain memories Hypothalamus  Helps maintains steady internal state - Regulates body temperature, appetite, sexual behaviour and electrolyte balance Thalmus  Brain’s ‘sensory switchboard’  Relays sensory messages to the cortex Brainstem  Reticular formation - Controls arousal (i.e. alertness, sleep-wake cycle)  Medulla Oblongata - Anatomical functions such as heart rate, breathing, blood pressure Psychopathy and empathy (Meffert, 2013) Psychopaths have ability to feel empathy but also control it  Empathy activated more strongly when instructed to do so CELLULAR ANATOMY OF THE BRAIN Billions of cells (10 ) 2 categories: neurons & glial cells Neurons Responsible for processing information ~100 billion in adult brain  Soma (cell body) – INPUT - Contains nucleus and structures for cell function  Dendrites – INPUT - Unique to neurons - Receives signals - Can contact 100+ other neurons  Axon – CONDUCTING - Unique to neurons - 1 axon per cell - Integrates inputs and decides outputs - Sends signals through nodes of Ranvier  Terminal boutons – OUTPUT - Form synapses with other neurons - Secretes neurotransmitters into synaptic space when reached by an action potential Glial cells Provides physical structure and support for neurons  Astrocytes - Provide structural integrity - Create ‘blood-brain barrier’ by sealing off capillaries - Detect input and regulate neurons accordingly - Nourish neurons by sucking up nutrients from blood stream to neurons  Microglia - Protects brain from invading microorganisms - Engulf and remove dead or damaged neurons - Activated during inflammatory reactions  Oligodendrocytes - Produce fatty substance called myelin which wraps several times around axons - Each can myelinate several axons in the brain Relay race Signals pass across synapse in one direction 1. Electrical potential received at postsynaptic neuron through dendrite 2. Action potential generated at axon hillock and transmitted down axon 3. Neurotransmitters secreted in vesicles and passed to dendrites of next axon 4. Presynaptic neuron conducts signal towards a synapse NEURON COMMUNICATION Electrical signals (long distance within neurons) Chemical signals (short distance between neurons) Membrane potential: difference in electrical charge in cells  Messages transmitted as changes in membrane potential  Channels opened or closed in response to changes in voltage Resting potential: difference in chemical composition inside and outside cell at rest  Result of concentrations of potassium (K+), chloride (Cl-), sodium (Na+) and negative protein ions  Usually -70mV (due to negative ions inside cell)  More potassium inside cell; more sodium outside cell Action potentials Operate on all-or-none principle 1. Regulating ion flow creates a resting membrane potential 2. Excitatory and inhibitory messages from other neurons change resting potential 3. If resting potential exceeds a threshold (~-55mV) action potential is activated 4. Rapid depolarization as sodium ions enter cell 5. Hyperpolarisation returns cell to resting potential following an undershoot 6.
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