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PSYC 221
Thomas Spalek

PSYC 221 FINAL EXAM REVIEW CHAPTER 2; p. 52-74 Dissociation – a disruption of one component of mental functioning but no impairment of another Double Dissociation – two patients show opposite patterns of disruption and preserved function - Further evidence suggests that the cognitive processes are anatomically and functionally separate Association – disruption of one of the processes always accompanies a disruption in the other process Cognitive neuropsychology – analysis of those handicaps in human cognitive function that result from brain injury Basic Neurology (p. 54) Neuron – cell specialized in receiving and sending neural impulses - The basic building block of the nervous system - Process: neuron releases a chemical substance, a neurotransmitter, from small buttons or sacs in the axon terminals  this chemical fits into the dendrites of the next neuron and creates an effect Parts of a Neuron - Dendrites – input structure: takes in the message being passed along a neural tract o Small branchlike fingers - Soma – where the biological activity of the cell is regulated o Cell body; the central portion of each neuron - Axon terminals – output structure: place where the neural impulse ends in the neuron itself o Also called terminal arborizations Receptor Cells – react to the physical stimulus - Trigger a pattern of firing down a sequence of sensory neurons Sensory Neurons – pass the message along into the spinal cord - Two different routes to the spinal cord o Message quickly loops through the spinal cord and goes back out into the muscles (reflex; Figure 2-6 on the right) o Second route involves only the central nervous system, the spinal cord and the brain Synapses – region where the axon terminals of one neuron and the dendrites of another neuron come together - Extremely small physical gaps between the neurons - As a verb: a neuron is said to synapse on another, meaning that it passes its message on to the other neuron Convergence – many different neurons synapsing on a single destination neuron The two effects 1. Type I neuron – excitatory effect o Tends to activate or fire the neuron on which it synapses 2. Type II neuron – inhibitory effect o Prevents the firing of the neuron on which it synapses Neurotransmitters - Acetylcholine and norepinepherine seem to have major influences on cognitive systems such as learning and memory - Decreased levels of acetylcholine found in brains with dementia  Could be a side effect of the disease instead of a - Very low levels of acetylcholine associated with dementia Brain Anatomy (p. 57) - “Old brain” or brain stem – governs basic primitive functions (i.e. breathing, digestion, etc) - Neocortex or cerebral cortex – top layer of the brain o Responsible for higher-level mental processes - Frontal Lobe, Parietal Lobe, Occipital Lobe, Temporal Lobe - Subcortical structures (p.59) o Thalamus -- almost all messages entering the cortex come through the thalamus  Major relay station from sensory stations into the cortex o Corpus callosum – connects the left and right hemisphere of the brain o Hippocampus – involved in memory forming, organizing, and storing Principles of Functioning (p.60) Cell assembly – group of neurons that, through repeated excitation, has become functionally organized into a circuit that provides a neural basis for perception, learning and thinking Hebb’s Neuropsychological Theory (p.60) the three proposals in Hebb’s theory… 1. When the axon of cell A is near enough to excite cell B and repeatedly and persistently firing it, a change takes place such that A’s efficiency, as one of the cells firing B, is increased 2. Groups of neurons that tend to fire together form a cell assembly whose activity persist after the
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