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Psychology 1000- Chapter 3 Lecture Notes

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Psychology 1000
John Campbell

Psychology 1000 September 18 , 2013 CHAPTER THREE –BIOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF BEHAVIOUR NEURAL BASES OF BEHAVIOUR  Brain is a grapefruit sized, 3 pound mass of tissue made up of neurons.  Neurons are the building blocks of the nervous system.  At birth our brains are made up of about 100 billion neurons. THE BRAIN  Cerebral Cortex: Outermost layer of brain divided into different lobes. - Frontal –complex cognition, motor cortex - Temporal –auditory, language - Occipital –visual - Parietal –sensory stuff PHINEAS GAGE  1848  Damaged ventromedial frontal lobe  Memory and movement intact, could learn new things  But, personality changed dramatically o Modern day Phineas Gage –stayed neutral even though he could grasp the idea of what he was being shown (even for Holocaust pictures). September 23 , 2013 LANGUAGE AREAS OF THE BRAIN  Aphasia –partial or total loss of the ability to communicate. Depending on the location of the damage, the specific issue will differ.  Broca’s Aphasia: words make sense but it is difficult to communicate  Wernicke’s Aphasia: could produce words and sentences but makes no sense HEMISPHERIC LATERALIZATION  Our brains have left and right cerebral hemispheres  Left brain vs. right brain  Lateralization –refers to the relatively greater location of a function in one hemisphere or the other LEFT BRAIN VS. RIGHT BRAIN  Split brain experiment  Cut the bridge between the right and left hemisphere to avoid seizures  He can see what is on the right side and use words to describe it, but he is not able to record what he sees on the left side –no language connection  If he closes his eyes and uses his left hand to draw he can draw what was on the left side NEURONS  Cell body or soma  Dendrites  The axon BUILDING BLOCKS OF NERVOUS SYSTEM  Neurons o Specialized nerve cells o Send/receive nerve impulses o Sensory, motor, interneurons  Glial cells o Hold neurons in place, nutrients, remove waste o Outnumber neurons 1 to 100 ACTIVITY OF NEURONS  Two important actions of neurons 1. They generate electricity that creates nerve impulses 2. They release chemicals that allow them to communication with other neurons and with muscles and with glands NEURAL COMMUNICATION  Is an electrochemical process o Electrically charged particles enter the neuron o Action potential continues down the axon o Chemical molecules (neurotransmitters) exit the terminal buttons and attach themselves FROM ONE NEURON TO THE NEXT  Synapse: o Greek word for “gap” o They sit of adjacent neurons o Synaptic cleft –gap between axon terminal NEURAL PLASTICITY  The ability of neurons to change in structure and function  Brain alterations begin in the womb and continues throughout life 
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