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PSYCH 2H03 (60)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2- The Brain and Cognition.docx

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McMaster University
Judith Shedden

Psych 2H03: Human Learning and Cognition Chapter 2: The Brain and Cognition Trepanning: a surgical process practiced since ancient times in which a hole is made in the skull. Neurons: specialized cells in the brain composed of three parts: (a) a cell body that processes and transmits information; (b) fibres, called dendrites, that conduct input to the cell body; and (c) an axon that conducts electrical activity from the cell body to a junction with other cells, called a synapse. Cortex: the outer surface of the brain, composed of cell bodies and their axons. Synapse: a junction that allows neurons to communicate. Neurotransmitters: packets of chemicals that fill the gaps (synapses) between neurons when an electrical signal is transmitted via the axon. Hindbrain: the bottom (or ventral) portion of the brain, which controls automatic processes that regulate life-support functions, such as breathing, heart rate, swallowing, and sleep cycles. Midbrain: forebrain: the middle portion of the brain, which serves as a relay center for sensory information entering the brain, such as hearing and vision; a bundle of fibres associated with voluntary movement also passes through the midbrain. Hemisphere: split down the middle, from front to back, the brain contains two hemispheres, each serving different cognitive functions. Corpus callosum: the largest of a collection of fibres (commissures) that connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Split brain: a condition that results when one hemisphere of the brain has little knowledge of the signals of the other hemisphere; this occurs when the corpus callosum is not fully developed or has been surgically severed. Localization of function: a hypothesis that different functions of thought were performed in different areas in the brain. Occipital lobe: the area of the cortex that does the complex job of processing signals from the eyes. Parietal lobe: each hemisphere contains one (located above the occipital lobe) that registers sensory experiences such as touch, taste, and sight. Temporal lobes: each hemisphere contains one that processes sound, language, and long-term memory; damage to one does not necessarily produce complete loss of cognitive functioning. Frontal lobes: lobe of the brain that performs many functions, especially those related to memory, problem solving, and communication. Neurogenesis: a process in which brain cells grow new connections, which occurs before birth and throughout life. Neuroimaging: methods that reveal the structure and functioning of the
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