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Module 6.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 1000
Dan Meegan

Module 6: The Cerebral Cortex and Our Divided Brain The Cerebral Cortex - Older brain networks sustain basic life functions and enable memory, emotions and basic drives - Newer neural networks within cerebrum o Hemispheres contribute to 85% brain weight o For specialized work teams for perceiving, thinking and speaking - Cerebral cortex o Fabric of interconnected neural cells covering cerebral hemispheres o As move up animal life ladder  It expands, tight genetic controls relax and organisms adaptability increases  Able to learn more… Structure of the Cortex - Brain is wrinkled so it takes up less space than if laid flat - Hemispheres filled with axons connecting to other brain regions - Glial cells o Supports, nourishes and protect neurons o Play role in learning and thinking o Provides myelin, guide connections, mop up ions and neurotransmitters o More complex the brain, more glial per neuron  Smarter greater concentration on glial - Each hemisphere divided in 4 lobes o Separated by prominent fissures - Starting at front and moving over the top: - Frontal lobes ( behind forehead) o Speaking and muscle movements o Making plans and judgements - Parietal lobes (at the top and to rear) o Receives sensory input for touch and body position - Occipital lobes (back of head) o Receive information from visual fields - Temporal lobes (above ear) o Auditory area o Receives information from opposite ear Functions of the Cortex - Surgeons found damaged cortical areas of those paralyzed or speechless o Did not prove specific parts control specific things, but entire controls o Damage to any area can have same effect Motor functions - Motor cortex o Area at rear of frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements - Mild electrical stimulation of parts of cortex made parts of body move o Effect opposite side of body Mapping and the Motor Cortex - Brain has no sensory receptors o Able to work on it while awake - Areas with precise control take up greatest amount of space - Doctor able to override patients will with stimulation - Able to predict movements before it happens o Opened research on brain controlled computers Brain-Computer Interfaces - Use brain so paralyzed person could move robotic limb - Monkeys were trained to use joystick for rewarded movements o Programmed a computer to monitor signals and move joystick o Thought movements were able to move cursor to receive reward - Able to record messages from planning and intention part of brain - Man was able to control a tv, draw shapes on computer and play video games Sensory Functions - Sensory cortex o Area at front of parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations - More sensitive the region larger the sensory cortex area - Eye sight is also there o Stimulation could see flashes or colours - Sounds processed by auditory cortex in temporal lobes Association Areas - Areas of cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions o Involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking and speaking  Tasks that make us human o ¾ of brain - Electric probes don’t trigger observable response o Harder to map o Are not dormant - Interpret, integrate, and act on sensory information and link it with stored memories - Found in all lobes o Frontal lobe  Judgement, planning, processing of new memories  Frontal lobe damage  Alter personality and remove inhibitions  Moral judgements unrestrained by normal emotions o Parietal lobes  Enable mathematical and spatial reasoning
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