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Chapter 4

PSYA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Cerebellum, Frontal Lobe, Spinal Cord

Course Code
Steve Joordens

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Chapter 4: the Biology of Behaviour
-CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: only brain and spinal chord
short distances, short communication system (synapses)
-SPINAL CHORD: long, thin collection of nerve cells attached to base of brain
and running along length of spinal column
automatic reflexes
-PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: cranial and spinal nerves; that part of the
nervous system peripheral to brain and spinal chord
long distance signals
Thee Major Parts of Brain
-Brain Stem: includes medulla, pons, and midbrain
primarily control physiological functions and automatic behaviours
-Cerebellum: pair of hemispheres resembling cerebral hemispheres but much
smaller, lie beneath them, controls posture and movements, especially rapid ones
-Cerebral Hemispheres: largest part of brain, covered by cerebral cortex and
containing parts of brain that evolved most recently
More Brain Terminology:
-MENINGES: 3-layered set of membranes that enclose the brain and spinal chord
(protection due to pressure of evolution?)
meningitis is inflammation of meninges
-CEREBRAL SPINAL FLUID (CSF): liquid in which brain and spinal chord float,
provides shock-absorbing cushion
brain does not come in direct contact with bones of skull and vertebrae
fills space between meninges, acts as shock absorber
-CEREBRAL CORTEX: outer layer of cerebral hemispheres of brain
-GREY MATTER: abundant in cell bodies of neurons rather than axons
-WHITE MATTER: abundant in axons rather than cell bodies of neurons, colour
derived from presence of axon’s myelin sheaths
-folds in brain increase surface area (fissures, gyrus, sulcus)
Spinal Chord
Central NSPeripheral NS
Brain StemCerebellum Cerebral Hemispheres
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sense organs CNS muscles
NEURONS: nerve cell, consists of cell body with dendrites and axon whose branches end
in terminal buttons that synapse with muscle fibres, gland cells, or other neurons
3 Basic Parts of Neuron:
1. SOMA: cell body, largest part of neuron
2. DENDRITES: tree-like part of neuron which other neurons from synapses
(connections) with
receive messages
3. AXON: long, thin part of neuron attached to soma, divides into branches ending
in terminal buttons
transmit messages
-messages are called ACTION POTENTIALS: abrupt, short-lived reversal in
electrical charge of an axon
-TERMINAL BUTTON: at end of axon, releases transmitter substance
-neurons send messages to other neurons via neurotransmitters or neuromodulators
-TRANSMITTER SUBSTANCE: chemical released by terminal button that causes
postsynaptic neuron to be excited or inhibited
humans have used synthetic versions of these chemicals, sometimes for
recreational purposes or abusive (ex drugs)
Tylenol and Advil: fit into receptor sites of dendrites, block it, so that
you do not feel the pain signal that other neurons are sending
-MYELINE SHEATH: insulation around most large axons, gives white matter its
colour, prevents scrambling of messages and increases speed of action potential
-Synaptic transmission: release of neurotransmitter molecultes from one neuron
which then “fit into” receptor sites on dendrites on other neurons
-some neurons send excitatory or inhibitory signals
-the signals are summed up by the soma of the receiving neuron which “decides
whether to send an action potential or not
-REUPTAKE: transmitter substance released and quickly taken up again by terminal
button of presynaptic neuron
effect of transmitter subst. is short-lived
A Simple Neural Circuit:
Example: Holding hot-pot casserole
(spinal chord)
(connected to muscles)
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