Chapter 2 Textbook

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The Brain: An Overview of Structure and Function
Chapter 2
Structure of the Brain
The Hindbrain and Midbrain
Structures within the hindbrain are the most primitive
Brain stem (medulla, pons, midbrain) 4.4% total weight of the brain
Cerebellum 10.5% of weight
Three major structures:
oMedulla oblongata transmits information from the spinal cord to the brain and
regulates life support functions
oPons neural relay centre and facilitates the crossover of information (left and right),
balance and processing of visual and auditory information
oCerebellum coordination of muscular activity, balance
Lesions can cause irregular and jerky movements, tremors, impairment of
balance and gait
Shift attention between visual and auditory stimuli, rhythm
Midbrain
oInferior and superior colliculi relaying information between brain regions (cerebellum
and forebrain)
oReticular formation helps keep us awake and more alert, sudden arousal to
threat/attention-grabbing stimulus
The Forebrain
ThalamusSwitching station for sensory information; involved in memory
HypothalamusRegulates basic biological functions (hunger, thirst, temperature, sexual arousal), involved
in emotions
HippocampusInvolved in learning, memory (long-term), and emotion
AmygdalaInvolved in memory, emotion, and aggression
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The Brain: An Overview of Structure and Function
Chapter 2
Localization of Function
It is a means of mapping the brain
Franz Gall faculty psychology
oIt is a theory that different mental abilities (reading/computation) are independent and
autonomous functions, carried out in different parts of the brain
oDifferent locations in the brain were associated with faculties such as parental love,
combativeness, secretiveness
Johan Spurzheim (his student) developed phrenology
oProblems included:
The assumption that the size of a portion of the brain corresponded to its relative
power
Different faculties were absolutely independent
We now know that different mental activities interact in different ways
Different configuration of bumps and indentations in a brain does not determine or predict how
an individual will function cognitively or socially
Brocas area brocas nonfluent aphasia person is unable to produce words or speak
fluently
oLeft frontal lobe (inferior, posterior)
Wernickes area fluent aphasia person is able to produce speech, but the content of the
speech makes no sense, impairments in understanding speech
oSuperior posterior region of temporal lobe (left side)
Primary somatosensory cortex
oLocated in the parietal lobe just behind the motor cortex
oIs organized in a way so that each part of it receives information from a specific part of
the body
oSize of the body part does not correlate to a large portion of the brain
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