PSYB65H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Homo Habilis, Epigenetics, Homo Sapiens

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22 Jul 2016
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Human Brain and Behaviour
Readings: Chapter 1 Notes
What are the Origins of Brain and Behaviour?
-Neuroscience in the Twenty-First Century:
Why Study Brain and Behaviour?
How the brain produces behaviour is a major unanswered scientific
question
The brain is the most complex living organ on Earth and is found in
many groups of animals
A growing list of behaviour disorders can be explained and treated as
we increase our understanding of the brain
What is the Brain?
Central Nervous System (CNS): made up of the brain and the spinal
cord (which descends from the brainstem through a canal in the
backbone)
Encased in bones, the brain by the skull and the spinal cord by
the backbone or vertebrae
Central because is physically the nervous system’s core and is
also the core structure mediating behaviour
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS): all of the processes radiating out
beyond the brain and spinal cord
Neurons and nerve processes outside CNS, neurons being the
cells that compose the human nervous system and the rest of
the body, controls behaviour
Cerebrum: the forebrain, made up of two hemispheres, responsible
for most of our conscious behaviours
Brainstem: responsible for most of our unconscious behaviours
Cerebellum: a part of the brainstem, responsible for learning and
coordinating our movements, assists the cerebrum in generating
many behaviours
Embodied Behaviour: theory that the movements we make and the
movements we perceive in others are central to communication with
others
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Locked-in Syndrome: condition in which a patient is aware and
awake but cannot move or communicate verbally because of complete
paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles except the eyes
What is Behaviour?
Behaviour consists of patterns in time. –Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt
Patterns made up of movements, vocalizations, or changes in
appearance, such as smiling
Thinking: changes in the brain’s electrical and
biochemical activity
Innate and Learned Behaviours:
A crossbill’s beak is designed to open pine cones, this is
innate
A baby rat must learn from its mother to eat pine cones,
this is learned
-Perspectives on Brain and Behaviour:
Aristotle and Mentalism:
Psyche: synonym for mind, an entity once proposed to be the source
of human behaviour
Mind: memory or psyche, proposed nonmaterial entity responsible
for intelligence, attention, awareness, and consciousness
Mentalism: explanation of behaviour as a function of the
nonmaterial mind
Words created from this derivation origin:
consciousness, sensation, perception, attention,
imagination, emotion, motivation, memory, and volition
Descartes and Dualism: believed that the pineal gland (centre of the brain)
contained the nonmaterial mind and pumped bodily fluids through ventricles
to control behaviour and create action and personality
Dualism: philosophical position that both a nonmaterial mind and a
material body contribute to behaviour
Mind-Body Problem: difficulty of explaining how a nonmaterial mind
and a material body interact
Darwin and Materialism:
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