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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Biology of Behaviour

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

Aqdas Qasem Intro to Psychology I Textbook Notes Chapter 4 Biology of Behaviour 2010-10-21 The Brain and its Components (Part 1 page 89) - There are different types of nerve cells, in terms of shape, size, and the kinds of chemicals they produce. - Different parts of the nervous system are responsible for different functions. - Donald Hebb considered how individual nerve cells are organized into larger units, and they units can generate the higher processes of the brain (i.e. memory, thought, and decision making). - Nerve cells of the brain are organized in modules clusters of nerve cells that communicate with each other. - Individual modules do not stand alone, they are connected to other neural circuits, receiving information from some of them, processing this information, and sending the results to other modules. Specific modules have specific functions. Structure of the Nervous System - The brain has three major functions: controlling behaviour, processing and retaining information we receive from the environment, and regulating the bodys physiological processes. - Brain needs to receive information from the bodys sense receptors, and it must be connected with the muscles and glands of the body if it is to affect behaviour and physiological process; the brain cannot act alone. - Nervous system consists of two divisions: - Central Nervous System: which the brain and spinal cord make up. - The spinal cord is a long, thin collection of nerve cells attached to the base of the brain and running the length of the spinal column. - The spinal cord has a circuit of nerve cells that control some reflexes (i.e. moving your hand away when it gets burned). - The central nervous system communicates with the rest of the body through nerves bundles of fibres that transmit information in and out of the central nervous system. - The peripheral nervous system is made up of the nerves that connect the spinal cord to the base of the brain. - Sensory information (about the internal and external environment) is conveyed from sensory organs to the brain and spinal cord. - The cranial nerves send information from the head neck region to the brain. - Sensory information from the rest of the body reaches the spinal cord (and ultimately the brain) through spinal nerves. - These two types of nerves also carry information to the central nervous system. - The human brain has three major parts: brain stem, cerebellum, and the cerebral hemispheres. - The brain stem is one of the primitive regions of the brain, and its functions are correspondingly basic ones: primarily control of physiological functions and automatic behaviours. - The pair of cerebral hemispheres constitutes the largest part of the brain. - This part of the brain contains the part of the brains that evolved most recently and thus are involved in behaviours of particular interest to psychologists. - The cerebellum (attached to the back of the brain stem) looks like a miniature version of the cerebral hemisphere. Its primary function is to control and coordinate movements. - The brain is encased in the skull, and the spinal cord runs through the middle of a column of hollow bones known as vertebrae. www.notesolution.comAqdas Qasem Intro to Psychology I Textbook Notes Chapter 4 Biology of Behaviour - The brain and spinal cord are enclosed by a three-layered set of membranes called meninges (single form is meninx). - The brain and spinal cord float in a clear liquid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). - The liquid fills the space between two of the meninges, therefore providing a liquid cushion surrounding the brain and spinal cord and protecting them from being bruised by the bones that encase them. - Cells of the body receive water and nutrients through capillaries. - In most of the body, the capillaries have openings that let chemicals pass freely from the blood into the surrounding tissues. - The capillaries in the brain do not have these openings for fewer substances can pass from the blood to the brain this barrier of exchange of chemicals is called blood-brain barrier. Its major function is to make it less likely that toxic chemicals found in what we eat or drink can find their way into the brain, where might do damage to the neurons. The barrier is not foolproof; there are many poisons that can affect the brain. - The surface of the cerebral hemisphere is covered by the cerebral cortex consists of a thin layer of tissue approximately 3mm thick and is often referred to as grey matter because of its appearance. - Perceptions take place in the cerebral cortex, memories are store and plans are formulated and executed. - The nerve cells in the cerebral cortex are connected to other parts of the brain by a layer of nerve fibres called white matter because of the white appearance of the substance that insulates them. - The bulges in the brain are called gyri and the large grooves are called fissures. - The gyri and fissures increase the surface area of the brain, allowing there to be more in less. - Peripheral nervous system consists of the nerves that connect the central nervous system (CNS) with sense organs, muscles, and glands. - Sense organs detect change in the environment and send signals via nerves to the CNS. The brain sends signals via nerves to the muscles (causing behaviour) and the glands (producing adjustments in internal physiological processes). Cells of the Nervous System - Neurons (nerve cells) are the elements of the nervous system that bring sensory information to the brain, store memories, reach decisions, and control the activity of the muscles. www.notesolution.com
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