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PSYB57H3 (366)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2

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Gabriela Ilie

Chapter 2 • It was initially believed that cognitive processes and structures were best described at the level of abstraction above the neural level. o Studying neurons does not provide useful explanations in terms of theory like memory storage does.  Development of different levels of explanation – symbolic and abstract. • Which level is most useful for understanding and study is debated – need to understand how brain develops and functions. • Developing and applying methods of inquiry can conclusively link cognitive processes to underlying neural activity o Understanding of how cognitive operations arise from neural activity is main goal of neuroscience o Related goal is to determine cognitive functions affected by damage to certain brain structures and whether it is possible to recover following. • Most brain growth happens around 4 years old, and maxes out at 20 years old Structure of the brain • Four structures of the brain: hindbrain, midbrain, forebrain • Cerebral cortex: forebrain Hindbrain • Hindbrain: One of three bulges on the neural tube. • Most primitive structure evolutionarily • Brain stem: medulla and pons • 3 major structure o Medulla oblongata: transmits information from spinal cord to brain and regulate life support functions such as respiration, blood pressure, coughing, sneezing, vomiting, and heart rate. o Pons: neural relay centre; crossover of information from left side body to right side brain and vice versa. Also implicated in balance and visual and auditory information o Cerebellum: coordinate muscular activity. Governs balance and coordination in motor behaviour  Lesions in cerebellum can cause jerky movements, tremors, and impaired balance and gait.  Also problems in attention in visual and auditory stimuli and dealing with rhythm. Midbrain • Midbrain: Inferior and superior colliculi relay information between brain regions and are located in the middle. • Reticular formation: wake and alertness Forebrain • Thalamus: switching station for sensory information; memory • Hypothalamus: controls pituitary gland by releasing hormones that regulate other glands in the body (homeostatic behaviour) • Hippocampus: involved in learning, memry and emotion – long term memory • Amygdala: memory, emotion, aggression – emotional learning • Cerebrum: largest structure in brain o Cerebral cortex: half dozen layers of neurons with white matter to carry information between cortex and thalamus o Four lobes: frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal o Left and right are connected by the corpus callosum (fpo) o Temporal lobe is connected by anterior commisure o Central sulcus divided frontal and parietal lobes o Lateral sulcus define the temporal lobe o Each lobe has two sides (left and right) o Parietal lobe: somatosensory cortex, processes sensory information from the body – pain, pressure, touch, temperature o Occipital lobe: visual information o Temporal lobe: auditory information, and perceive faces  Affected by amygdale and hippocampus (memory) o Front lobe has 3 regions  Motor cortex: fine motor movement  Premootor cortex: coordinate motor cortex  Prefrontal cortex: executive functioning – making decisions, planning, strategies, and inhibiting inappropriate behaviours, process information • Dmg can result in change in personality, mood, and ability to control behaviours • Last part of brain to mature and first to deteriorate Localization of function • Means of mapping out the brain • Franz Gall: faculty psychology: theory that different mental abilities were independent and autonomous functions carried out by different parts of the brain. • Johan Spurzheim: phrenology: psychological strengths and weaknesses can be correlated to relative sizes of different brain areas o Problem with phrenology:  Size of portion is relative to its power  Faculties were independent (they are not) • Aphasia: disruption of expressive language (Broca’s area, left frontal lobe – posterior and inferior region) • Wernicke’s area (superior posterior region of temporal lobe) – can produce speech but makes no sense – also impaired understanding of speech. • Double disassociations: Impaired A is not necessary impaired B in area X and vice versa. • Primary somatosensory cortex: organized to receive input from a specific part of the body: size of real estate on the PSC is not relative to corresponding region. • Penfield: first maps for cognitive functions such as smelling, motor, speaking, etc. • Lashley: impairment related to amount of cortex removed, and not specific area. o Brain is dynamic – complex f
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