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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 - The Brain and Consciousness

18 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY100H1
Professor
Michael Inzlicht

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Chapter 4 The Brain and Consciousness
Phrenology principal of functional localization, practice of assessing personality
traits and mental abilities by measuring bumps on the human skull
Equipotentiality concept that all parts of the cortex contributed equally to mental
abilities such as problem solving and memory discredited
Brocas area important for speech and language
What Are the Basic Brain Structures and Their Functions?
The Spinal Cord is Capable of Autonomous Function
Rope of neural tissue that runs inside the hollows of the vertebrate from just above
the pelvis to the base of the skull
Segmented, each segment marked by a pair of spinal nerves which emerge from each
side to communicate with the rest of the body
Composed of two distinct tissue types
Gray matter dominated by cell bodies of neurons
White matter consists mostly of axons and the fatty sheaths which surround them
Besides relaying information, the spinal cord can act on its own
The spinal reflex is one of the simples behaviours; the conversion of sensation into
action by a handful of neurons and the connections between them
Stretch reflex tapping the kneecap tendon with a rubber hammer; functions to
maintain the positions of the joints under varying loads
All muscles have stretch receptors to sense changes in length, which are the
dendritic tips of receptor neurons whose cell bodies are in the spinal cord
Stretching the muscle causes the receptor neurons to fire, which transmit their
signal directly to motor neurons in the spinal cord to contract the muscle
The Brainstem Houses the Basic Programs of Survival
The spinal cord continues up into the base of the skull, thickening and becoming
more complex as it becomes the brainstem
www.notesolution.com
Houses the most basic programs of survival, such as breathing, swallowing,
vomiting, urination, and orgasm
Performs functions for the head like the spinal cord does for the body
Reflexes are housed here, such as gagging
Nerves carry information to and from the skin and muscles of the head as well as
specialized sense organs of the head such as the eyes and ears these nerves have
distinct, dedicated clumps of cells within the brainstem that handle their needs
Stimulating parts of the brainstem electrically can cause an animal to walk, trot,
and gallop
Reticular formation a network of neurons that project up into the cerebral cortex
and affect general arousal; involved in inducing and terminating the different stages
of sleep
Brainstem can be autonomous after the loss of the brain; cats walk around and
direct attacks at noises, eat food; some humans are born without a cerebral cortex
and behave basically and reflexively, but do not survive
The Cerebellum Is Essential for Movement
Large protuberance connected to the back of the brainstem
Identical cellular organization throughout, appears to perform identical operations
on all of its inputs, with different effects resulting from origin and destination
differences
Extremely important for motor function
Damage to nodes at bottom can cause head tilt, balance problems, loss of smooth
compensation of eye position for movement of the head
Damage to ridge up back can affect walking
Damage to bulging lobes on sides causes loss of limb coordination
Important in motor learning
Appears to be trained by the rest of the nervous system and operates independently
and unconsciously
www.notesolution.com
May be involved in making plans, remembering events, using language, and
experiencing emotion, according to functional imaging
May be involved in experiencing empathy
Disorders of the cerebellum have symptoms of ataxia, which involves clumsiness and
loss of motor coordination
Such patients may also be impaired on cognitive tasks and lack of normal emotional
responses
Subcortical Structures Control Basic Drives and Emotions
Above brainstem and cerebellum is the forebrain, with two cerebral hemispheres
Below the cerebral cortex are the subcortical regions
Hypothalamus, thalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, and basal ganglia
Sometimes referred to as part of the limbic (border”) system, separating the
evolutionary older brain stem and cerebellum from the newer cerebral cortex
Important for controlling basic drives (eating and drinking, e.g.) and emotions
Hypothalamus
oMaster regulatory structure of the brain
oRegulates vital functions body temperature, bodily rhythms, blood pressure,
glucose level
oImpels organism by drives such as thirst, hunger, aggression, lust
oReceives input from and directs influence everywhere
oControls pituitary gland, which controls development
oDifferent in men and women because of early exposure to hormones
oMay influence sexual orientation
Thalamus
oInformation must go through thalamus to reach cortex, except for smell
oDuring sleep, it closes the cortex to incoming sensations while the brain rests
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Chapter 4 The Brain and Consciousness Phrenology principal of functional localization, practice of assessing personality traits and mental abilities by measuring bumps on the human skull Equipotentiality concept that all parts of the cortex contributed equally to mental abilities such as problem solving and memory discredited Brocas area important for speech and language What Are the Basic Brain Structures and Their Functions? The Spinal Cord is Capable of Autonomous Function Rope of neural tissue that runs inside the hollows of the vertebrate from just above the pelvis to the base of the skull Segmented, each segment marked by a pair of spinal nerves which emerge from each side to communicate with the rest of the body Composed of two distinct tissue types Gray matter dominated by cell bodies of neurons White matter consists mostly of axons and the fatty sheaths which surround them Besides relaying information, the spinal cord can act on its own The spinal reflex is one of the simples behaviours; the conversion of sensation into action by a handful of neurons and the connections between them Stretch reflex tapping the kneecap tendon with a rubber hammer; functions to maintain the positions of the joints under varying loads All muscles have stretch receptors to sense changes in length, which are the dendritic tips of receptor neurons whose cell bodies are in the spinal cord Stretching the muscle causes the receptor neurons to fire, which transmit their signal directly to motor neurons in the spinal cord to contract the muscle The Brainstem Houses the Basic Programs of Survival The spinal cord continues up into the base of the skull, thickening and becoming more complex as it becomes the brainstem www.notesolution.com Houses the most basic programs of survival, such as breathing, swallowing, vomiting, urination, and orgasm Performs functions for the head like the spinal cord does for the body Reflexes are housed here, such as gagging Nerves carry information to and from the skin and muscles of the head as well as specialized sense organs of the head such as the eyes and ears these nerves have distinct, dedicated clumps of cells within the brainstem that handle their needs Stimulating parts of the brainstem electrically can cause an animal to walk, trot, and gallop Reticular formation a network of neurons that project up into the cerebral cortex and affect general arousal; involved in inducing and terminating the different stages of sleep Brainstem can be autonomous after the loss of the brain; cats walk around and direct attacks at noises, eat food; some humans are born without a cerebral cortex and behave basically and reflexively, but do not survive The Cerebellum Is Essential for Movement Large protuberance connected to the back of the brainstem Identical cellular organization throughout, appears to perform identical operations on all of its inputs, with different effects resulting from origin and destination differences Extremely important for motor function Damage to nodes at bottom can cause head tilt, balance problems, loss of smooth compensation of eye position for movement of the head Damage to ridge up back can affect walking Damage to bulging lobes on sides causes loss of limb coordination Important in motor learning Appears to be trained by the rest of the nervous system and operates independently and unconsciously www.notesolution.com
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