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Chapter 4

PSY100 Ch4

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University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

Chapter 4 Epilepsy: debilitating affliction in which seizuresuncontrolled storms of electrical activitybegin in one part of brain and spread through much of it, causing violent, life- threatening convulsions to whole body. Brains most distinguishing capacity: ability to have a sense of consciousness - Egyptians thought mind was in heart. Franz Gall and Johann Spurzheim - theory of phrenology based on principal of functional localization o phrenology: the practice of assessing personality traits and mental abilities by measuring bumps on the human skull - critic of phrenology: Flourens o thought brain worked as single unit equipotentiality: all parts of the cortex contributed equally to mental abilities o today know that its WRONG. Brain is patchwork of highly specialized areas. first strong evidence supporting this: Brocas area the left frontal region of the brain that is crucial to the production of language Mind is adaptive: one of four major themes of textbook. Brains specialized mechanisms regulate breathing, food intake, sexual behavior, and bodily fluids, sensory systems - some basic roles have changed little over evolution, e.g. breathing Spinal cord - runs inside hollows of vertebrae - from just above pelvis to base of skull - segmented, each marked by own pair of spinal nerves - two tissue types: o grey matter, dominated by cell bodies of neurons o white matter, mostly axons and myelin sheaths o distinguishable in brain as well - relays info - also controls o spinal reflex: conversion of sensation to action e.g. stretch reflex Thickens into brainstem - basic roles: breathing, swallowing, vomiting, urination, orgasm. - Because it is a continuation of spinal cord, performs for head similar to what spinal cord does for rest of body o Complement of reflexes analogous to spinal reflexes. E.g. gagging - has nerves connecting to skin and muscles of head and specialized sensory organs of head like eyes and ears. - Includes reticular formation: large network of neurons within brainstem involved in general arousal (behavioral, sleep-wake cycles) Cerebellum - Means little brain - Lesions to different parts produce different effects BUT cellular organization identical o Suggests producing identical operations on all inputs, but effects differ depending on origin, destination of info - MOTOR FUNCTION! o Damage to little nodes at bottom: head tilt, balance problems, loss of smooth eye position for movement of head o Damage to ridge up back: affects walking o Damage to bulging lobes on either side: loss of limb coordination - MOTOR LEARNING o Trained by rest of nervous system, operates independently and unconsciously E.g. riding bike without thinking about it - FUNCTIONAL IMAGING o Cognitive processes o Making plans, remembering events, using language, emotion Empathy - disorders of cerebellum o symptoms of ataxia: clumsiness, loss of motor coordination. o Also showed lack of normal emotional responses, impaired cognition ABOVE cerebellum and brain stem is Forebrain - two cerebral hemispheres o cerebral cortex o subcortical regions hypothalamus thalamus hippocampus amygdale basal ganglia many of these part of limbic systemseparating the evolutionary order (brainstem, cerebellum) and new (cerebral cortex) include basic drives, eating, drinking, emotions Subcortical regions Hypothalamus - master regulatory structure - regulate body temperature, bodily rhythms, blood pressure, glucose level o impel thirst, hunger, aggression, lust - receives input from everywhere, influences directly or indirectly almost everywhere - induces motivational drives - through projections to spinal cord function of internal organs - controls pituitary gland master gland of body controls all other glands governs development, ovulation, lactation etc - governs sexual and reproductive development and behavior - there are clear differences between men and women in hypothalamus DUE TO early hormonal influences during nervous system development - female rats in womb exposed testosterone hypothalamic organization typical of males, female masculinization - difference in structure lead to sexual orientation o anterior hypothalamus only half as large in homosexual men than hetero. Comparable to heterosexual women. Thalamus - gateway to cortex everything goes through thalamus first, then cortex o ONLY EXCEPTION is sense of smell, the oldest and most fundamental of senses, goes directly to cortex - during sleep, shuts gate of incoming sensations while brain rests - plays role in attention Hippocampus - MEMORY - Storage of new memories - Creates new interconnections within cortex with each new experience - Changes in size with increased use - Arrangement of places and objects in space o Taxi drivers in London o Much larger hippocampus than other drivers o Volume of grey matter in hippocampus correlated with years of work experience o Hippocampus increases volume to store more accurate larger spatial networks, thus CHANGES WITH EXPERIENCE Amygdala - in front of hippocampus
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