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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 - The Brain and Consciousness

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University of Toronto St. George
Michael Inzlicht

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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