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Ch2 Textbook Notes

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Christine Burton

CHAPTER 2 COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE cognitive neuroscience the study of the physiological basis of cognition Neurons The Building Blocks of the Nervous System The Microstructure of the Brain Neurons19th century anatomists applied special stains to brain tissuesaw a nerve net a continuously interconnected networkstaining techniques and microscopes couldnt see small details thus appeared to be continuousCamillo Golgi developed a staining technique that involved immersing a thin slice of brain tissue in a solution of silver nitrateRamon y Cajal used the Golgi stain and studied tissue from the brains of newborn animals smaller densitysaw that Golgistained cells were individual unitsneuron doctrine idea that individual cells transmit signals in the nervous systembasic parts of a neuroncell body contains mechanisms to keep the cell alivedendrites branch out from the cell body to receive signals from other neuronsaxonnerve fibre transmits signals to other neuronsCajal came to other conclusions about neurons1 there are also neurons that pick up information from the environment2 there is a small gap between the end of the neurons axon and the dendrites or cell body of another neuron the synapse3 neurons form connections only to specific neurons to form neural circuitsThe Signals that Travel in Neurons1920s Edgar Adrian recorded electrical signals from single sensory neurons Method Recording From a Neuronused microelectrodes which were lowered into tissue until the tip of the electrode is positioned near a neuronrecording electrode is connected to a recording device and to a reference electrode which is located outside the tissuemeasured the difference in charge between the recording and reference electrodes displayed on an oscilloscopeaction potential an electrical signal transmitted down the axondoesnt change in strengthintensitythe mechanism by which information is transmitted throughout the nervous systemwhen the signals reach the end of the axon a chemical called a neurotransmitter is released that makes it possible for the signal to be transmitted across the synaptic gapAdrian studied the relation between nerve firing and sensory experience by measuring how the firing of a neuron from a receptor in the skin as more pressure was applied
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