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Psychology 46-339 Bio and behaviour

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Department
Psychology
Course
46-339
Professor
Blais
Semester
Winter

Description
Unit
6
Notes:

Biology
and
Behavior
 

 The
Nervous
System
 • the
nervous
system
is
divided
into
two
parts
 – the
central
nervous
system
refers
to
the
brain
and
the
spinal
cord
 – the
peripheral
nervous
system
refers
to
the
neural
pathways
going
to
and
coming
from
the
 central
nervous
system
 • sensory
(or
afferent)
neurons
relay
information
from
the
sense
receptors
to
the
spinal
cord
and
 brain
 • motor
(or
efferent)
neurons
relay
information
from
the
central
nervous
system
to
the
muscles
 
 • reflex
arcs
allow
behavior
responses
without
processing
by
the
higher‐order
levels
of
the
brain‐‐ these
are
essential
for
survival
and
allow
for
rapid
motor
responses
 
 • the
peripheral
nervous
system
can
be
divided
into
two
systems
 – the
somatic
nervous
system
is
in
charge
of
voluntary
skeletal
muscles
 – the
autonomic
nervous
system
is
in
charge
of
predominantly
involuntary
smooth
and
cardiac
 muscle
activity
 • this
is
important
for
heart
functioning
and
digestion
 
 • the
autonomic
nervous
system
can
be
divided
into
two
systems
 – the
parasympathetic
nervous
system
is
in
charge
of
the
body
at
rest
(slowing
down
biological
 processes)
and
in
digestion
of
food
 – the
sympathetic
nervous
system
kicks
in
during
times
of
stress,
fear
or
rage‐‐it
controls
our
 “fight
or
flight”
behaviors
 
 • the
dendrites
receive
incoming
information
 • the
cell
body,
which
contains
the
nucleus,
is
called
the
soma‐‐it
is
the
living
part
of
the
neuron
 • the
axon
is
the
long
fiber
over
which
outgoing
messages
travel
The
axon
terminal
buttons
are
the
 transmitters,
sending
information
on
to
the
next
neuron
 • the
space
between
neurons
is
the
synaptic
gap

 • the
synapse
is
made
up
of
the
axon
terminal
buttons
of
one
neuron,
the
synaptic
gap,
and
the
 dendrites
of
the
next
neuron
 
 • there
are
several
neurotransmitters
or
chemicals
released
by
the
synaptic
vesicles
that
travel
 across
the
synaptic
gap
and
affect
adjacent
neurons
 • some
of
these
are

 – dopamine
which
inhibitory
neurochemical
involved
in
Parkinson's
Disease
and
schizophrenia
 – serotonin
which
is
an
inhibitory
neurochemical
involved
in
obsessive‐compulsive
disorder
 (OCD)
as
well
as
sleeping,
arousal,
eating,
mood
and
depression
 
 – acetylcholine
which
is
an
excitatory
neurochemical
involved
in
Alzheimer's
Disease
 – norepinephrine
which
is
an
inhibitory
neurochemical,
involved
in
arousal,
wakefulness,
 leaning,
memory,
depression
and
mania
 
 Old
Methods
of
Brain
Study
 • there
are
several
methods
of
brain
study
which
have
been
conducted
in
the
past,
with
new,
 computerized
studies
rendering
more
accurate
information
 • old
methods
of
brain
study
include:

 – direct
stimulation
(or
microelectrode
method):
part
of
the
brain
is
stimulated
to
see
its
effect

 – evoked
potential:
part
of
the
brain
is
monitored
to
see
if
external
stimuli
change
its
functioning

 – lesioning
(or
ablation):
severing
or
cutting
parts
of
the
brain

 – EEG:
measures
brain
wave
activity‐‐frequently
used
in
dream
research

 
 New
Methods
of
Brain
Study
 • new
methods
of
brain
study
include:

 – MRI
:
magnetic
fields
from
radio
waves

 – PET
:
positron
emission
tomography,
uses
radioactive
material,
good
for
metabolic
activity
of
 the
brain

 – CT
:
uses
X‐rays
to
look
at
soft
tissue

 – SPECT
:
single
proton
emission
computerized
axial
tomography,
traces
blood
flow
in
the
brain

 – SQUID
:
super
conducting
quantum
interference
device,
senses
tiny
changes
in
the
brain's
 magnetic
fields
and
represents
them
in
3‐D,
deals
with
electrical
impulses
from
neural
firing
 

 The
Three
Brains
 • the
brain
can
be
divided
into
three
brains‐‐forebrain,
midbrain
and
hindbrain
 • the
forebrain
includes:

 – hypothalamus:
controls
hunger,
thirst,
sexual

behavior,
body
temperature
and
motivation

 – thalamus:
the
relay
center
for
sense
receptors

 – cerebral
cortex:
higher‐order
thinking
and
language

 – corpus
callosum:
band
of
fibers
that
connects
the

two
hemispheres

 • the
midbrain
includes:

 – reticular
formation
(not
on
diagram):
the
alert
system
of
the
brain

 • the
hindbrain
includes:

 – cerebellum:
controls
balance,
fine
movement
and
muscle
tone

 – pons:
the
sleep‐wake
cycle

 – medulla:
controls
breathing,
heart
rate
and
blood

pressure

 
 • the
brainstem­­the
midbrain
and
hindbrain
combined
that
are
typically
considered
the
most
 primitive
part
of
the
brain
 • phylogeny‐‐the
study
of
the
evolutionary
development
of
humans
 
 • also
listed
on
the
diagram
is
the
limbic
system
which
includes:

 – the
amygdala
is
responsible
for
some
aspect
More Less

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