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Chapter 3

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Psychology 1000
John Campbell

Psychology 1000 Lecture 5 & 6 Monday September 23, 2013 Chapter 3 Hemispheric Lateralization  Our brains have left and right cerebral hemispheres  Left brain vs right brain  Lateralization: refers to the relatively greater location of a function in one hemisphere or the other  corpus callosum connects left and right side of brain   Dendrites: act like antennas that collect messages from other neurons  Axon: covered by myelin sheath conducts electrical impulses from the cell body Building blocks of the nervous system  Neurons  Specialized nerve cells  Send/receive nerve impulses  Hold neurons in place, nutrient, remove waste  Outnumber neurons 0-1  Sensory, motor, interneurons Activity of neurons  Two important actions of neurons o They generate electricity that creates nerve impulses o They release chemicals that allow them to communicate with other neurons and with muscles and with glands Neural communication  Is an electrochemical process o Electricity charged particles enter the neuron o Action potential continues down the axon o Chemical molecules (neurotransmitters) exit the terminal buttons and attach themselves to the adjacent dendrites From one neuron to the next  Synapse Greek word for “gap”  The site of the adjacent neurons  Synaptic cleft: gap between axon terminal and dendrite Neural Plasticity  The ability of neurons to change in structure and function  Brain alterations begin in the womb and continue throughout life  Impacted by: o Genetic factors o Environment Neural plasticity and recovering from injury  If brain tissue is destroyed, other neurons must take over the functions of the lost or dead neurons in order for recovery to occur  Ex: text of jimmy and his great grandfather Platicity of recovery  1 to 2 year olds have 50% more synapses then a mature adult  Greater number of synapses results in quicker Quick Question  Do you associate moths with space near you ? SYNESTHETE  Do certain words trigger a taste in your mouth? SYNESTHETE Synesthesia  A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation or another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a colour  People can say anything (a=blue), so how can we know if they really see numbers as colours  One possible explanation is cross connections of the senses at neural level o As child develops with senses
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