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Chapter 3

BB H 432 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Connectionism, Basal Ganglia, Peripheral Nervous System

Biobehavioral Health
Course Code
BB H 432
Idan Shalev

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BBH 432: Thought Question (1) Reading Notes
I. The Nervous System
A. Stress and emotional reactions are intimately tied to physiological processes.
B. Nervous system is divided into 2 branches: ๎€CNS and PNS
1. Central Nervous System
a) Includes the brain and spinal cord
2. Peripheral Nervous System
a) Includes all other other neural pathways and is divided into 2 main
branches: ๎€somatic and autonomic
b) Somatic : ๎€Innervates (supplies nerves to) the ๎€voluntary ๎€muscles of
the body๎€ (like the muscles on the arm).
c) Autonomic: ๎€Innervates the ๎€organ systems of the body๎€, the
(1) Has two main branches: ๎€sympathetic and
(2) Sympathetic:๎€ โ€œFight or flightโ€; Spinal nerves include the
thoracic and lumbar regions of the spinal column.
(3) Parasympathetic: ๎€Relaxation and restoration; dampens
your arousal once you realize there is no threat. Spinal
nerves include ๎€the cranial and sacral regions.
(4) Enteric Nervous System๎€ : ๎€Innervates the organs of
II. Central Nervous System (Print Picture)
A. Divided into the ๎€spinal cord๎€ and four major regions of the brain: ๎€the brain stem,
cerebellum, diencephalon (between brain), and cerebral hemispheres.
1. The brainstem can be divided into the ๎€medulla, pons, and midbrain.
2. The diencephalon is subdivided into the ๎€thalamus and hypothalamus.
3. The cerebral hemispheres are divided into ๎€the neocortex (cerebral
cortex) and then basal ganglia, amygdala, and hippocampus.
B. The ๎€reticular formation and the limbic system๎€ ๎€are tied into the fight or flight
1. The ๎€RF ๎€consists of ๎€nuclei (cluster of neurons) ๎€that run like a cable of
fibers from the middle of the brain stem upward into the ๎€thalamus and
2. The ๎€limbic system ๎€consists of ๎€deep structure midline areas of the brain
and includes the hypothalamus, and parts of the cerebral hemisphere.

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C. The brain has more than one functional region or pathway to achieve its ends.
This is known as ๎€parallel distributed processing ๎€and is adaptive for survival.
D. The Brain Stem
1. The ๎€brainstem ๎€is responsible for many of the ๎€vegetative functions of the
body (๎€heartbeat, respiration, etc.)
and consists of:
a) The medulla oblongata๎€ ๎€(directly above spinal cord)
(1) Contains vital life support centers that control autonomic
processes such as heart rate, BP, respiration, digestion.
b) Pons๎€ ๎€(sits above the medulla)
(1) TRANSMITS information regarding the bodyโ€™s movements
from the cerebral hemisphere to area of the brain that
coordinates movement, the cerebellum.
(2) Structures related to sleep and respiration.
c) Midbrain๎€ ๎€(towards the head end to the pons)
(1) Controls and coordinates many sensory and motor
activities such as the auditory and visual systems as well as
voluntary movement.
d) Substantia Nigra
(1) Transmits information to the basal ganglia, necessary for
regulating voluntary motor movement.
(2) Unique in that it contains 3 of the brainโ€™s four major
dopaminergic tracts. Use of dopamine contrasts with
(a) Dopamine ๎€is important for regulating movement,
and feel good mood.
E. The Diencephalon
1. The ๎€diencephalon ๎€region of the brain lies above the midbrain and
contains the brain structures called the ๎€thalamus and hypothalamus.
a) Thalamus ๎€(๎€in the brainโ€™s central region)
(1) An important sensory relay station that
from the sense organs to the
(higher cortical
regions of the brain associated with consciousness).
(2) When the thalamus opens its gates by increasing the
to noise ratio
(amplifying the signal to make it stand out
against background noise),
signal sensory information
reaches conscious awareness in the higher center of the
brain called the
(a) For example, when you heard the bang, you
thalamus opened its gate to allow the sound to

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travel to your neocortex and wake you up in the
presence of a potential threat. Also blocks out
irrelevant sounds.
(3) Sensory projection system:๎€ ๎€the circuit from a sense organ
moving through the thalamus to its specific region in the
neocortex responsible for the experience of sensation.
b) Hypothalamus ๎€(sits below the thalamus)
(1) Consists of powerful nuclei that regulate, control, or are
involved with most of the bodyโ€™s central and autonomic
nervous system activities during the fight or flight reaction.
(2) The center becomes activated once you become consciously
aware of the potential threat.
(3) Exerts
direct control
over fight or flight activities during
stress through influencing the brain stem to
sympathetic responses of the viscera.
It exerts
through its connection to the master gland,
pituitary gland,
to stimulate the endocrine system to
facilitate a wide range of fight or flight responses.
(4) Involved in
normal homeostatic regulation of the bodyโ€™s
autonomic systems
through its influence over the brain
(5) Influences the
hormonal systems
through its neural
connections with the
posterior pituitary gland
and through
its use of biochemical peptide messengers (releasing
factors), to stimulate the anterior pituitary gland.
(6) Involved in the major motivational systems that we find
(7) Influences bodyโ€™s rate of metabolism and circadian rhythm.
(8) Influences some of the skeletal motor function.
F. The Cerebral Hemisphere
1. The two cerebral hemispheres are connected by the ๎€corpus callosum
consists of ๎€the neocortex, the white matter beneath it as well as the
basal ganglia, the amygdala, and the hippocampus.
a) The six layered ๎€neocortex๎€ ๎€ is the highest center in the brain.
Cortex ๎€means โ€œbarkโ€, and refers to the outside covering of the
(1) This outside covering of the neocortex gray matter is
characterized by the wrinkles known as
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