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Physio supp.

The Brain and Behaviour

What is the general trend of cognitive processes as we go up from the brainstem? The functions of brainn structures go from the regulation of basic bodily processes on the lower end to the control of "higher" mental processes toward the top of the brain.
What does the hindbrain consist of? It consist of the cerebellum, the medula and the pons.
Role of medulla Attached to spinal cord (it is above the spinal cord). Controls largely unconscious but vital functions: Circulating blood, breathing, maintaining muscle tone and regulating reflexes.
Role of pons A bridge of fibers that connects the brainstem to the cerebellum. Contains several clusters of cell bodies involved with sleep and arousal.
Role of cerebellum Large, deeply folded structure located next to the back surface of the brainstem. It is critical to the coordination of movement and to balance: organizes the sensory information that guides these movements. Also, attention, planning, visual perception.
What does the midbrain consist of? It is the segment of the brainstem between the hindbrain and the forebrain.
Role of midbrain Contains areas concerned with integrating sensory processses, and dopamine system that is involved with the performance of voluntary movements (substantia nigra?)
Role of reticular formation Fibers running through both the hindbrain and the midbrain. Contributes to modulation of muscle reflexes, breathing and pain perception. It is also involved in regulation of sleep and arousal.
What is the forebrain? Largest and most complex region of the brain, encompassing a variety of structures. Thalamus, hypothalamus and limbic system form the core. Cerebrum is above the core. Cerebral cortex covers them.
Role of thalamus. Contains neurons that send all incoming sensory information except smell to their designated places in the cortex. It also plays an active role in integrating information from various senses.
Role of hypothalamus Structure found near the base of the forebrain. It is involved in the regulation of basic biological needs (4 Fs). It also has neurons that control the autonomic nervous system. It is also a vital link between the brain and the endocrine system.
What is the limbic system? Loosely connected network of structures located along the border between the cerebral cortex and deeper subcortical areas. (limbic means border). It includes the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the amygdala, the olfactory bulb, and the cingulate gyrus.
Role of limbic system It is involved in the regulation of emotion, memory and motivation.
What structures play a role in memory in the limbic system? The hippocampus and adjacent structures: the hippocampal region might be responsible for the consolidation of memories for factual information.
What structures play a role in emotion in the limbic system? The amygdala: perhaps a central role in the learning of fear responses and other emotional responses. Also has many self-stimulation centers around it.
Role of cerebrum Largest and most complex part of the human brain, and thus contains area responsible for the most complex mental activities.
What is the cerebral cortex The folded outer layer of the cerebrum.
What are the cerebral hemispheres? The right and left halves of the cerebrum.
Role of corpus callosum A thick band of fibers in the longitudinal fissure. It is the structure that connects the two cerebral hemispheres.
What is the occipital lobe It is the area at the back of the head. It contains the primary visual cortex.
What is the parietal lobe It is dorsal of the occipital lobe. It contains the primary somatosensory cortex, responsible for registering touch. It is also involved in integrating visual output and monitoring the body's position in space.
What is the temporal lobe (temporal means "near the temples") It is ventral of the parietal lobe. It contains the primary auditory cortex, which is responsible for sound processing.
What is the frontal lobe Largest lobe in the brain. It contains the primary motor cortex, responsible for movement of muscles. It also contains "mirror" neurons.
Role of mirror neurons. Neurons that are activated by performing an action or by seeing someone else perform an action. Their circuits are found in the frontal and parietal lobes. They are involved in acquisition of new motor skills, understanding others' intentions and empathy.
What is the prefrontal cortex The portion of the frontal lobe to the front of the motor cortex. It contributes to an array of higher-order cognitive functions. It might contain an "executive control system" that monitors, organizes, integrates and directs thought processes.
Evidence for plasticity of the brain? 1. Experience can shape features of brain structure. 2. Damage to pathways or tissue can lead to neural reorganization (phantom limbs) 3. Adult brain can generate new neurons (neurogenesis) which contributes to learning
What is hemispheric specialization? The right and left cerebral hemispheres may have specialised abilities.
What is Broca's area? A localised area on the left side of the frontal lobe. It is responsible for production of speech.
What is Wernicke's area? A localised area on the left side of the temporal lobe. It is responsible for the comprehension of language.
Split brain surgery Each hemisphere's primary connections are to the opposite side of the body.
What is the verdict on hemispheric specialization? The two hemispheres are specialised, with each handling certain types of cognitive tasks better than the other. The left is better on verbal processing, while the right is better on nonverbal processing.
What is the endocrine system? A system of glands that secrete chemicals (hormones) into the bloodstream that hep control bodily function.
What are hormones? Chemical substances released by the endocrine glands. They are the neurotransmitters of the endocrine system.
What is the similarity between neurotransmitters and hormones? Hormones are also received by special receptors on target cells. However, they travel at much slower speeds and tend to be less specialised.
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