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The Brain and Behaviour

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Tamara Smith Jones

on 30 April 2016

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Transcript of The Brain and Behaviour

The Hierarchical Brain:

Are Mental Abnormalities Caused by Genetic or Environmental Factors?
Why study brain function?
Three major subdivisions
Nature Vs. Nurture
Evolutionary theory
The Hindbrain
The Midbrain
The Forebrain

The Cerebellum
‘a disorder in children who, despite conventional classroom experience, fail to attain the language skills of reading, writing and spelling commensurate with their intellectual abilities’

Struggle with skill automatisation,
time estimation, balance, and
demonstrate classic cerebellar
signs of dystonia

The Thalamus
Located above the Midbrain
Between both cerebral hemispheres
Highly confusing world
No single symptom
Andreason et al. (1994)
MRI scans
47 'healthy' males and 39 schizophrenic males
Decrease in thalamus size
Cause and Effect
Schizophrenia cause decrease
Thalamus size cause schizophrenia
Environmental influence
May have to screen capture the ref. it won't let me paste it in, it wither has to be all italics or all normal :/
Twin Studies (Gottesman and Shields, 1972)
Genetic factor
Concordance rate of schizophrenia
DZ twins: 9%
MZ twins: 42%
Concordance not 100%
Little brain
Muscular movement,learning & memory
Timing and coordination of movement
Social stresses,
(Howes et al., 2004)
More than genetic
Drug use and social adversity
Trigger is needed
Environmental explanation
Heston (1966)
Eliminate environmental factors
Adoption study
Different environments
1% prevalence
10 times more likely
Not just genetic or environmental
Cause and effect
Environmental trigger
Nature/nurture interaction
Final conclusions
Interaction of both?
Developmental dyslexia: the cerebellar deficit hypothesis
Roderick I. Nicolson, Angela J. Fawcett
and Paul Dean (2001)
Subjects learned a sequence of eight button presses by trial and error using a four-key response board

Dyslexic subjects show less activity in the cerebellum than control subjects
Laboratory studies
Cause and effect
Contradictory theories and research
Impairment in the representation, storage and/or retrieval of speech sounds
Ramus et al. (2003): little evidence for motor impairments having a cerebellar origin
Supports phonological deficit theory
Phonological Deficit Theory
Samuelson and Lundberg (2003): 17- 26 percent of the variance in reading skills were accounted for by environmental factors.
But... phonological deficits are the core component in defining dyslexia.
Environmental Factors
Nature versus Nurture
Cause and effec
Andreasen, N. C., Arndt, S., Swayze II, V., Cizadlo, T., Flaum, M., O’Leary, D., Ehrhardt, J. C.,
Yuh, W, T, C., (1994). Thalamic Abnormalities in Schizophrenia Visualized Through Magnetic Resonance Image Averaging. Science. 266, 294-298

Firestone, J., Smith-Weller, T., Franklin, G., Swanson, P., Longstreth, W., & Checkoway, H.
(2005). Pesticides and Risk of Parkinson Disease. Archives Of Neurology, 62(1), 91. doi:10.1001/archneur.62.1.91

Golbe, & Lawrence,. (1998). Parkinson's disease: nature meets nurture. The Lancet, 352
(9137), 1328-1329. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(05)60741-6

Heston, L, L., (1966) Psychiatric Disorders in Foster Home Reared Children of Schizophrenic
Mothers. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 112, 819-825.

Howes, D. O., McDonald, C., Cannon, M., Arseneault, L., Boydell, J., Murray, R. M. (2004).
Pathways to schizophrenia: the impact of environmental factors. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 7, S7-S13

Nicolson, R., Fawcett, A., & Dean, P. (2001). Developmental dyslexia: the cerebellar deficit
hypothesis. Trends in Neurosciences, 24(9), 508-11.

Puschmann, A. Genetics of Parkinson's. Epda.eu.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014, from

Ramus, F., Rosen, S., Dakin, S. C., Day, B. L., Castellote, J. M., White, S., & Frith, U. (2003).
Theories of developmental dyslexia: insights from a multiple case study of dyslexic adults. Brain, 126(4), 841–865.

Samuelsson, S., & Lundberg, I. (2003). The impact of environmental factors on components of
reading and dyslexia. Annals of Dyslexia, 53(1), 201–217.

Schnabel, j. (2014). Does Parkinson’s Disease Start Outside the Brain?. Dana.org. Retrieved
26 November 2014, from https://www.dana.org/News/Details.aspx?id=43093

Sohmiya, M., Tanaka, M., Aihara, Y., & Okamoto, K. (2004). Structural changes in the
midbrain with aging and Parkinson’s disease: an MRI study. Neurobiology Of Aging, 25(4), 449-453. doi:10.1016/s0197-4580(03)00125-8

Thalamus Location [Online Image]. Retrieved November 19 from http://imgarcade.com/1/

Visanji, N., Brooks, P., Hazrati, L., & Lang, A. (2013). The prion hypothesis in Parkinson's disease: Braak to the future. Acta Neuropathol Commun, 1(1), 2. doi:10.1186/2051-5960-1-2
The Midbrain
- Contains clusters of neurones: sensory (relay centres for visual and auditory) and motor (eye movement)

- Reticular formation=sentry
- Ascending part: alerts
- Descending part: admits or blocks out sensory input
The Midbrain
- Severe damage = permanent coma (Pendlebury, 2007)
Substantia nigra:
The Midbrain

Loss of
substantia nigra
= less dopamine

Aging (Sohmiya et al., 2004):
–59 subjects with PD and 140 age- and gender-matched normal subjects
–used T2-weighted MR imaging
–different amounts of substantia nigra of subjects in the 70 years old or less group
Parkinson's Disease (PD) – What is it?
Parkinson's Disease (PD) - Why?
Genes, in the brain?
(Puschmann, n.d.)
–Dominant and recessive
Outside the brain? (
Schnabel, 2010; Visanji et al., 2013)
–Earliest symptoms: constipation and other gastrointestinal problems
–Protein clusters could be toxic and kill cells
Pesticides and Herbicides
(Lawrence & Golbe, 1998)
- 'Virtually every case-control study [...] has shown that pesticide or herbide exposure [...] increases Parkinson's disease'
That's not true (Firestone et al, 2005)
- Associations are weak
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