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Transcript of THE BRAIN
Peripheral Nervous System
Somatic Nervous System
Automatic Nervous System
Sympathetic Nervous System
Parasympathetic Nervous System
The Nervous System
A network of communications
consciously controlled muscles
can be consciously overridden
Fight or Flight
Rest and Digest
take information from sensory organs to CNS
takes orders from CNS to muscles and glands
The control center
an organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates, functioning as the coordinating center of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity.
the cylindrical bundle of nerve fibers and associated tissue that is enclosed in the spine and connects nearly all parts of the body to the brain.
now we enter ...
the building block
the cell body
usually insulated by a myelin sheath
where neurotransmitters are stored and sent
the miniscule gap between neurons
where neurotransmitters bind
electrical impulse that goes through the axon
powered by ions
stored in vesicles in the axon terminals
[the impulse reaches the terminal]
exits terminal and leaps across synapse
binds to receptor sites
Put it all together:
3. the neurotransmitter excites or inhibits the neighboring neuron
1. the neuron is excited
2. the action potential travels down the axon
The Other Building Block:
1. Surround neurons and hold them in place
4. Destroy pathogens and remove dead neurons.
2. Supply nutrients and oxygen to neurons
3. Insulate one neuron from another
10% of the brain's volume, 50% of the brain's neurons
mainly somatic functions
equilibrium and posture
fine tuning movement
actions such as:
climbing a tree
playing an instrument
acts as bridge between the areas of the brain, especially the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum
origin of REM sleep
chewing and swallowing
controls many autonomic functions
regulates through receptors:
somatic control over:
helps eyes track and fixate upon objects
automatic control over
breathing and swallowing
[the part of the medulla that regulates the heart and blood pressure]
visual and auditory signals to the cerebellum
pain signals to the cerebral cortex
[the Gate Theory of pain regulation]
states of consciousness
sleeping vs. waking
Deals with basic, mostly autonomic functions.
especially the emotion-strengthened kind
behavioral inhibition theory:
involved in inhibiting responses
“horse sea monster” in Greek
named after the seahorse for its shape
relays sensory signals to the correct cortical areas
controls the pituitary gland (which in turn controls the endocrine (hormone) system)
circadian and seasonal rhythms
immune system responses (fevers)
connects the two hemispheres of the brain
The two large hemispheres, consisting of the thin layer of neurons called the cerebral cortex and the underlying white matter.
choosing between good and bad
mostly of the emotional kind
modifies memories to conform to social norms
contains the hippocampus
storing new memories
FUNCTIONAL AREAS OF THE
receives touch signals from sensory neurons
receives auditory signals from the ears
receives visual signals from the optic nerves
receives taste signals from taste buds
receives smell signals from olfactory bulbs
helps produce language and communication
deciphers speech and written language
areas of the brain not limited to basic, motor, or sensory functions
brain plasticity allows these areas to be used for other functions, including those of missing areas if the damage is early or genetic
used for logic, judgement, and "higher thinking"
participates in sensory and motor processes, such as recognizing features and assigning meaning to sensory signals
THE TWO HEMISPHERES
controls right side of the body
the location of Broca's area and Wernicke's area for 95% of right-handers
linguistics for 90% of right-handers
associated with calcuation, mathematics, and fact retrieval
correlates with enacting routines and habits
controls left side of the body
the location of Broca's area and Wernicke's area for 70% of left-handers
linguistics for ~50% of left-handers
associated with visual, spatial, and auditory processes
correlates with processing new situations
linked with depression and pessimism
Correlations and associations do not mean that all of those processes are conducted in that hemisphere. Both hemispheres play a complex role in all processes.
Don't let pop psychology fool you. The right brain is NOT the "creative brain". The left brain is NOT the "logical brain". These are oversimplifications.
More About: NEUROTRANSMITTERS
The chemical messengers that communicate between neurons.
Many neurotransmitters double as hormones, which are used in the endocrine system and released into the bloodstream.
Neurotransmitters either stimulate or inhibit the neuron whose receptor sites they bind to, influencing whether or not it fires off.
However, the receiving neuron is bombarded by multiple neurotransmitters. The current theory is that until the majority of the signals stimulate the neuron, the inhibiting signals overpower the stimulating ones. It's an all-or-none response; after all, the action potential can't just happen halfway.
How the terminal ends determine which neurotransmitter to release is a still a scientific mystery.
Drugs are chemicals that alter the way a neuron functions. The drugs that dentists and doctors use numb pain, suppressing or blocking the signals.
Some drugs can slip past the blood-brain barrier and affect the neurons in the brain.
There are two types of drugs: agonist, or stimulant, and antagonist, or depressant. Many agonists target the limbic system, especially the endorphic, pleasure-giving, neurotransmitter seratonin. This causes the "high" that is often associated with these drugs.
Case Study: The STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT
When good people are placed in an evil situation, what wins out?
This was the question Philip Zimbardo and his team of researchers unintentially answered when they set up their prison experiment in 1971.
The original goal of the experiment was to find out what the psychological effects were of becoming a prisoner or a prison guard.
70 volunteers answered a newspaper ad.
24 out of the 70 were chosen to participate.
They were randomly assigned into two groups: the prisoners and the guards.
"It is important to remember that at the beginning of our experiment there were no differences between boys assigned to be a prisoner and boys assigned to be a guard."
Originally just a hallway and some laboratories, the "prison" had specially-made barred doors.
The ends of the corridor were boarded up. The corridor itself was the "yard".
Solitary confinement was a closet.
One end of the hallway had a camera; the cells were bugged.
There were no clocks.
The prisoners were "arrested", held at the police department, then brought to the "prison". Steps were taken to humiliate them: they were stripped, deloused, sprayed down, as though they were believed to have germs or lice.
Their uniforms were smocks, which were to make them feel "emasculated", like real prisoners. They wore a chain around one ankle, stocking caps, and rubber sandals.
Meanwhile, the guards were given freedom to do what they believed necessary to keep order.
They were given identical khaki uniforms and sunglasses.
After a rebellion, the guards teamed up together against the inmates, using psychological tactics to divide them and keep them under control.
Both the prisoners and the guards were entirely into their roles. The guards saw the prisoners as dangerous, aggressive criminals. The prisoners were forced to do pushups, marched with bags over their heads, made to use a bucket instead of the bathroom, forced to clean the toilet bowl with their bare hands, etc.
"There were three types of guards. First, there were tough but fair guards who followed prison rules. Second, there were "good guys" who did little favors for the prisoners and never punished them. And finally, about a third of the guards were hostile, arbitrary, and inventive in their forms of prisoner humiliation."
"Prisoners coped with their feelings of frustration and powerlessness in a variety of ways. At first, some prisoners rebelled or fought with the guards. Four prisoners reacted by breaking down emotionally as a way to escape the situation. One prisoner developed a psychosomatic rash over his entire body when he learned that his parole request had been turned down. Others tried to cope by being good prisoners, doing everything the guards wanted them to do."
The study ended prematurely. The guards began torturing the prisoners in the middle of the night when they thought no one was watching; the situation had been escalating and getting worse.
"After observing our simulated prison for only six days, we could understand how prisons dehumanize people, turning them into objects and instilling in them feelings of hopelessness. And as for guards, we realized how ordinary people could be readily transformed from the good Dr. Jekyll to the evil Mr. Hyde."