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Transcript of The Brain
Hindbrain & Midbrain
higher level cognition
Primary Motor Cortex
above the spinal cord
relay station between cerebral cortex and cerebellum.
receives nerve impulses from the eyes, ears, and sends to cerebellum.
reflexes that regulate breathing
runs through the middle of the hindbrain (and on into the midbrain).
sends sensory input from cerebrum to the thalamus.
involved in sleep, arousal (and vomiting).
two deeply-convoluted hemispheres.
10% of brain's weight, it contains as many neurons as all the rest of the brain combined (60-70 billion neurons).
coordination of body movements, sense of balance
memory and learning coordinated here
regulates attention, fear, pleasure
helps "smooth" out body movements
damage linked to Parkinson's disease.
Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA)
Pleasure center (LOVE!, motivation, addiction)
Drugs like cocaine, meth, nicotine bind to dopamine neurons and overstimulate them
The midbrain along with the medulla and pons are often referred to as the "brainstem".
Or, stated another way, the hindbrain (minus the cerebellum) and the midbrain are called the brainstem.
Thick band of nerve fibers that connect the right and left hemispheres
transfers motor, sensory, and cognitive information between the brain hemispheres
coordinates eye movement
plays a role in epilepsy
plays a role in motor control
receives auditory, somatosensory and visual sensory signals from receptor cells
relays sensory signals to the cerebral cortex
controls sleep and awake states
regulates the body's homeostasis (thermostat)
controls basic drives like eating, drinking, sexual activity.
links emotions (limbic system) and bodily responses (e.g., medulla)
controls fatigue and sleep impulses, circadian rhythms
size of an almond
synthesizes and secretes certain hormones that stimulate the pituitary gland (growth, blood pressure, sexual development, labor, metabolism)
Central Nervous System
Brain stem (medulla, pons, cerebellum)
Protected by vertebral column, meninges, and skull
Peripheral Nervous System
All nerves and ganglia outside the brain and spinal cord
chief function is to connect the CNS to the organs and limbs.
contains 11 of 12 cranial nerves (exception is optic nerve)
contains 31 pairs of spinal nerves
Soma (cell body)
Node of Ranvier
Axon terminal node
Transmission of impulses
excitatory v. inhibitory (neurotransmitters)
nerve conduction velocity (~100 m/sec)
Drug interaction (blocking, activating, prolonging)
epinephrine (stress), dopamine (drive, motivation, focus), norepinephrine (anxiety)
seratonin (mood), dopamine (depression), GABA ("valium-like")
The Limbic System
Set of structures beneath the cortex that regulates emotion, memory, olfaction, mood, risk-taking, behavior, motivation.
consolidates short-term memory, makes long-term memory
sense of direction
helps in the formation and storing of memory
regulates emotions like fear, anxiousness
signals the cortex of emotional stimuli (fear, fight or flight, anger, sexual arousal)
Coordinates multiple sensory input (e.g. hearing with sight)
White Matter v. Gray Matter
Comprised of axons and myelinated sheaths
Myelination give white appearance
Extend from gray matter into deeper brain structures (e.g. thalamus & hypothalamus).
Note: these deeper structures are actual white matter parts of the neuron
Also found between the brain stem and the cerebellum
It also controls the functions that the body is unaware of, like temperature, blood pressure and the heart rate.
Helps dispense of hormones and the control of food, as well as the intake of water
Controls involuntary functions like breathing, temperature, heart rate, etc.
Comprises about 60% of the brain.
comprised of cell bodies (Somas) and dendrites
gray in color from the nucleii
controls the senses of the body (feeling, smelling, touching, hearing, seeing)
does not contain any myelinated fibers or axons
comprises 40% of the brain, but consumes 98% of the oxygen
Located behind the Thalamus
Receives impulses from optic nerve and is sensitive to light
Regulates the body's clock (sense of time)
Secretes melatonin, which helps regulate sleep (high at night, lower during the day)
Dura mater: connects to skull "tough mother"
Arachnoid mater: like a cushion to CNS
subarachnoid space carries cerebrospinal fluid
Pia mater--very delicate, adheres to brain's gyri and sulci
sulcus: depression (valley)
Caudate Nucleus (Your Feedback Processor)
located beside the thalamus in both hemispheres at the base of the forebrain
(not really midbrain or forebrain)
Caudate nucleus and putamen make up the striatum which is part of the Basal Ganglia--super concentrated neuron centers that play a role in decisions about conscious movement and coordination of movement
striatum (router of information into basal ganglia, activated by stimuli where risk and reward are involved) (Huntington's disease)
putamen (tourette's syndrome)
substantia nigra (
) (Parkinson's disease)
C-shaped with a head and a tail
implicated when person receives feedback or reward
implicated when responding to physical beauty, romantic attachment
plays a role in coordinated eye movement, memory, learning, and social behavior
People with OCD have increased gray matter concentrations here.
Dopamine neurons, which control mood, desire, etc., and originate in the VTA (the brain's pleasure center)
The Pituitary Gland
pea-sized structure located at the base of the hypothalamus
Responsible for the following functions:
sexual organ development
metabolism (in conjunction with Pineal and Thyroid glands)