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Brain Basics for Understanding Neuroplasticity

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Pamela Barnett

on 16 January 2017

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Transcript of Brain Basics for Understanding Neuroplasticity

Brain Basics
Overview of the Human Brain
Neurons and Pathways
Brain Systems
Brain systems are conceptual frameworks used to organize and analyze information
Nervous Systems
Central Nervous System
Peripheral Nervous System
Central Nervous System
spinal cord
Latin for "brain"
Two Brain Hemispheres
The right and left hemispheres connect and communicate through a thick bundle of commissural fibres called the corpus callosum.
Commissural fibres are white matter structures (axons) that connect the hemispheres.
Four Brain Lobes
Gross Organization
Internal Organization
Synapses and Neurotransmitters
e.g. Visual, Auditory, Motor and Somatosensory
Sensory systems consist of

sensory receptors that receive stimulus as sensory information

neural pathways along which information is sent to the brain

the parts of the brain involved in sensory perception
Motor System
Visual Pathway
Auditory Pathway
The motor system subdivides into subsystems
All subsystems work together in normal movement
Movement impulses originate in the motor areas of the cerebral cortex
Parts of the eye project to both hemispheres of the brain

stimulus reaches the eye as information the world about form, colour, motion, etc.

information travels along the visual areas of the brain

electrical signals transmit to the visual areas of the cortex

What we "see" is the brain's interpretation of the electrical signals it receives through the visual pathway

What do you see when you view these images?
Somatosensory System
What we "hear" is the brain's interpretation of the electrical signals it receives through the auditory pathway
Sound waves enter the external ear

travel along the auditory areas of the brain

until electrical signals transmit to the auditory areas of the cortex
The somatosensory cortex is in an area of the parietal lobe associated with the interpretation of sensory imput from the body.
Called a cortical homunculus, this diagram illustrates the parts of the body in relation to the somatosensory cortex .
The somatosentory system carries information the brain will use to interpret




the position and movement of our bodies
Cerebral Cortex
The dark outer layer in this image is the cerebral cortex
Think of
magic tricks
ambiguous imagery
nerve cell in our brains and nervous systems
chemical messengers
cross synapses to reach receptor dendrites of receiving neuron
is largely responsible for higher order brain functions such as attention, emotions, memory, thought, language, and consciousness
is continuous with the spinal cord through an opening in the skull called the foramen magnum.
recognizing faces, reading facial expressions, connecting with people

tone and emotion conveyed in speech

dominates during first 3 years of childhood
This diagram shows the "pyramidal" subsystem
Basic Terminology - Anatomical Directional Terms
Anterior - front
Posterior - behind, rear
Distal - away, farther from
Proximal - near, closer
Superior - above, over
Inferior - below, under
Dorsal - near the upper surface, toward the back
Ventral - toward the bottom, toward the belly
Lateral - toward the side, away from midline
Medial - toward the midline, middle, away from side
Rostral - toward the front
Caudal - toward the back, toward the tail
How the brain works
"Areas of the Brain"
For CC and transcript of this video go to "How the brain works" @ https://www.youtube.com/user/SentisDigital/videos
For CC and transcript of this video go to "Areas of the Brain" @ https://www.youtube.com/user/SentisDigital/videos
corpus callosum
Where is baby?
Young or old?
Which horizontal line is longer?
Which orange circle is larger?
Say aloud what colour you see, not what the word means
speech (grammar vocab)

conscious problem-solving
Left Hemisphere
Right Hemisphere
a long thin bundle of nerve fibers protected by the spinal column - bones called vertebrae
The Brain
is protected by the cranium
The Spinal Cord
the main pathway of information connecting the brain and the peripheral nervous system
carries sensory information to the brain
carries motor-control information from the brain to the peripheral nervous system
is the outer layer of the brain
appears wrinkled because it is compressed to fit into the skull
the valleys or infoldings are called sulci (singular sulcus)
the folds are called gyri (singular gyrus).
Frontal Lobe
Parietal Lobe
Occipital Lobe
Temporal Lobe
reasoning, planning, problem-solving, emotions, motor functions
movement, orientation, sensory perception (touch, temperature, pain, etc.)
visual perception
memory, speech, auditory perception (hearing)
transmits info through electrical impulses and chemical signals
space between two neurons
communication channel
All stimuli reach the brain as electrical impulses
Here’s an interactive information page explaining these directional terms:
Full transcript