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THE SYSTEMS LOBES LIMBIC SYSTEM MIDBRAIN & BRAIN STEM POTPOURRI
It was Saturday night and Mark had drunk too many beers. He decided to do a swan dive off the second floor balcony into the swimming pool. Shouting, “Look at me,” he jumped off the balcony and dove into the pool. He struck his head on the bottom and broke his neck. Although he survived the accident, Mark cannot move any parts of his body or feel any sensations from his shoulders down. What part of Mark’s central nervous system was damaged?
His spinal cord was damaged.
It was a very dark night as Carol walked home from the library. She felt a strong hand on her shoulder. She turned around and looked into the eyes of a huge man. Without thinking, she swung her book bag, hit the enormous man in his stomach, and knocked him out. Carol ran home faster than she ever had before. Which part of Carol’s nervous system gave her the strength to knock out the man and run home faster than she ever had before?
Her sympathetic nervous system.
Ronald McDonald was in a hamburger eating contest. He ate 23 burgers. After the thrill of winning the competition, he was exhausted. Ronald went home, curled up on the couch, and fell asleep. Which part of Ronald McDonald’s nervous system calmed him down and triggered his “Rest and Digest” response?
The parasympathetic nervous system.
Susan woke up yesterday morning and things weren’t the same. She didn’t feel a bug that was crawling on her arm and had troubles coordinating her voluntary muscles to turn off her bedroom light. She immediately went to the doctor and he said that her brain was functioning properly but there was a problem. What part of Susan’ nervous system was malfunctioning?
Her somatic nervous system.
Dan is an internationally ranked cliff diver. He loves the accelerated feeling he gets standing on the end of the cliff right before a big dive and then the calmness he feels sitting at the edge of the water by himself at the end of the competition. What one nervous system is responsible for both of these feelings?
The autonomic nervous system.
Susie was a very healthy, happy baby except that she was born deaf. She had no other sensory or motor problems. When she was 18 years old, a neurosurgeon implanted tiny wires into a certain part of her brain. When different wires were activated, different brain cells were stimulated, and for the first time in her entire life, Susie heard sounds. In which lobe of Susie’s brain were the tiny wires implanted?
The temporal lobe.
This is Tom’s first semester in college and first day on campus. Tom parks his car illegally and decides to go first to registration. He picks out the shortest line and when it’s his turn, he discovers that he’s in the line for the band. The person tells Tom exactly what to do to register. Tom tries to follow the new directions but after trying several buildings, he gets all confused. Tom knows that he should follow a plan to get registered but somehow he always gets distracted. The reason for Tom’s problems is that when he was a child, his best friend pretending to be a doctor attempted to remove a part of Tom’s brain. Which lobe of Tom’s brain had his best friend damaged?
The frontal lobe.
Harry was always one to accept a dare and this dare seemed like fun. All he had to do was put on a pair of roller skates and skate backwards for 100 feet. He put on the skates, stood up, and took the first tentative steps. He got tangled up and he fell over backwards with his head hitting the concrete with a loud thud. Harry rubbed his head and wondered why he was seeing stars. Which lobe was impacted when his head hit the concrete causing Harry to see stars?
The occipital lobe.
Just before a famous dancer was to perform, she had a stroke in her dressing room. Although she recovered from the stroke, she could never dance again because she could not feel where her left foot was. In order to walk, she had guide the foot by watching it. She had no trouble moving the foot. The only difficulty the stroke caused was a loss of all feeling and all sensations in the foot. Which lobe of the dancer’s brain did the stroke damage?
The parietal lobe.
Gertrude suffered a stroke which has left her unable to speak fluently. She is able to understand simple commands such as “point to the blue square” but when she speaks, it is very effortful and disjointed. Which lobe was damaged when Gertrude had her stroke?
The frontal lobe.
Lately, Some very strange things have been happening to Sharon. For example, sometimes she has terrible sexual desires and other times she has no sexual desires. Sometimes she has outrageous desires to eat and drink everything in sight and at other times she has no appetite. Sometimes she has enormous emotional changes, feeling love, hate, happiness and sadness, all within a few minutes. Finally, she must always carry a winter coat because even on the hottest days she has cold flashes. There is only one brain area that is involved in all of these various functions. Which part of Sharon’s brain is somehow malfunctioning and causing all her symptoms?
For the last six months, ever since Sam was accidentally hit on the side of the head by a baseball, he has rented the same video: Batman. When the salespeople ask him if he has seen the video before, Sam always shakes his head and replies, “No, it’s the first time. I can’t wait to see it. Is it any good?” The salespeople always reply, “It’s really great. You’ll love it.” The salespeople smile to themselves because they know that Sam has seen Batman at least 20 times. Besides his memory problem, Sam has no other sensory or motor difficulties. He just can’t remember what happened one hour, one day, or one week before. Which part of Sam’s brain was damaged?
Although Michelle is usually smiley and happy, some very weird things have caused her to be a little concerned. On Monday, as she sat in her Art class, she suddenly went blind. On Tuesday, as she sat in her Music class, she went totally deaf. On Wednesday, she was eating a pizza when she realized she had lost her sense of taste. On Thursday she was very worried so she pinched herself to make sure that she was all right but she couldn’t feel a thing. In just four days, she had lost her seeing, hearing, feeling, and tasting, but NOT her sense of smell. She had some really bad weeks before but nothing like this one. What part of Michelle’s brain was being destroyed by a tumor?
Lisa has been suffering from bouts of extreme anger for no reason. Her neurologist ordered a brain scan to investigate what could be causing these unprovoked feelings of aggression. A tumor was found pressing against two parts of her brain. The tumor was removed and Lisa returned to her normal life. What two parts of her brain was the tumor pressing on?
The amygdala and hypothalamus.
A part of Mika’s brain does not function properly. Since birth, she has suffered from a number of hormone problems affecting her growth, thyroid and sex organs. Her “master gland” sometimes sends messages to release hormones when it shouldn’t and at other times it fails to relay these messages. What is the name of this “master gland”?
The pituitary gland.
The day was Friday the 13th and Janice was being especially careful as she walked down a busy downtown street. While she was stepping out on the street to avoid a construction ladder, leaping over a large crack in the pavement, and shielding her eyes from a big black stray cat, she was hit by a city bus. The paramedics arrived to find Janice unconscious and not breathing. Which part of Janice’s brain regulates breathing and was damaged?
John must have at least eight hours of sleep every night. If he doesn’t, he gets cranky and irritable. However, during the last month, John has gone from eight hours a night to only three. His girlfriend bought him a quart of his favorite ice cream to eat before bed but that didn’t help. John was so worried that he went to a neurologist who did a brain scan. The neurologist told poor John that he has a brain tumor and it is destroying a part of his brain. Which part of John’s brain is being affected by the tumor and interfering with his sleep?
From the time that she was a little girl, Marci had epileptic seizures. As she grew older, the seizures became worse and drugs no longer worked. When the seizures got really bad, she chose to have a radical brain surgery, called a split-brain operation. After the split-brain operation, Marci’s seizures were greatly reduced. What part of Marci’s brain did the neurosurgeon cut that resulted in her having a split-brain?
The corpus callosum.
Bruno was the next heavy-weight boxing champion. During his last match, Bruno caught an unexpected vicious punch that snapped back his head. Before he knew what hit him, Bruno was lying on the mat, unconscious. Bruno never regained consciousness and remains in a coma. What part of Bruno’s Brain did the knockout punch damage?
The reticular activating system (RAS).
Doc Brown invented a time machine. He was fascinated by the brain and decided to go back in time 500 million years. He dissected the brain’s of a number of species. He was very perplexed because the brains only had the most basic parts. What is this grouping of brain parts called?
The brain stem.
There is a tiny bug that crawls into a person’s ear at night and begins to eat away at its favorite part of the brain. The next morning, the person will get up and walk in a very clumsy way. They will have no trouble holding the toothbrush but great difficulty making smooth, circular brushing strokes. Throughout the day, the person has no trouble starting movements but has difficulty making smooth movements and walks as if they were drunk. Which part of the person’s brain did the tiny bug eat away?
Here is a sad but funny story that is based on an actual case. One day, Charles walked over to where his wife was sitting and he reached down and grabbed her head. He began to pull and tug and try to pick up his wife’s head. After some seconds of pulling and tugging, Charles’ wife said, “Charles, what the heck are you doing?” Charles looked very puzzled and replied, “I was just trying to pick up my hat and it seemed to be stuck on something.” His wife was getting a little perturbed and snapped back, “You’re not pulling on your hat, your tugging on my head!” Charles was now totally amazed and puzzled and replied, “I’m very sorry dear, I must have mistook your head for my hat.” Charles problem was that he could still see objects but he couldn’t always perceive or tell what the objects were. What disorder does Charles have as the result of brain damage due to a stroke?
What is Prosopagnosia
Each time Dave talked, people laughed and said that he had one of the best comedy routines that they had ever heard. Dave would begin with what seemed like a normal sentence but he always gets totally off topic and doesn’t make sense. For example, Dave might sound like this: Like, it’s all sunny cause books cost a lot, and there’s no reason for a car, and don’t buy shoes and I like hamburgers on sale except in bad times.” Which area of Dave’s brain was damaged and caused him to speak in a seemingly fluent way but make very little sense?
The Wernicke’s area.
My grandmother, who is 83 years old, was sitting and talking to me when she suddenly stopped talking and had a stroke. From that day forward granny’s speech was never the same. Now, she is unable to speak in a fluent fashion, instead her speech pattern is very broken. Which part of her brain was damaged and caused her to speak in a broken, halting manner but did not interfere with her understanding what she hears or reads?
The Broca’s area.
Patti was practicing a spectacular whirl, spin, and leap when she fell down in the path of an oncoming speed skater. As the speed skater’s skate passed over Patti’s skull, it cut a deep gash into the upper right side and damaged the underlying brain. When Patti tried to get up, she discovered the right side of her body moved normally but she could not move her left arm. However, when someone touched her left arm, she could feel the touch. So part of Patti’s left side was paralyzed, but there was no loss of feeling. What area of Patti’s brain was damaged?