Presentation on theme: "The Brain Basics Size of a grapefruit. Weighs about 3 lbs. Pinkish-gray and wrinkled surface. Over 100 billion nerve cells. Most complex structure known."— Presentation transcript:
The Brain Basics Size of a grapefruit. Weighs about 3 lbs. Pinkish-gray and wrinkled surface. Over 100 billion nerve cells. Most complex structure known. Cells outnumber stars in the galaxy.
Biopsychology and Neuroscience Biopsychology – The specialty in psychology that studies the interaction of biology, behavior, and mental processes. Neuroscience – A relatively new interdisciplinary field that focuses on the brain and its role in psychological processes.
The Brain’s Purpose Regulates all our body functions. Controls our behavior. Generates our emotions and desires. Processes experiences.
Question How are humans born with innate abilities and “programmed”: For Language (coos, cries, speech) Social interaction Self - preservation
Answer EVOLUTION The gradual process of biological change that occurs in a species as it adapts to its environment. NATURAL SELECTION The driving force behind evolution, by which the environment “selects” the fittest organisms. “Survival of the Fittest”
Genetics Genotype – An organism’s genetic makeup Phenotype – An organism’s observable physical characteristics DNA – A long, complex molecule that encodes genetic characteristics. Gene – Segment of a chromosome that encodes the directions for the inherited physical and mental characteristics of an organism. Chromosome – Tightly coiled threadlike structure along which the genes are organized.
Heredity / Genetics and Psychology Heredity / Genetics influence Psychology through: Intelligence Personality Mental disorders Reading and language disabilities Both heredity / genetics and the environment always work together to influence our behavior and mental processes.
Heredity / Genetics and Psychology BUT both heredity / genetics and the environment always work together to influence our behavior and mental processes. NEVER ATTRIBUTE PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS TO GENETICS ALONE!
The 3 Layers of the Brain The Brain Stem The Limbic System The Cerebrum / Cerebral Cortex
Brainstem Oldest part and central core of the brain. Begins where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull. Is responsible for automatic survival functions.
The Crossover Spinal pathways in the brain stem carry messages from different parts of the body into the brain. These pathways crossover one another in the brain, however. Means that each side of the brain connects to the opposite side of the body. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, left side of the body send sensory signals to the right side of the brain.
Medulla Controls heartbeat and breathing. The base of the brainstem.
Pons Located just above the medulla. Responsible for coordinated movements. Regulates brain activity during sleeping and dreaming.
Reticular Formation Pencil like structure inside the brainstem, between your ears. Nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal. Arouses the cortex to keep the brain alert and attentive to new stimulation.
Thalamus Sits at the top of the brainstem. The brain’s sensory switchboard. Directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla. Sends info to the parts of the brain responsible to touch, taste, smell, and sight.
Cerebellum “The little brain.” Located at the rear of the brainstem. Functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance.
Limbic System The middle layer of the brain. Neural system that sits between the brain’s older parts and its cerebral hemispheres. Contains links to emotions (such as fear and anger) and to basic motives (such as those for food and sex). Involved in memory and emotions.
Hippocampus Portion of the limbic system that processes memory. Mostly long term memories.
Amygdala Located in the limbic system, two lima bean- sized neural clusters. Involved in memory and emotion. Influences fear and aggression. Remove the amygdala of very aggressive animals, and the animals become very calm and timid.
Hypothalamus A neural structure located below the thalamus. It directs maintenance activities such as eating, drinking, and body temperature. Helps send signals to the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones linked to emotions and reward. Monitors the body’s blood to determine the condition of the body
Cerebral Cortex Thin surface layer of interconnected neural cells. Covers the hemispheres of the brain like bark on a tree. Body’s ultimate control and information processing center Higher mental processing such as thinking and perceiving takes place here.
The Lobes Frontal Lobes -Located in the front of the brain just behind the forehead., involved in movement and in thinking. Parietal Lobe – At the top and to the rear of the brain involved in touch sensations and in perceiving spatial relationships. Occipital Lobe – At the back of your head. Temporal Lobe – Just above your ears. Work together to care out many different functions.
The Frontal Lobes Frontal Lobes -Located in the front of the brain just behind the forehead., involved in movement and in thinking.
Motor Cortex An area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.
The Parietal Lobes Parietal Lobes – At the top and to the rear of the brain involved in touch sensations and in perceiving spatial relationships.
Somatosensory (Sensory Cortex) Area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.
The Occipital Lobes Occipital Lobes – The cortical region at the back of the brain, housing the visual cortex.
Visual Cortex Located in the occipital lobes at the rear of the brain. Receives input from your eyes Visual processing areas of the cortex
The Temporal Lobes Temporal Lobes – Cortical lobes that process sounds, including speech. The temporal lobes are probably involved in storing long-term memories.
Language Broca’s Area – Controls language expression Left Frontal Lobe Directs muscle movements involved in speech. Wernicke’s Area – Controls language reception Left temporal lobe Involved in Language comprehension and expression
Association Cortex Areas of the cerebral cortex that are involved in higher metal functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking. Combine information from various other parts of the brain.
Plasticity Plasticity – Brain’s ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience. Neurogenesis – The formation of new neurons.
Cerebral Dominance Cerebral Dominance – The tendency of each brain hemisphere to exert control over different functions, such as language or perception of spatial relationships. FIGURE 3.15 on p. 98 of Textbook.
Corpus Callosum The large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.
Left and Right Brain Refer to your assessment of yourself! Right Brain – Involved in visual perception and recognition of emotions. Controls left side of body Left Brain – More involved in verbal expression Controls right side of body
Split Brains Split Brain – A condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain’s two hemispheres by cutting the fibers (corpus callosum) connecting them. Interesting studies on p. 84-85
Consciousness and Cognitive Neuroscience Consciousness – Our awareness of ourselves and our environment Cognitive Neuroscience – Interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition Includes brain activities link to perception, thinking, memory, and language.
Dual Processing The principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks. Affects our perception, memory, and attitudes at an explicit, conscious level and at an implicit, unconscious level.