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Presentation on theme: "THE BIOLOGY OF THE MIND. BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY UNDERSTANDING SLEEP, DREAMS, DEPRESSION, HUNGER, STRESS, & SEX Everything psychological is simultaneously."— Presentation transcript:


2 BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY UNDERSTANDING SLEEP, DREAMS, DEPRESSION, HUNGER, STRESS, & SEX Everything psychological is simultaneously biological Thoughts, emotions, memories, intelligence, and creativity are based on biological processes To understand our behavior, we need to study how biological, psychological and social systems interact.

3 THE NERVOUS SYSTEM It starts with an individual nerve cell called a NEURON.

4  Sensory neurons  Carry incoming messages from the body’s tissues and sensory organs inward to the brain and spinal cord, for processing  Motor neurons  Carry outgoing information from the brain and spinal cord to the body’s tissues, muscles, glands  Interneurons  Neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally between sensory inputs and motor outputs NEURAL COMMUNICATION

5 WHEN DO NEURONS TRANSMIT MESSAGES?  Stimulated by:  Signals from senses  Chemical signals from neighboring neurons  Action potential  Brief electrical charge that travels down axon  Threshold – minimum intensity  Excitatory signals – stimulate  Increase likelihood neuron will fire  Inhibitory signals – calm  Decrease likelihood neuron will fire v=cNaFnRKwpFk

6 HOW NEURONS COMMUNICATE Synapse Meeting point between neurons Neurotransmitters Chemical messengers Acetylcholine (Ach) Best-understood neurotransmitter Messenger between motor neuron and skeletal muscle Released = muscle contraction Blocked = paralysis ddiction/activities/lesson2_neurotransmission.htm

7 NeurotransmitterFunctionExamples of Malfunctions Acetylcholine (Ach) Enables muscle action; excretion of certain hormones; anger, aggression, sexuality ACh producing neurons deteriorate – lack of ACh leads to Alzheimer’s disease Dopamine Controlling movement and posture; Impacts mood, learning, attention, and emotion Excess dopamine - linked to schizophrenia. Starved of dopamine = brain produces tremors, decreased mobility and muscle rigidity (Parkinson’s disease) Serotonin Regulation of body temperature; Affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal Undersupply linked to depression; Prozac raises serotonin levels

8 NeurotransmitterFunctionExamples of Malfunctions Norepinephrine Helps control alertness and arousal Undersupply can depress mood GABA (Gamma- aminobutyric acid) Major inhibitory neurotransmitter Undersupply linked to seizures, tremors, and insomnia Glutamate Major excitatory neurotransmitter; involved in memory Oversupply can overstimulate brain, produce migraines or seizures (why some avoid MSG)

9 DRUGS & NEUROTRANSMITTERS When flooded with opiates, morphine or heroin, brain may stop producing natural opiates Causes intense discomfort - withdrawals Drugs and other chemicals affect brain chemistry at synapses – amplifying or blocking neurotransmitters Examples: Agonist - Black widow venom – floods synapses with ACh Violent muscle contractions, convulsions, possible death Antagonist – Botulin – causes paralysis by blocking ACh release Botox – smooth wrinkles by paralyzing underlying facial muscles

10 THE NERVOUS SYSTEM Central Nervous System Brain Spinal Cord Connects peripheral nervous system to brain Peripheral Nervous System Somatic (skeletal) – controls voluntary muscles Autonomic – controls involuntary muscles Glands and muscles of internal organs Heartbeat, digestion, etc. Sympathetic – Arouses and expends energy You become alarmed or enraged Increases heartbeat and raises blood pressure Parasympathetic – Conserves energy Stress subsides Decreased heartbeat, lowering of blood sugar


12 AM I LEFT OR RIGHT BRAIN DOMINANT? Recent studies have revealed no evidence of a stronger left or right-sided brain network Example: Language Left hemisphere specializes in picking out the sounds that form words Right hemisphere is more sensitive to the emotional features of language It is true that some functions occur in one side or the other of the brain Language tends to be on the left (Sounds that form words) Attention more on the right (Emotional features of language) Left-Brain Logical Language Analytic Right-Brain Intuitive Expressive Creative


14 FRONTAL LOBE Associated with: Reasoning Motor skills Higher level cognition Expressive language If damaged: Changes in socialization and attention; increased risk-taking Example - Used when planning a road trip

15 CEREBRAL CORTEX Example – Figuring out if car will fit into parking spot PARIETAL LOBE Associated with: Processing tactile sensory information Pressure, touch, pain Processing mathematical, spatial information If injured: Problems with verbal memory Problems with language

16 CEREBRAL CORTEX OCCIPITAL LOBE Home to the primary visual cortex Associated with: Interpreting visual stimuli and information If injured: Visual problems Difficulty recognizing objects, identifying colors or recognizing words Example – Ability to see a stop sign

17 CEREBRAL CORTEX Example – Responding to another driver honking TEMPORAL LOBE Home to the: Primary auditory cortex Interpreting sounds and language Hippocampus Formation of memories If injured: Problems with memory, speech perception, and language skills

18 STORY OF HOW YOU USE YOUR LOBES Instructions: Construct a short story detailing how you use your lobes Must include reference to all four Write story on back page of your brain book

19 THE BRAINSTEM THE BRAIN’S BASEMENT Brain’s oldest and innermost region Brain stem acts as crossover point Regulates involuntary functions Midbrain Helps to relay information for vision and hearing Also associated with motor control, alertness, and temp. regulation Pons Helps coordinate movement Medulla Controls heartbeat and breathing

20 THE BRAIN Cerebellum “Little brain” Regulates voluntary motor movements Posture, balance, coordination, speech Corpus Callosum Wide band of axon fibers connecting two brain hemispheres Carries messages between

21 THE SPLIT BRAIN Assists researchers in studying hemispheric specialization 1961 - Neurosurgeons predict epileptic seizures caused by amplified abnormal brain activity between the two hemispheres

22 THE LIMBIC SYSTEM Hypothalamus – controls maintenance Helps keep the body’s internal environment in a steady state Hunger, thirst, body temperature, sexual behavior Controls the pituitary gland “master gland” Regulates and releases important hormones Hippocampus Responsible for memory creation and retention Amygdala Linked to emotion Influence aggression and fear Processing of emotional memories Thalamus Brain’s sensory switchboard Relays all sensory information Except for smell

23 THE ENDOCRINE SYSTEM Glands secret hormones, chemical messengers Travel through bloodstream affecting other tissues Influence our interest in sex, food, and aggression

24 THE ENDOCRINE SYSTEM Pituitary Gland “Master gland” Located near core of brain Controlled by hypothalamus Releases hormones that influence growth Secretes hormones that control output of hormones by other endocrine glands Triggers sex glands to release sex hormones

25 THE ENDOCRINE SYSTEM Adrenal gland Located on top of kidneys Release epinephrine and norepinephrine Adrenaline and noradrenaline Hormones increase heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar Provide surge of energy

26 THE ENDOCRINE SYSTEM Thyroid gland Produces thyroxine Too little – feel lazy, lethargic Hypothyroidism Too much – overactivity Hyperthyroidism Sex glands Testes Produce sperm and testosterone Ovaries Produce eggs and estrogen and progesterone


28 CAT SCAN Computerized axial tomography scan CAT scan or CT scan Combines series of X-ray views taken from different angles to create cross-sectional images Can be reformatted into multiple planes or even used to generate three- dimensional images Provide great detail of soft tissues and blood vessels

29 (EEG) - ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAM Amplified read-out of waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain’s surface Process: Stimulus presented regularly Computer filters out brain activity unrelated to stimulus Able to identify electrical wave evoked by stimulus Used in identifying: Epilepsy Other brain disorders

30 PET SCAN (PET) - POSITION EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY Shows how the brain and its tissues are working Depicts brain activity by showing each brain area’s consumption of its chemical fuel, sugar glucose Radioactive glucose Useful in looking for cancer, disease, or injury to the brain

31 PET SCAN Shows which brain areas are most active during: Math calculations Looking at images of faces Daydreaming

32 (MRI) MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING MRI has revealed: Larger neural area in left hemisphere of musicians with perfect pitch Enlarged fluid-filled brain areas in patients experiencing schizophrenia Head inserted into strong magnetic field Allows us to see structures in the brain Signals provide detailed picture of brain’s soft tissues


34 fMRI (functional MRI) Can reveal brain function and structure Comparison of MRI scans taken less than a second apart Reveals blood flow – “lights up” Person performs different mental functions Example: Person looks at scene fMRI detects blood rushing to back of brain Processing of visual information fMRI – FUNCTIONAL MRI


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