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Chapter Two: The Brain

Terms

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Lateral sulcus
Another shallow groove in the brain that helps define the temporal lobe (p. 40)
Frontal lobe
Located underneath the forehead, it consists of three separate regions: the motor cortex, the prefrontal cortex, and the premotor cortex (p. 41)
Lateralization
Specialization of function of the two cerebral hemispheres (eg. around 95% of individuals show a specialization for language in the left hemisphere) (p. 46)
Electroencephalography (EEG)
A brain imaging technique used to detect different states of consciousness. Metal electrodes are positioned all over the scalp, which then detect the waveforms being emitted (waveforms that are recorded change in predictable ways when a person is awake and let, drowsy, asleep, or in a coma) (p. 52)
Prefrontal cortex
Involved with executive functioning- the planning, decision making, strategy implementing, inhibition of inappropriate behaviours, and the use of working memory to process information. Damages to this area can result in marked changes in personality, mood, affect, and the ability to control inappropriate behaviour. It is also prudent to note that this area of the brain shows the longest period of maturation (p. 41)
Asphasia
A disorder of language, thought to have neurological causes, in which either language production, language reception, or both are disrupted (p. 43)
Reticular formation
Located within the midbrain, ith elps keep us awake and alert, is involved in the sudden arousal we may need to respond to a threatening or attention-grabbing stimulus (p. 38)
Right hemisphere
Described as the synthetic hemisphere, it is thought that it is better with the integration of visual and auditory stimuli, spatial processing, working on geometric puzzles, navigation around familiar spaces and even musical ability. It it thought that this side is better at putting individual elements together to form a whole (eg. constructing maps or other spatial structures, drawing sketches) (p. 47)
Plasticity
The ability of some brain regions to "take over" functions of damaged regions. In general, the younger the patient and the less extensive the injury, the better is the chance of regaining function (p. 46)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
A brain imaging technique in which radio waves are directed at the head, causing centers of hydrogen atoms to align themselves in predictable ways. Computers collate information about how the atoms are aligning and produce a composite 3-D image from which any desired cross section can be examined further (note: no mental, no pacemakers, no claustrophobia) (p. 49)
Franz Gall
(1758- 1828) Faculty psychology, an early localization of function theory (p. 41)
Computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan
A brain imaging technique in which a highly focused beam of X rays is passed through the body from many different angles. Different densities of body organs (including the brain) deflect the X rays differently, allowing visualization of the organ. Clinicians and researchers can use CAT scans to pinpoint areas of brain damage and make inferences about the relative "age" of the injuries (p. 47)
Basal ganglia
Involved in the production of motor behaviour (p. 38)
Parietal lobe
Located underneath the top rear part of the skull, it contains the somatosensory cortex which is involved in the processing of sensory information from the body (p. 41)
Temporal lobe
Located on the side of the head, the temporal lobes process auditory information. Because of their close proximity to the amygdala and hippocampus, damage to the temporal lobes can result in memory disruption (p. 41)
Corpus collosum
Connects the left and right hemispheres in the case of the frontal, parietal, and occipital lobes and sends information from one hemisphere to the other (p. 39)
Hypothalamus
Controls the pitituary gland by releasing hormones, specialized chemicals that help to regulate other glands in the body; it also contraols so-called homeostatic behaviours (eating, drinking, temperature control, sleeping, sexual behaviours and emotional reactions) (p. 38)
Brain ablation
The removal of parts of the brain (p. 46)
Forebrain
The part of the brain containing the thalamus, hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, basal ganglia, and the cerebral cortex (p. 38
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
A brain imaging technique that assesses blood flow to the brain. The technique relies on the fact that blood has magnetic properties, at times more magnetic than others. By assessing which brain regions show a change in the ratio of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood, clinicians will know which brain regions show activity at certain times (p. 50)
Primary somatosensory cortex
A region in the parietal lobe involved in the processing of sensory information from the body- for example, sensations of pain, pressure, touch, or temperature. Also note that the total amount of "brain real estate" devoted to a particular part of the body does not correlate with the size of the body part in question (p. 44)
Hippocampus
Involved in the formation of long-term memories (p. 38)
Amygdala
Modulates the strength of emotional memories and is involved in emotional learning
Central sulcus
A prominant shallow groove on the surface of the brain that divides the frontal and parietal lobes (p. 40)
Left hemisphere
Described as the analytical hemisphere, it is thought that it is particularly good with processing information serially (eg. processing a sentence) and is associated with the processing of language (p. 47)
Paul Broca
(1824- 1880) Found that injury to a particular part of the left frontal lobe (now known as Broca's area) resulted in a kind of asphasia in which the person is unable to produce many words or to speak very fluently (p. 43)
Cerebellum
Contains neurons that coordinate muscular activity; it governs balance and is onvolved in general motor behaviour and coordination (p. 37)
Medulla oblongata
Transmits information from the spinal cord to the brain and regulates life support functions such as respiration, blood pressure, coughing, sneezing, vomiting, and heart rate (p. 36)
Occipital lobe
Located at the back of the head, the lobes process visual information (p. 41)
Neuroanatomical information
CAT and MRI scans
Broca's asphasia
Also called expressive or motor asphasia; symptoms of this organic disorder include difficulty in speaking, using grammar, and finding appropriate words (note: language production) (p. 43)
Cerebrum
The largest structure in the brain consisting of the forebrain and midbrain; it is composed of three sub regions: the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, and the olfactory bulb (or in other words, the left and right hemispheres of the brain) see Figure 2-4 (p. 39)
Event-related potential (ERP)
A brain imaging technique that measures an area of the brain's response to a specific event. Participants have electrodes attached to their scalp while they are being presented with various external stimuli. The recording measures brain activity from the time before the stimulus is presented until some time afterward (p. 52)
Thalamus
Relays information, especially to the cerebral cortex (p. 38)
Motor cortex
Located in the precentral gyrus (see also frontal lobe), it directs fine motor movement (p. 41)
Carl Wernicke
(1848- 1904) Found another "language center" located in the superior, posterior region of the temporal lobe (typically in the left hemisphere), where injury to this area results in the person being able to produce speech with seemingly fluent contours of pitch and rhythm, however the speech often makes no sense and contains gibberish. People suffering from Wernicke's asphasia also show impairments in their ability to understand speech (p. 44)
Positron emission tomography (PET)
A brain imaging technique that involves injecting a radioactively labeled compound (radioisotops of subatomic particles that rapidly emit gamma radiation, which can be detected by decives outside the head). The scans measure the blood flow to different regions of the brain, showing which areas are most active at a particular time (p. 50)
Anterior commisure
Connects the left and right hemispheres in the case of the temporal lobes (p. 40)
Midbrain
Contains the inferior and superior colliculi; many of its structures are involved in relaying information between other brain regions, such as the cerebellum and forebrain (p. 37)
Cerebral cortex
The surface of the cerebrum, it consists of about a half-dozen layers of neurons with white matter beneath, it carries information between the cortex and the thalamus or between different parts of the cortex (p. 38)
Premotor cortex
Involved in the planning of fine motor movement (see also frontal lobe) (p. 41)
Blood flow during cognitive activity
PET, SPECT, and fMRIs
Phrenology
A student of Gall's who developed the (now discredited) idea that psychological strengths and weaknesses could be precisely correlated to the relative sizes of different brain areas (p. 42)
Localization of function
The "mapping" of brain areas to different cognitive or motor functions; identifying which neural regions control or are active when different activities take place (p. 41)
Pons
Acts as a neural relay center, facilitating the crossover of information betwene the left and ride sides of the body and brain; it is also involved in balance and the processing of visual and auditory information (p. 37)
Hindbrain
It develops as one of the three bulges in the embryo's neural tube; the structures within the hindbrain are the most primitive (medulla oblongata, pons, and the cerebellum) (p. 36)
Faculty psychology
A theory proposed by Franz Gall hypothesizing that different mental abilities, such as reading or computation, were independent and autonomous functions, carried out in different parts of the brain (p. 41)
Measure electrical activity
MEG, EEG, and ERPs

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