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Physio Psych Chapter 4


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What are the five research methods that neuroscientists use to study the brain?
1. Using CAT scans to study the structure of the brain.

2. Study the effects of brain damage.

3. Neural stimulation.

4. Recording brain activity (with PET, rCBF, fMRI).

5. Correlating brain activity and behavior.
What type of scan do neuroscientists use to study the structure of the brain, and how does it work?
CAT or CT scan. Computerized Axial Tomography. Uses many different x-rays from different angles and puts them together using a specialized algorithm.
What are the three ways to study the effects of brain damage?
1. Wait for some brain damage, then detail it. This includes interviewing people who knew the person before and after the brain damage to note differences and also doing an autopsy after death.

2. Temporarily anesthize or lesion tissue, and track changes in function. This is nice because you can pick what you want. Strong electrical shocks are often used here.

3. Gene knockout approach - screwing with genes during reproduction to systematically turn on or off the genes.
What is neural stimulation and how does it work?
Electricity and magnetic fields can be used to temporarily disrupt neural activity.

Weaker, localized doses will produce stimulation, rather than lesions.

This can also be done chemically, but chemicals work only globally.
What is neural stimulation best used for?
Best for functions that have localized activity centers.
What are the five ways to record brain activity?
1. Planting electrodes into a living neuron cluster (rats).

2. Removing chemicals from a functioning brain (leave the cells, take the NT's). Rats again.

3. PET

4. rCBF

5. fMRI
Describe a PET Scan.
Positron Emission Tomography. This is where the patient consumes radioactive glucose. The scan shows the consumption of glucose throughout the brain or body.
Describe an rCBF.
Regional Cerebral Blood Flow. This shows the flow of irradiated blood (xenon). Since the brain has so little blood, this will only show where the blood goes to the surface of the brain. Where the blood goes is where the brain is working more.
Describe an fMRI.
fucntional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. This uses very sensitive magnets to detect changes in hemoglobin as it releases oxygen. Hemoglobin releases oxygen when it's working.
How do you correlate brain activity and behavior?
This is where it's noted that stringed instrument players have a larger section of the brain devoted to sensory information from the left hand (the hand that fingers the strings) or that the hippocampus (memory) is larger in highly experienced taxi drivers.
What is the major problem with the scans used to record brain activity?
They are all inferential, based on the assumption that more glucose, oxygen, or blood means that the brain is working harder, not an outside condition.
What is the major problem with correlating brain activity and behavior?
What came first? The behavior or the structure?
What is the Central Nervous System composed of?
The brain and spinal cord.
What are the two parts of the Peripheral Nervous System?
The Somatic and Autonomic Nervous Systems.
What parts of the nervous system does the Peripheral Nervous System refer to?
Everything except for the brain and spinal cord.
What is the Somatic Nervous System used for?
How the brain finds out about the outside world. Sense organs to the CNS, and the CNS to muscles and glands.
What is the Autonomic Nervous System used for?
It's a regulatory system. Heart, intestines, and other internal organs.
Towards the back.
Towards the stomach.
Same side of the body.
What is a sagittal plane?

A lengthwise cut from the front to the back.
What is a coronal plane?

A cut from the top to the bottom (side to side).
What is a horizontal plane?

A cut halfway through the brain, from front to back.
Opposite side of the body.
Side (away from the middle)
Midline, middle
What is the gray matter?
This is found in the middle of the spinal cord and is composed of cell bodies and dendrites.
What is the white matter?
This is found on the outside of the spinal cord and is composed of myelinated axons.
What is the Bell-Magendie Law
Dorsal root ganglia bring info in (back of the spinal cord) and ventral roots take motor information out (front of the spinal cord).

In through the back, out through the front.
What are ganglia?
Big clusters of neurons.
Are the different parts of the spinal cord specialized?
Yes - each part is in charge of a certain section of the body.
What are the two components of the Autonomic nervous system?
The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
What is the major function of the sympathetic nervous system?
Fight or flight.
What is the major function of the parasympathetic nervous system?
Facilitates nonemergency functions of the internal organs.
What 3 parts make up the parasympathetic nervous system?
Craniosacral stystem, long preganglionic nerves from the spinal cord, and short postganglionic fibers.
What are craniosacral nerves?
Nerves come form the brain and out through the sacral.
What do the short postganglionic fibers release?
What part of the body do OTC cold medicines tend to suppress?
The parasympathetic nervous system.
What is the Hindbrain often called, and why?
"old brain" It has several features redundant to the cortex, and is presumed to be an evolutionary precursor to it.
What two parts is the brain stem composed of?
The hind brain and midbrain.
What is the function of the medulla?
Breathing, heart rate, coughing via cranial nerves. It looks like an extension of the spinal cord.
What are cranial nerves?
Major nerves around the head and face.
What is the function of the pons?
Communication between the two sides of the brain. It is more of a mediator, without a whole lot of responsibility on its own.
What is the function of the Reticular Formation?
Arousal and attention, as well as some motor functions.
What is the function of the cerebellum?
Balance, timing, attention, and coordination.
What are the three parts of the midbrain?
1. Tectum

2. Tegmentum

3. Substantia naigra
What two parts compose the tectum?
Superior and inferior colliculi.
What is the function of the superior colliculus?
Visual, primary fuction is the position of the head and eyes in relation to other things.
What is the function of the inferior colliculus?
Auditory, takes information from the cochlea to determine the position of the head in reference to sounds.
What is the function of the tegmentum?
It is the pathway of the 3rd and 4th cranial nerves.
What is the function of the substantia niagra?
Dopaminergic pathway that deteriorates in Parkinson's Disease. Signals dopamine.
What are the 5 parts of the limbic system?
Cingulate Gyrus, Hypothalamus, Olfactory Bulb, Amygdala, and Hippocampus.
What is the function of the hippocampus?
It stores new memories. Damage will cause 50 first dates syndrome.
What is the function of the amygdala?
Emotions. No specialized regions. Every emotional reaction activates it.
What is the function of the hypothalamus?
Thirst, hunger, aggression, lust. Tied into basically all other areas and reaches out to almost every region of the spinal cord and cortex.
What is contained in the hypothalamus?
Pituitary gland.
What is the function of the pituitary gland?
Releases hormones and functions in growth.
What is the function of the thalamus?
Sensory switchboard both ways. It regulates continual perception to interesting events. Decides what to pay attention to.

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