Lecture_Notes-The_Brain_and_Neuropsychology.docx -...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 13 pages.

Neuropsychology- The Neuron, the Brain, the Spinal Cord Introduction When students take an introductory Psychology course, most imagine it to be a course about personality, mental processes, mental disorders, etc. However, Psychology is also Biology. We are not only mental, emotional, and social beings, but we are also biological ones. From a biological point of view, all of our functioning can be traced back to the Brain and all of the electrical and chemical activity that occurs there. The field of Psychology that studies how the Brain works and how its processes affect our human behavior is called Neuropsychology. It is a relatively new field, and the research in this area has exploded with the rapid advances in technology – (EEG’s, CAT scans, and MRI’s). It has also fundamentally changed the way we understand human behavior. The Neuron The basic cell of the nervous system is the Neuron. Our brain has over 100 billion of these nerve cells, and they talk to each other by sending electrical and chemical messages. The result of these connections/messages is every thought, emotion, decision, movement, etc. that we have/make. In other words, all human behavior can be linked to the activity of some neuron or neurons in the brain. What does a neuron look like and how does it work to produce our thoughts, feelings, and behavior? The picture below gives you a good idea of what a neuron looks like. Please make special note of the following parts of the neuron as you will be expected to identify the parts and state the basic function of each part. The parts of the neuron include the dendrites, the cell body or nucleus, the axon, the myelin sheath, and the terminal branches. And then you have the neurotransmitters which are the actual chemicals in the brain that stimulate neurons and are also produced by neurons. Here’s a picture of the neuron:
Image of page 1

Subscribe to view the full document.

Figure 1 The Neuron. Source: Creative Commons( ) . On the left side are tentacle-like structures called the dendrites. They extend off of a circular structure called the nucleus or cell-body. Next, protruding from the cell body to the right is a long slender tube called the Axon. Covering the axon are “sausage link” looking structures called the Myelin Sheath. At the end of the Axon tube is a branch-like structure called the Terminal Branches (or axon terminal). Swimming around the neuron but not pictured here are small round molecules or chemicals called neurotransmitters. They are chemical messengers. The function of each part of the neuron will be provided below in paragraph form. The picture above also shows the parts called Node of Ranvier and Schwann Cells. There’s no need to remember these for our class. Let’s talk about each of the other neuron parts and how they work to create the human experience.
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
  • Spring '18
  • Steven E Wampler
  • left hemisphere

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Get FREE access by uploading your study materials

Upload your study materials now and get free access to over 25 million documents.

Upload now for FREE access Or pay now for instant access
Christopher Reinemann
"Before using Course Hero my grade was at 78%. By the end of the semester my grade was at 90%. I could not have done it without all the class material I found."
— Christopher R., University of Rhode Island '15, Course Hero Intern

Ask a question for free

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern