Lecture Outline •Nervous system cells. •Nerve potentials. •The autonomic nervous system. •Overview of the brain. •The hindbrain, midbrain, and subcortical forebrain. The “Hard Problem” •We now have amassed a large body of knowledge about the brain. •We still don’t know, however, what an explanation of how conscious experience emerges from the structure and activity of the brain would be like. –Will it emerge from psychology, neuroscience, quantum physics, or some other (possibly new) area of inquiry? Neurons •Neuronsare cells that transfer information within the nervous system. •Three classes of neurons: –Sensory: Transmit information from sensory receptors to the brain. –Motor: Transmit commands from the brain to the muscles and glands of the body. –Interneurons: Interconnect neurons. Glia •Glia support the neurons of the brain. –Provide insulation. –Remove waste products and foreign bodies. –Recent research suggests their role may be more complex than previously thought. •There are about 10 times as many glia as neurons. –A glial cell is only about 1/10 the size of a neuron.
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