The Brain and the Nervous System

The Brain and the Nervous System - Chapter 3: The Brain and...

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1 1 Chapter 3: The Brain and the Nervous System 2 The Brain 1. How are biological influences actualized? What bodily mechanisms produce our behavior? 2. The simple answer is that our brain and our nervous system makes that happen. Brain 3 The Organism as a Machine
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2 4 Organism as a Machine 1. Sixteenth and the 17 th century marked the enlightened period when people became well versed in math, physics, and other technological sciences. 2. Based on such understanding Descartes asked seriously if brain was also a machine, and could human behavior be explained in mechanical terms. (1596-1650) www.img.tfd.com 5 Reflex Action Concept 1. Descartes studied the reflex action (see picture) and suggested that information from the senses reached the brain via the nerves, and the brain then reflected (thus reflex) by channeling energy into the nerve to produce actions through muscles. 2. Although brain, he argued had a lot of mechanical operations, but behavior in humans was carried out by a soul, as opposed to animals. pages.slc.edu 6 How do we Study the Nervous System?
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3 7 Neuroscience 1. Neuroscience is the study of the nature, functions, origins of the nervous system. The approach begins with studying cells of the nervous system. 2. It is a multidisciplinary approach, and includes psychology, biology, computer sciences etc. 3. Neuroscientific investigations tells us that there are 100 billion neurons in the nervous system (NS). Each neuron makes about 50,00 connections. So the complexity of NS is enormous. 8 Neuroscience 4. The other kind of bells in the NS are glia (from the word “glue”), which outnumber neurons 10:1. Their function is not incompletely understood. Neuron Glial Cell: Astrocyte 9 Clinical Observations 1. A great deal of our understanding about the brain and the nervous system comes from clinical studies where people suffered from injuries and insults to the brain. 2. One such historical case has been of a man called Phineas Gage, who worked as railroad construction foreman. 3. During demolition, a 3-foot long steel rod pierced through his brain changing his emotional and intellectual life. www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
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4 10 Neuropsychology 1. Neuropsychology understands brain function by examining individuals who have suffered brain damage. 2. Neuropsychologists design experiments to look at what behaviors can be performed by these patients and which others not. 3. Carrying out such experiments have lead neuropsychologists to propose different modules in the brain. Some modules carry motion perception, other color perception etc. 11 Experimental Techniques Brain Lesions Lesion (damage) in animal brains have been used as an experimental technique to study behavioral deficits as a result. 12
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The Brain and the Nervous System - Chapter 3: The Brain and...

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