Lecture 3 - 06.04.10

Lecture 3 - 06.04.10 - 06.04.10 Psych 130 Lecture 3...

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06.04.10 Psych 130 – Lecture 3 Biological Processes Descartes Religion was playing a big role in the way that science proceeded Question o How are the spirit and body connected (mind and brain)? Connected in pineal gland – tiny gland in the brain Dualistic thinking: believing that psychological and biological processes are separate phenomena. o However, in this class at least, you should be an anti-dualist and should not believe that the mind and the brain are two separate things. o If we see something at the behavioural level, there must be something at the biological level that we can measure. Gene <-> Protein <-> Neuron <-> Brain <-> Behaviour <-> Child <-> Family <-> Society All of these affect each other. Cerebral Cortex Lobes are major areas of the cortex that are associated with different categories of behaviour o Occipital lobe : Primarily associated with processing visual information o Temporal lobe : Involved in memory, visual recognition, and the processing of emotion and auditory information o Parietal lobe : Governs spatial processing and integrates sensory input with information in memory. People with damage to this area of the brain have problems recognizing spatial layouts. They show “neglect” so they do not show spatial appreciation of objects in different places. o Frontal lobe : Organises behaviour and is responsible for planning. Helps us make decisions. Prefrontal cortex activity can be dampened by consuming lots of alcohol or being sleep deprived. This leads us to make more impulsive decisions because the prefrontal cortex helps us make good decisions. Evolution of the Brain – Phylogeny and Ontogeny Mammalian Brain – have a cortex (control behaviour). This cortex allows us to control our behaviour. Humans have the biggest cortex and therefore have the most complex and nuanced behaviour. We make choices and decisions and these are shaped by the environment so everyone does something a little different. o A lizard does not have much of a cortex so does not have much control of its behaviour and has no control over decisions. The lizard brain is very reflexive and regimented. The cortex is the latest to develop phylogenetically AND ontogenetically. o C-shaped development – most development in lower and back parts of the brain and there is a C-shaped progression so the frontal part of the brain is the last to develop. This is why a child is able to see very well much earlier than they can make good decisions The Neuron – a cell in the brain that is the basic mode of communication within the brain. There are a number of different types of neurons but the basic structure has a dendrite and an axon. The axon is the part of the cell
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that sends a chemical message to the next cell. The dendrite is the part of the neuron that picks up that message. The axon and the dendrite connect at the synapse. The chemical messages that are released by the axon to the
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Lecture 3 - 06.04.10 - 06.04.10 Psych 130 Lecture 3...

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