BrainOrganizationfromMichele

BrainOrganizationfromMichele - Brain Organization A. The...

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Brain Organization A. The Brainstem - connects the base of the brain to the spinal cord at the level of the neck and upwards through the bottom (central) surface of the brain. It controls basic life functions such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, arousal (sleep/wakefulness), and aids in maintaining alertness. In addition, the brain stem acts as the relay station for motoric and sensorial input and output between the brain and the peripheral nervous system. Damage can result in coma, dysarthria (speech difficulties), choking, fatigue (cognitive and physical), and disorientation. (For more information see Section 1.7a )
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B. The Cerebellum - is primarily involved in controlling balance and equilibrium, and coordination of fine and gross body movements. Damage to the cerebellum can result in tremors, loss of motor control, slurred speech, impairments in balance (i.e., dizziness, vertigo , difficulty in standing or walking), and difficulties in precise motor fluency (e.g., timing of an action adjustment of force). (For more information, see Section 1.7b ) C. Limbic System - This system consists of several different structures ( hippocampus , mamillary bodies, amygdala , septum, fornix, etc.), which together permit the expression of emotions, the establishment of memories, and the coordination of these as a function of cortical awareness. (For more information, see Section 1.7d ) Thalamus - This is the central relay station for incoming sensory information which directs information towards the cortex for awareness and perception and towards other parts of the brain which are reliant on information from our external environment. (For more information, see Section 1.7e ) Hypothalamus - This structure is at the very base of the brain and controls the body through its direction of the pituitary gland and the autonomic nervous system. In doing so, it regulates and directs behaviours that are fundamental and necessary for our survival, namely: feeding, drinking,
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sleeping, reproduction, temperature control, and emotion (negative and positive). (For more information, see Section 1.7e ) D. The Cerebrum - is divided into right and left halves, referred to as “hemispheres.” The cerebral hemispheres are the most highly evolved and most complex part of the entire brain. Their outer layer, the cortex, is folded into numerous convolutions, called gyri , to provide more surface area within the limited space allowed by the skull. These gyri are so tightly packed that only about 30% of the cortex is actually visible from the outside surface. The cortex integrates information from lower systems and adjacent areas, allowing us to perceive, interpret, and react meaningfully to our environment. The
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2011 for the course ASP 121 taught by Professor Bourdon during the Winter '11 term at Lahore School of Economics.

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BrainOrganizationfromMichele - Brain Organization A. The...

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