Module 5 - Module 5 The Brain 1 The Tools of Discovery...

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Module 5: The Brain 1. The Tools of Discovery: techniques for studying the brain a. Clinical Observation of patients with brain injuries/diseases b. Electric, chemical, or magnetic stimulation of brain parts c. Surgical lesioning of specific brain areas in animals d. Electroencephalogram (EEG): a recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain’s surface measures by electrodes placed in the scalp e. Neuroimaging Techniques i. PET (positron emission tomography) scan: a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a task [which areas are most active during a task?] ii. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) : a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images of structures within the brain [what does the brain tissue look like?] iii. fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) : a technique for revealing blood flow and therefore brain activity during a given task [what part of the brain is particularly active during a specific task?] 2. Older Brain Structures a. Ratio of brain to body weight is informative; but not always true that big brain = more intelligent b. Brainstem : the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; responsible for automatic survival functions i. Medulla : the base of the brain stem; controls heartbeat and breathing
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ii. Reticular Formation : a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal c. Thalamus : brain’s sensory switchboard; located on the top of the brainstem; receives messages from the senses, directs them to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex, and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla d. Cerebellum : attached to the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory
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Module 5 - Module 5 The Brain 1 The Tools of Discovery...

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