Ch 2 notes - Chapter 2: Neuroscience and Behavior I....

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Chapter 2: Neuroscience and Behavior I. Introduction: Everything psychological is simultaneously biological o Your every idea, mood, urge, is a biological happening; you love, laugh and cry w/ your body. Today’s science is riveted on our body’s most amazing parts – the brain, it’s component neural system, and their genetic instructions. Our understanding of how the brain gives birth to the mind has come a long way. o Plato correctly located the mind in the head. o Aristotle believed the mind is in the heart. Phrenology – invented by German physician Franz Gall in the early 1800s; a popular but ill-fated theory that claimed bumps on our skull could reveal our mental abilities and our character traits. o Did, however correctly focus attention on the idea that various brain regions have particular functions. Biological psychology – a branch of psychology concerned w/ the links between biology and behaviors. (aka behavioral neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, behavioral genetics, physiological psychologist, or biopsychologists.) o Are gaining a better understanding of sleep and dreams, depression and schizophrenia, hunger and sex, stress and disease. II. Neural Communication Neurons – billions of interconnected cells the body’s information system is built from o We must understand how neurons work and comm. to fathom our thoughts and actions, memories and moods. We are each a system composed of subsystems that are in turn composed of even smaller subsystems o Tiny cells organize organs (heart, brain etc) o Organs form systems (circulatory, information) At all levels, psychs. examine how we organize, interpret, and store it, and how we use it. Info systems of humans and animals operate similarly o Allows researchers to study animals to discover how our neural systems operate. a. Neurons Building blocks of info system Many different types but have the same theme Neuron – a never cell; the basic building block of the nervous system i. Consists of a cell body and its branching fibers Dendrites – the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body Axon – the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands i. Dendrites are short while axons are sometimes very long Motor neurons – control muscles
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Myelin sheath – a layer of fatty tissue encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next i. Imp. is evident in multiple sclerosis (degenerates) Depending on the fiber, the neural impulse travels at speeds ranging from 2 minor to 200+ mi/hr Brain activity is measured in milliseconds Neuron fires an impulse when receives signals from sense receptors stimulated by pressure, heat, or light, or when it is stimulated by chem. message from neighboring neurons
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course PSYC 107 taught by Professor Hull during the Fall '07 term at Texas A&M.

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Ch 2 notes - Chapter 2: Neuroscience and Behavior I....

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