It is also believed to play a role in fear and

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of the brain, cortical processing influences the limbic system. It is also believed to play a role in fear and anxiety, which effects completing tasks, planning ahead, considering consequences, and concern about how others view you. These tasks have been proven to belong to the orbitofrontal cortex through research in which humans and monkeys with damaged orbitofrontal cortexes experienced little fear or anxiety. (WB, Wiki) 22. Just inferior to the anterior thalamus is the hypothalamus . It is the brain’s master regulatory structure. The hypothalamus receives input from nearly everywhere in the body and also influences almost everywhere in the body. Specifically, it plays a large role in internal organ function such as regulating body temperature, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. In addition, this part of the brain influences basic drives such as aggression, lust, hunger, and thirst. (G, H & H, WB) 23. In the medial temporal lobe, just anterior to the hippocampus is the amygdala . This almond shaped structure belongs to the limbic system and links the feelings of fear and anxiety to appropriate stimuli and responses. Stimulation of the amygdala produces defensive behaviors and activates the sympathetic nervous system. The amygdala receives input from all the sensory systems and links this information to appropriate brain stem response circuits. It helps us learn to associate things in the world with emotional responses and in this way is very beneficial. (G, H & H, WB) 24. In the brain stem, running along the midline of the reticular formation, is a vertical sheet of nuclei called the Raphé nuclei . The neurons in these nuclei contain the neurotransmitter serotonin. The Raphé nuclei are important for vigilance and levels of alertness. Stimulation to this area can bring out defensive behaviors. Antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are believed to work in these nuclei and at their targets. (WB, Wiki) 25. Broca’s area is in the left frontal cortex, anterior to the mouth region of the primary motor cortex. This area is important the production of speech. The area is
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named after Pierre Broca, who reported patients who had lost their ability to speak after damage to it. Broca’s area produces speech by activating the primary motor cortex that it borders. Damage to this area would render a person incapable of making sensible speech; yet, this person would still be able to understand language. (G, H, & H, WB, Wiki) 26. In the superior temporal cortex of the left hemisphere, posterior to the primary auditory cortex, is Wernicke’s area . This area plays an important role in mediating comprehension of language. Damage to this area results in receptive aphasia, which causes a person to be unable to speak normally. Wernicke’s area receives information about written words from the left angular gyrus when reading. It comprehends this information and then Broca’s area allows for the production of speech. (WB, Wiki)
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  • Fall '10
  • Felipe
  • primary motor cortex, primary visual cortex

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