Major divisions of the nervous system and their roles

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-Changes in human brain over evolution (size, connectivity, etc.) -Major divisions of the nervous system and their roles - Gross anatomy of the brain: o Hemispheres and lobes o Major gyri and sulci o Major functional organization: visual cortex, motor cortex, areas for verbal behaviour, various structures such as thalamus and hypothalamus, cerebellum, structures in brain stem, etc. - Different ways of sectioning the brain: coronal, sagittal, horizontal
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- Case of Phineas Gage and what it told us about the prefrontal cortex -Verbal behaviour in the brain – left lateralized – Broca’s area (production) and Wernicke’s area (comprehension) - Case study of Charles Whitman (Texas sniper – amygdala tumour) - Case study of Henry Molaison (epileptic, hippocampal removal – anterograde amnesia) - Neurons o Anatomy – parts and their functions o State of a neuron at rest The resting potential Relative concentrations of sodium and potassium inside and out o Action potential How it starts and how it’s propagated down the axon (in myelinated and non- myelinated axons) The role of the myelin sheath and how it affects signal transmission The all or none law; but then how is strength of a signal communicated? Number of neurons firing Rate of firing o The synapse Transmission of the signal across the gap using ‘chemical messengers’ (neurotransmitters, or NTs) Steps in synaptic transmission (action potential arrives, vesicles fuse with membrane, NT released, etc.) Two effects of binding: excitatory (cell becomes less negative inside, more likely to fire) and inhibitory (cell becomes more negative inside, less likely to fire)
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- Major NTs: GABA, glutamate, etc., and their major functions - Drugs o How they have effects in the nervous system (mostly at the synapse) o Agonism vs antagonism - Research methods in brain research o Lesioning o Electrical stimulation of brain (ESB) – also single-cell recording and stimulation deliberate and ‘experiments of nature’ o EEG and ERP o TMS o CT scanning (computerized tomography) – not in text  X-rays taken from various angles  Computer used to combine them into a an image of a slice of brain. o MRI (structural) o Hemodynamic methods PET fMRI Caution – risk of Type 1 error (false positives) - Split brain patients o What it means o Effects (e.g., with regard to perceiving and naming objects) Chapter 5: Body rhythms and mental states - Consciousness definition - Biological rhythms o Definition and examples o Circadian rhythms definition o Why did they evolve? Adaptation o Entrainment o Chronobiology – what it is, and experiments o Biological clock: Brain areas and hormones involved? o Desynchronization of rhythms – causes and effects o Chronotypes – lark and owl o Mood effects: SAD and PMS
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- Sleep and dreaming o Different stages of sleep and associated brain wave patterns (EEG) – frequency and amplitude o REM sleep characteristics o Differences in sleep stages across ages – old vs young o Theories regarding the purpose/function of sleep
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