You are on page 1of 20

Chapter 3 Biological Foundations of Behaviour The Neural Bases of Behaviour Termed as our 3 pound universe To understand how the

he brain controls our experiences we must first know how its individual cells function and how they communicate with one another

Neurons Basic building blocks of the nervous system o Linked together in circuits, At birth, the brain contains 100 billion neurons Each neuron has 3 main parts: o A cell body (aka soma) Contains biochemical structures needed to keep the neuron alive Nucleus carries the genetic information that determines how the cell develops and functions o Dendrites Emerging from the cell body are branchlike fibres called dendrites Specialized receiving units like antennas collect messages from neighbouring neurons and send them on to the cell body There the incoming information is combined and processed The many branches of dendrites can receive input from 1000 or more neighbouring neurons The surface of the cell body also has receptor areas that can be directly stimulated by other neurons o Axon Extending from one side of the cell body is a single axon which conducts electrical impulses away from the cell body to other neurons, muscles, glands Branches out at its end to form a number of axon terminals Each axon may connect with dendritic branches from numerous neurons allowing for a single neuron to pass messages to 50000 other neurons b/c the structure of the dendrities and axons, it allows for interconnections in the brain neurons vary in sizes and shapes sculpted by nature to receive process and send messages Neurons are supported in their functions by glial cells o Surround neurons and hold them in place o Make nutrient chemicals that neurons need o From the myelin sheath around some axons and absorbs toxins and waste materials that might damage neurons

o o

During prenatal development, new neurons are being formed through cell division, glial cells send out long fibres that guide newly divided neurons to their targeted place in the brain Outnumber neurons 10-1 Protects brain from toxins Foreign substances can pass from the circulation into the different organs of the body but cannot pass from the blood into the brain because of a specialized barrier called the blood brain barrier prevents many substances including toxins from entering the brain walls of the blood vessels within the brain contain smaller gaps than elsewhere in the body and they are also covered by a specialized type of glial cell together the smaller gaps and glial cells keep many foreign substances from gainin g access to the brain modulates the communication among neurons

Electrical Activity of Neurons Neurons do 2 important things o Generate electricity that creates nerve impulses o Release chemicals that allow them to communicate with other neurons and with muscles and glands How nerve impulses occur o Nerve activation At rest, the neuron has an electrical resting potential due to the distribution of positively and negatively charged chemicals(ions) inside and outside the neuron When stimulated, a flow of ions in and out through the cell membrane reverses the electrical charge of the resting potential, producing an action potential or nerve impulse The original distribution of ions is restored and the neuron is again at rest o In detail... o Like other cells, neurons are surrounded by body fluids and separated from this liquid environment by a protective membrane o This cell membrane is like a selective sieve, allowing certain substances to pass through ion channels into the cell while refusing or limiting passage to other substances o Ion channel is literally a passageway or channel in the membrane that can open to allow ions to pass through o The chemical environment inside the neuron differs from its external environment in significant ways, and the process whereby a nerve impulse is created involves the exchange of electrically changed atoms called ions o In salty fluid outside the neuron are positively charged sodium ions and negatively charged chloride ions

o o

o o

Inside the neuron are large negatively charged protein molecules and positively charged potassium ions The high concentration of sodium ions in the fluid outside the cell together with the negatively charged protein ions inside results in an uneven distribution of positive and negative ions that makes the interior of the cell negative compared to the outside This internal difference of around 70 millivolts is called the neurons resting potential At rest it is called the state of polarization

The Action Potential Alan Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley found that if they stimulated the neurons axon with a mild electrical stimulus, the interior voltage differential shifted suddenly from -70millivots to +40 millivolts These scientists forced a action potential o Sudden reversal in the neurons membrane voltage during which the membrane voltage momentarily moves from -70 to +40 millvolts o The shift from negative to positive voltage is called depolarization The scientists found that the key mechanism is the action of sodium and potassium ion channels in the cell membrane In a resting state, the neurons sodium and potassium channels are closed and the concentration of sodium ions is 10x higher outside the neuron than inside it But when a neuron is stimulated sufficiently, nearby sodium channels open up Attracted by the negative protein ions inside, positively charged sodium ions flood into the axon creating depolarization In a reflex action to restore the resting potential, the cell closes its sodium channels and positively charged potassium ions flow out through their channels restoring the negative resting potential Eventually the excess sodium ions flow out of the neuron and the escaped potassium ions are recovered Figure 3.2 page 72 Once an action potential occurs at any point on the membrane, its effects spread to adjacent sodium channels and the action potential flows down the length of the axon to the axon terminals Immediately after an impulse passes a point along the axon, however, there is a recovery period as K+ ions flow out of the interior During this absolute refractory period, the membrane is not excitable and cannot generate another action potential This places an upper limit on the rate at which nerve impulses can occur In humans it is about 300 impulses / second

Its all or nothing All or nothing law o Action potentials occur at a uniform and maximum intensity or they do not occur at all o The negative potential inside the axon has to be changed from -70 to -50 (the action potential threshold) by the arrival of sodium ions into the axon before the action potential will be triggered o Changes in the negative resting potential that do not reach the -50 millivolts action potential threshold are called graded potentials o Under certain circumstances, graded potentials caused by several neurons can add up to trigger an action potential in the postsynaptic neuron For a neuron to function properly, sodium and potassium ions must enter and leave the membrane at the right rate

Myelin Sheath Many axons that transmit information throughout the brain and spinal cord are covered by a tube like myelin sheath Fattish, whitish insulation layer derived from glial cells during development The myelin sheath is interrupted at regular intervals by the nodes of Ranvier where myelin is either extremely thin or absent Nodes make myelin sheath look like sausages placed end to end In unmyelinated axons, the action potential travels down the axon length like a burning fuse In myelinated axons electrical conduction can skip from node to node, and these great leaps from one gap to another account for high conduction speeds of more than 300 km /hour Most commonly found in the nervous systems of higher animals-in many nerve fibres, the myelin sheath is not completely formed after birth Damage to myelin coating is apparent in people suffering from MSwhen immune system attacks myelin sheath which disrupts timing of nerve impulses which ultimately end in paralysis

How neurons communicate: Synaptic Transmission Nervous system is like a communications network and its action requires the transmission of nerve impulses from one neuron to another Famous scientists Santiago Ramon y Cajal and Charles Sherrington claimed that neurons were individual cells that did not make actual physical contact with each other but communicated at an synapse, a functional connection between a neuron and its target This was controversial until Otto Loewi showed that neurons released chemicals and these chemicals carried the message from one neuron to the next cell in the circuit o Called neurotransmission Synaptic cleft o Tiny gap between the axon terminal of one neuron and the dendrite of the next neuron

Neurotransmitters Chemical substances that carry messages across the synapse to either excite other neurons or inhibit their firing Process of chemical communication involves 5 steps o Synthesis Chemical molecules are formed inside the neuron o Storage Then the molecules are stored in chambers called synaptic vesicles within the axon terminals o Release When an action potential comes down the axon, these vesicles move to the surface of the axon terminal and the molecules are released into the fluid-filled space between the axon of the sending (presynaptic) neuron and the membrane of the receiving (postsynaptic) neuron o Binding The molecules cross synaptic space and bindattach themselves to receptor siteslarge protein molecules embedded in the receiving neurons cell membrane The receptor siteslook like lily pads have a specially shaped surface that fits a specific transmitter molecule o Deactivation

Excitation, Inhibition, Deactivation The binding of a transmitter molecule to the receptor site procures a chemical reaction that can have 1 or 2 effects on the postsynaptic neuron o It can have the reaction depolarize (excite) the postsynaptic cell membrane by stimulating the inflow of sodium or other positively charged ions Neurotransmitters that create depolarization are called excitatory transmitters This stimulation alone or in combination with activity at other excitatory synapses on the dendrites or the cell body may exceed the action potential threshold and cause the post synaptic neuron to fire an action potential o The chemical reaction created by the docking of a neurotransmitter at its receptor site will hyperpolarize the postsynaptic membrane by stimulating ion channels that allow positively charged potassium ions to flow out of the neuron or negatively charge irons such as chloride to flow in the neuron This makes the membrane potential even more negative ( eg. Changing it from 70 to -72 millivolts) Hyperpolarization makes it more difficult for excitatory transmitters at other receptor sites to depolarize the neuron to its action potential threshold of -55 millivolts Transmitters that create hyperpolarization are inhibitory in their function

A neurontransmitter can have an excitatory effect or inhibitory influence on neurons Every neuron is constantly bombarded with excitatory and inhibitory neurontransmitters from other neurons and the interplay of these influences determines whether the cell fires an action potential Even when receiving excitatory stimulus from several neurons at the same time, the action of an inhibitory transmitter from one presynaptic neuron may prevent the postsynaptic neuron from reaching the action potential threshold Inhibition allows tunes of neural activity and prevents an uncoordinated discharge of the nervous system eg. Seizure when large numbers of neurons fire off action potential in a runaway fashion Once a neurontransmitter molecule binds to its receptor, it continues to activate or inhibit the neuron until it is shut off/ deactivated This occurs in 2 major ways o Deactivated by other chemicals located in the synaptic space that break them down into their chemical components o The deactivation mechanism is reuptake The transmitter molecules are reabsorbed into the presynaptic axon terminal When the receptor molecule is vacant, the post synaptic neuron returns to its former resting state awaiting the next chemical stimulation

Specialized Transmitter Systems The brain has systems that are uniquely sensitive to certain messages Because various systems in the brain recognize only certain chemical messages, they are protected from cross- talk from other systems Each substance has a specific excitatory/inhibitory effect on certain neurons Two widespread neurotransmitters are simple amino acids, glutamate, glutamic acid, and gamma-aminobutyric acid GABA Glutamate and GABA are found throughout the central nervous system and therefore have a role in mediating all behaviours Glutamate is excitatory o Important role in learning and memory o Improving memory cannot be as simple as enhancing glutamate activity since it has a power excitatory effect o Over activation of glutamate will induce seizure within the braincerebral cortex o GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter Important for motor control and the control of anxiety Alcohol makes the brain more sensitive to GABA Acetylcholine(ACh) o Involved in memory and muscle activity o Underproduction is thought to be important factor in Alzheimers disease

Excitatory transmitter at the synapses where neurons activate muscle cells Drugs that block can prevent muscle activation eg. Botulismserious type of food poisoning Botulinum bacteria blocks the release of ACh from the axon terminal resulting in a potentially fatal paralysis of the muscles including the respiratory system o The opposite is bite of black widow spider The venom produces a lot of ACh, resulting in violent muscle contractions Dopamine o Mediates motivation, reward, feelings of pleasure, voluntary motor control and control of thought processes o Helps us understand diseases Parkinsons one group of dopamine producing neurons degenerate and die As dopamine is lost in the affected brain areas, there is a accompanying loss of voluntary motor control o Anti psychotic drugs-attach to dopamine receptors and block dopamine from having its effects Effective in treating symptoms of schizophrenia For depression o Depression involves abnormal sensitivity to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences mood, eating, sleep, and sexual behaviour o Antidepressant drugs increase serotonin activity o Prozac blocks the reuptake of serotonin from the synaptic space allowing serotonin molecules to remain active and exert their mood-altering effects on depressed patients o Other antidepressant drugs work by inhibiting the activity of enzymes in the synaptic space that deactivates serotonin by breaking it down into simpler chemicals-this prolongs serotonin activity at the synapse Endorphins o Reduce pain and increase feelings of well-being o Bind to the same receptors as the ones activated by opiate drugs such as morphine which produce similar psychological effects o The ability of people to continue to function despite pain Neuromodulators o These substances circulate through the brain and either increase/decrease the sensitivity of millions of neurons in their specific transmitters o Important in eating, sleep, stress

o o

The Nervous system Master control center 3 major types of neurons carry out the systems input, output, and integration functions

o o

Sensory neurons Carry input messages from the sense organs to the spinal cord and brain Motor neurons Transmit output impulses from the brain and spinal cord to the bodys muscles and organs Interneurons link the input and output functions outnumber sensory and motor neurons, perform connective/associative functions within the nervous system eg. Recognizing a tune by linking the sensory input from the song with the memory of that song stored in the brain allow for complex higher mental functions, emotions, and behavioural capabilities broken down into several interrelated subsystems-2 major divisions Central nervous system consisting of all the neurons in the brain and spinal cord Peripheral nervous system Composed of all the neurons that connect the central nervous system with the muscles, glands, and sensory receptors

Peripheral Nervous System Contains neural structures that lie outside the brain and spinal cord Helps carry out the input and output functions that are necessary for us to sense what is going on inside and outside our bodies and to respond with our muscles and glands 2 major divisions o Somatic nervous system o Autonomic nervous system

Somatic Nervous system Consists of the sensory neurons that are specialized to transmit messages from the eyes, ears, other sensory/motor receptors, to send messages from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles that control our voluntary movements The axons of sensory neurons group together like many strands of rope to form sensory nerves, and motor neurons axons combine to form motor nerves Inside the brain and spinal cord, nerves are called tracts Allows to read page...

Autonomic Nervous system Bodys internal environmentcontrols the glands and ht smooth involuntary muscles that form the heart, the blood vessels , and the lining of the stomach and intestines Related to involuntary functions such as

o Respiration o Circulation o Digestion o Motivation o Emotional behaviour o Stress responses Two divisions o Sympathetic nervous system Arousal function-tends to act as a total unit Eg. When youre in a stressful situation, the sympathetic nervous system simultaneously speeds your heart so it can pump more blood to your muscles, dilates your pupils so more light can enter the eye and improve your vision, slows down your digestive system so that blood can be transferred to the muscles, increases your rate of respiration so your body gets more oxygen and mobilizes your body to confront the stressoraka flight or fight response o Parasympathetic nervous system Slows down body processes and maintains/returns you to a state of rest Slows down heart rate o Often affects the same organ/gland in opposing ways o These two divisions work together to maintain equilibrium in our internal organs and maintain homeostasis o Sexual function requires coordinated sequence of sympathetic and parasympathetic activities

Central nervous system The brain and spinal cord

Spinal Cord Most nerves enter and leave through the spinal cord Adult 40-45 cm long 2.5 cm diameter Spinal cord neurons protected by vertebraethe bones of the spine Central portion resembles H/butterfly o Consists of grey coloured neuron cell bodies and their interconnections o Surrounding the grey matter are white coloured myelinated axons that connect various levels of the spinal cord with each other and with the higher centres of the brain The back side of the spinal cord along its length are sensory nerves Motor nerves exit the spinal cords front side Spinal reflexes o Simple stimulus response sequences o Triggered at the level of the spinal cord without any involvement of the brain

o o

Eg. Touch hot thing, sensory receptors in the skin trigger nerve impulses in sensory nerves that flash into spinal cord and synapse inside with interneurons Interneurons excite motor neurons that send impulses to your hand so that it pulls away from the hot objectthis spinal cord and no brain is faster and helps prevent tissue damage

The Brain 1.4 kilograms of protein, fat, fluid Most active energy consumer of all body organs-use 20% oxygen during resting state Brain never rests; rate of energy metabolism relatively constant day/night o Dreaming makes you use more energy!

Unlocking the secrets of the brain Neuropsychological tests Psychologists have developed these tests to o measure verbal and non verbal behaviours that are known to be affected by particular types of brain damage used in clinical evaluations of people who may have suffered brain damage figure 3.9

Destruction and stimulation techniques experimental studies are another useful method to study the brain researchers produce brain damage under controlled conditions in which specific nervous tissue is destroyed with electricity, cold/heat, chemicals They also can surgically remove some portion of the brain and study the consequences Also stimulate neuronsusually produce opposite effects o a specific region in the brain can be stimulated by a mild electric current/chemicals that excite neurons o electrodes can be permanently implanted so that the region of interest is stimulated repeatedly o chemical stimulation studies a tiny tube is inserted into the brain so the chemical can go to the desired place Wilder Penfield, pioneered brain surgery when he stimulated specific points of cortex with a mild electrical current to map out the functions of the cerebral cortex on an awake patient

Electrical Recording b/c electrodes record brain activity as well as stimulate it, we can listen to the electrical conversations occurring in the brain measured by inserting small electrodes into particular areas/neurons of the brain

scientists can tune in to crowd noise by placing larger electrodes on the scalp to measure the activity of large groups of neurons with the electrencehalogram(EEG) specific EEG patterns correspond to certain states of consciousness eg wakefulness and sleep detects abnormal electrical patterns that signal presence of brain disorders researchers use this to find change in the EEG record that accompany specific psychological events like the presentation of a sensory stimulus-event related potentials (ERP)

Brain Imaging CT scans( Computerized axial tomography) o Developed 1970s o Use x ray technology to study brain structures o Highly focused beam of x-rays takes pictures of narrow slices of the brain Computer analyzes the x rayed slices and creates pictures of the brains interior from many different angles Helps pinpoint where injuries or deterioration have occurred and this helps us know the relationship between brain damage and psychological functioning PET scans(positron emission tomography) o Measure brain activity including metabolism, blood flow, neurotransmitter activity o Based on glucose is the major nutrient of neurons o When neurons are active, they consume more glucose o When preparing for scan, a harmless form of radioactive glucose is put in bloodstream and travels to brain where it circulates in blood supply o Energy emitted by the radioactive substance is measured by PET scan and a computer uses readings to get a color picture of the brain o How active a neuron is depends on the amount of radioactive glucose that accumulates in themwhere the glucose is concentrated MRI(Magnetic resonance imaging) o Combines CT and PET scans and used to study brain structure and activity o Creates images based on how atoms in living tissue respond to magnetic pulses delivered by the device o More clear than CT scan o Researcher places part of the body to be studied in hollow core of long magnetic cylinder and exposes the atoms in the subjects body to a uniform magnetic field o The field is altered and when the field is shut off the magnetic energy absorbed by the atoms in the tissue emits a small electrical voltage o Picked up by detectors and relayed to a computer for analysis o Shows images in color and tells which chemicals are active in the tissue o fMRI can produce pictures of blood flow less than a second apart unlike conventional MRI which is several minutes apart

The Hierarchical Brain: Structures and Behavioural Functions

The Hindbrain As spinal cord enters brain, it enlarges to form the structures that compose the stalklike brain stem Attached to this stem is the other major portion of the hindbrain, the cerebellum

The Brain stem: Life support systems Medulla is the first structure after leaving the spinal cord o 3.8cm long medulla has an important role in vital body functions such as heart rate and respiration o The medulla allows these functions to happen automatically o Damage to the medulla results in death or the need to be maintained on life support systems o High alcohol intake causes suppression of medulla activity=death o Two-way fare for sensory and motor nerve tracts coming up from the spinal cord and descending from the brain o Most tracts cross over within medulla so the left side receives sensory input and exerts motor control over the right side of the body o Right side of the brain serves the left side of the body o -cross over is unsolved mystery Ponsmeaning bridge in latin o Lies above medulla o Bridge carrying nerve impulses between higher and lower levels of the nervous system o Clusters of neurons that help regulate sleep and involved in dreaming o contains motor neurons that control the muscles and glands of the face and neck o like medulla, pons helps control vital functions, especially respiration

The Cerebellum: Motor Coordination Centre look like a miniature brain attached to the rear of the brain stem directly above the pons wrinkled cortex is mainly grey cell bodies cerebellum concerns primarily with muscular movement coordination(timing and coordination) but also plays a role in learning and memory regulates complex changing movements that require very good timing-cats have good cerebellum alcohol easily disrupts the motor functions that the cerebellum controls intoxicated people cannot walk in a straight line or touch their nose with their index finger physical damage to the cerebellum results in o severe motor disturbances characterized by jerky, uncoordinated movements, o the inability to perform habitual movements like walking a tumor in this area of the brain will cause impairment in walking in a straight line, wide separation in legs when walking and after a few days be unable to walk without assistance

The Midbrain Above the hindbrain is the midbrain o Contains clusters of sensory and motor neurons o Sensory and motor fibre tracts that connect higher and lower portions of the nervous system The sensory portion of the midbrain contains important relay centres for the visual and auditory systems Nerve impulses from the eyes and ears are organized and sent to forebrain structures involved in visual and auditory perception Contains motor neurons that controls eye movements-movement out of the corner of my eyemidbrain activity causes eyes to swing toward the source of movement

The Reticular Formation: The brains gatekeeper Within the midbrain is a finger shaped structure that extends from the hindbrain up into the lower portions of the forebrain Because of its resemblance to a net-reticulum, the reticular formation acts as a kind of sentry alerting higher centres of the brain that messages are coming and then either blocking those messages or allowing them to go forward The reticular formation has an ascending part, which sends input to higher regions of the brain to alert it and a descending portion through which higher brain centres can either admit or block out sensory input Has a central role in consciousness, sleep, and attention o Therefore attracted a great deal of interest for psychologists The ascending reticular formation rouses higher centres in the brain, preparing them to receive input from our sense organs Without reticular stimulation of higher brain regions, sensory messages do not register in conscious awareness, even though the nerve impulses my reach the appropriate higher areas of the brainas if the brain is not awake to notice them Some painkillers work by deactivating neurons of the ascending reticular formation, producing a state of unconsciousness in which the sensory impulses that are usually experienced as pain would not register Also affects sleep, wakefulness, and attentiondamage to this area of brain can cause permanent coma Attention o Active process in which only meaningful sensory inputs get through to our consciousness and other inputs have to be toned down or blocked out o Other stimulation is toned down/blocked out o Descending reticular formation is key for this process Serves as a kind of gate through which inputs are admitted and other inputs are blocked out by signals coming down from higher brain centres

The forebrain Difference between my brain and other animals is the size and complexity of my forebrain/cerebellum Consists of two large cerebral hemispheres-left and right side hat wrap around the brain stem the way you might wrap your hands around the bowl of a spoon Outer portion has thin covering/cortex

The Thalamus: The brains sensory switchboard Located above the midbrain Resembles two small footballsone in each hemisphere Important sensory relay stationswitchboard that organizes inputs from sense organs and routes them to the appropriate areas of the brain Visual, auditory, body senses-balance and equilibrium all have major relay stations in the thalamus o Nerve tracts from the sensory receptors are sent to specific areas of the thalamus o There they synapse with neurons that send the messages on their way to the higher brain regions that create our perceptions Disrupted thalamic functioning can make victims very confusedschizophrenic people

Basal Ganglia: Movement Surrounding and enveloping the thalamus is a group of 5 distinct structures collectively known as the basal ganglia Important for voluntary motor control Unlike how the cerebellum controls reflexive, automatic, and rapid movements, the basal ganglia is important for deliberate and voluntary control of movement, especially initiating voluntary movements Parkinsons disease o The neurons that supply dopamine to the basal ganglia degenerate and die o B/c dopamine is lost from the basal ganglia, it functions improperly, and the ability to perform voluntary movement is lost o Initially signs are small tremors of the hands and head but becomes shaking and jerky movements and jerky movements occur only when there is assistance involveda push o When no dopamine is present =complete paralysis

Hypothalamus: Biological Drives Under the thalamus are tiny groups of neuron cell bodies that lie at the base of the brain, above the roof of the mouth Important in controlling basic biological drives like sexual behaviour, temperature regulation, eating, drinking, aggression and expressiving emotion

Important connections with endocrine systembodys collection of hormone producing glands o Through connection with pituitary glandmaster gland that controls other glands in the system) the hypothalamus directly controls many hormonal secretions that regulate sexual development and behaviour, metabolism, and reactions to stress

The Limbic System: Memory and goal-directed behaviour Go up brain =limbic system ; set of structures deep within cerebral hemispheres Shaped like wishbone are important with the hypothalamus Helps coordinate behaviours needed to satisfy motivational and emotional urges that arise in the hypothalamus Involved in memory Organize instinctive activities in lower animals such as mating, attacking, feeding, fleeing from danger If this system was injured, I would be unable to carry out organized sequences of actions to satisfy my needs Two key structures o Hippocampus Involved in forming and retrieving memories damage can result in severe memory impairment for recent events and an inability to transfer information from short term memory to long term memory o Amygdala Organizes emotional response patterns, especially aggression and fear Electrical stimulation can cause fear or aggression Key part of a larger control system for anger and fear that also involves other brain regions Can produce emotional responses without the higher centres of the brain knowing that we are emotionally aroused May show evidence that we have unconscious emotional responses James olds and Peter Milner studied effects of electrical stimulation of the reticular formation in rats o Accidentally an electrode was implanted in the hypothalamus claimed they found the pleasure center of the brain o Hypothalamus brain area for motivation and reward

Hypothalamus Electrical stimulation of the hypothalamus o activates neurons within that brain region and o activates axons that are going from neuron cell bodies in the midbrain to a limbic structure called the nucleus accumbens

It is the activation of axons going to the nucleus accumbens that is important for reward and motivation Roy wise shown the reward value of electrical stimulation can be amplified or diminished by drugs that enhance or block dopamine actions within the nucleus accumbens Also linked with the rewarding and motivating effects of abusive drugs by stimulating the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens of the limbic system Alain Graton found that naturally occurring rewards like food and sex cues/behaviour leads to the release of dopamine from axon terminals in the nucleus accumbens o Therefore not only do abusive drugs/preferred foods activate the nucleus acumens but cues that reliably predict this has a similar effect

The Cerebral Cortex: Crown of the Brain 2/3 cm thick sheet of greyunmyelinated cells forming the outermost layer of the braincrowing achievement of brain evolution Cortex constitutes 80% of brain tissue Essential for human quality of living b/c the cortex is wrinkled, a great amount of cortical tissue is compressed into a relatively small space inside the skull 75% cortexs total surface area lies within its fissures/canyonlike folds o Three of these fissures are important One large fissure runs up the front and along the top of the brain, dividing it into right and left hemispheres Another major fissure within each hemisphere divides the cerebrum into front and rear halves Third fissure runs from front to rear along the side of the brain These landmarks allowed neurologists to divide each hemisphere into four lobes Frontal Parietal Occipital Temporal Speech and skeletal motor functions are in the frontal lobe The area governing body sensations is located in the parietal lobe immediately behind the central fissure which separates the frontal and parietal lobes Visual area is in the occipital lobe at the back of the brain Messages from the auditory system are sent to a region in the top of the temporal lobe Large areas not associated with sensory or motor functions -3/4 of cortex is called association cortex

The Motor Cortex Controls muscles involved in voluntary body movements

Lies at the rear of the frontal lobe adjacent to the central fissure Each hemisphere governs movement on the opposite side of the body Specific body areas are represented in different parts o the motor cortex and the amount of cortex devoted to each area depends on the complexity of the movements carried by the body part Torso less cortical tissue than finger

Sensory cortex Specific areas of the cortex receive input from our sensory receptors Other than taste and smell, at least one specific area in the cortex corresponds to a sense Somatic sensory cortex o Receives sensory input that gives rise to our sensations of heat, touch, cold, and our sense of balance and body movement o Lies in the parietal lobe o Organized in an upside down fashion, feet being represented near the top of the brain o The regions sensory sensitivity corresponds to the amount of cortical tissue o Mainly fingers, lips, tongue Notice that the organization of the sensory cortex is such that the body structures it serves lie side by side with those in the motor cortex, an arrangement that enhances sensory motor interactions in the same body area Hearing and sight in auditory area which lies on the surface of the temporal lobe at the side of each hemisphere o Each ear sends messages to the auditory areas of both hemispheres to the loss of one temporal lobe has little effect on hearing The representation of the face in the somatosensory cortex may be upside down with the chin towards the top

Speech Comprehension and production Two areas are responsible for understanding and production of speech o Wernickes area In temporal lobe involved with language comprehension Carl Wernicke 1874 discovered damage to this cortical region left patients unable to understand written/spoken speech o Brocas area Frontal lobe Necessary for normal speec production Use grammar and finding the correct word Paul Broca found that damage to this frontal area left patients with the ability to understand but not express themselves in words or sentences

Association Cortex found within all lobes of the cerebral cortex involved in the highest level of mental functions including perception, language and thought silent areas electrically stimulating them does not create sensory/motor responses Damages can result in loss of functions such as speech, understanding, thinking, and problem solving Known as evolutions missing link-75% of cerebral cortex and is responsible for our superior cognitive abilities Importance shown in people who suffer from agnosiain ability to identify familiar objects o Oliver Sacks found associative neurons responsible for linking two types of information Info sent to visual cortex to info stored in other areas concerning the nature of the object

The frontal Lobe: The Human Difference] Consists of a lot more in our brain than in animals Responsible for self awareness, planning, initiative, responsibilitymysterious least understood part of the brain Phineas Gage 1848 o A spike went and damaged his brain he psychologically came out as a different person Damage in the frontal lobe acuses a loss in the ability to plan and carry out a sequence of actions and judge the order in which a series of events has occurred Also involved in emotional experience o People with normal brains there is increased activity in the frontal cortex when these people are experiencing feelings of happiness, sadness etc A region in the frontal lobe called pre-frontal cortex is more attentively studied o Located behind the forehead performs executive functions Goal setting, judgement, strategic planning and impulse control, allow behaviour in a adaptive fashion o Damage/disorder to this area causes people to be oblivious to the future consequences of their actions and seem to be only aware of the immediate consequences o Also dysfunction leads to violent murderers to plead not guilty because they are insane o During 1940-1950s a lot of emotional behaviour disturbed people had prefrontal lobotomieshad bad side effects of no goal setting therefore not used anymore and drugs are used instead

Hemispheric Lateralization: The left and right brains The left and right cerebral hemispheres are connected by a broad white band of myelinated nerve fibres Corpus callosum is a neural bridge that acts as a major communication link between the two hemispheres and allows them to function as a single unit

Lateralization refers to the relatively greater localization of a function in one hemisphere or the other o Patients who suffered various types of brain damages showed that the left side of the brain is for verbal abilities and speech as well as math and logic When Brocas or Wernickes speech areas are damaged, aphasiapartial or total loss of the ability to communicate o Eg. Meaning of words, communicating or both When right hemisphere is damaged, person cannot perform perceiving spatial relations well o Recognizing faces or forget a well travelled route or mistaking wife for hat o Mental imagery, musical and artistic abilities, and ability to perceive and understand spatial relationships are for right side of brain EEG studies have shown that the right hemisphere is more active when negative emotions like sadness anger are experienced and positive emotions are accompanied by greater left hemisphere activation

The split brain : Two minds in one body? Paitents who suffer from a form of epilepsy in which a seizure beings as an uncontrolled electrical discharge of neurons on one side of the brain spreads to the other hemisphere Cutting nerve fibers of the corpus callosum, they could prevent the seizure from spreading to other hemispheres Some of the fibres of the optic nerve from each eye cross over at the optic chiasm and travel to the opposite brain hemisphere Fibres transmit messages from the right side of the visual field project to the left hemisphere; fibres from the visual fields left half project of the right hemisphere When the corpus callosum is cut, visual input to one hemisphere can be restricted by projecting the stimulus to either the right side of the visual field or left side o When words were send to right side of visual field so info sent to left hemisphere, subjects describe verbally what they saw and could write what they saw with right hand but if words were flashed to left side of visual field and sent to right hemisphere then they cannot describe what they saw o Look at page 100 for hand experimentswitch hands then could name what it is o Psychologists have suggested that we call the conscious self resides in the left hemisphere because it is based on our ability to verbalize about the past and present Important to know that the brain is working together-integrated system so although there is some localization right brain teaching would not show drastic results

Hemispheric lateralization of language Evolutionary significance that our genetically closest relative has larger left hemisphere those who use both areas of the brain for language have larger corpus callosum left hemisphere also used for sign languagedoes not need to be verbal

studies show right hemisphere does not lack language ability because both hemispheres are involved in speaking reading and listening study shows men greater left hemisphere activation while women show activity in both

Plasticity in the Brain Neural plasticity o Ability of neurons to change in structure and function 2 aspects o Effects of early experience on brain development Fetal alcohol syndrome-exposure to high levels of alcohol disrupts brain development and produces lifelong mental and behaviour damage Stimulating early environment had larger neurons and more dendrite branches and greater concentrations of acetylcholinerat pup study MRI shows string musicians who do elaborate movements on the strings with their left hands had larger right hemisphere somatosensory area earlier =more cortical change Chronic alcoholism inhibits production of new neural connections in the hippocampus impairing memory, learning, and other cognitive functions Cultural factors affect brain development chinese pictoral characters process in right hemisphere we might expect less left hemisphere lateralization of language among speaker of Chinese than English who are alphabet Brain goes through own personal evolution o Recovery from brain damage Natural reorganization-allows neurons to take over functions of those that died Brain damage suffered early in life is less devasting than as an adult Greater availability of synapses may help to explain why children can recover from brain damage more quickly than adults Synaptic pruning Cell death is in every neuron and therefore adults have less synapses than children Elizabeth Gould first evidence of neurogensis tracked newly devloepd neurons from birthplace in subcortical tissue They migrated upward along myelinated nerve tracts into the association areas of the cerebral cortex where they sprouted axons and extended them toward existing neurons new neurons responsible for higher order mental functions like complex learning and memory-primate study