PSY 111 Introduction to Psychology I

Biopsychology I: Anatomy of the Nervous System

Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System

 Neuroanatomy is the anatomy of the nervous system.  Ana = separate, tenmein = cut open  Refers to the study of the various parts of the nervous system and their respective function(s).  The nervous system consists of many substructures, each comprised of many neurons.
 Each part has specialised functions but work together to produce behaviour.  Damage in different parts will result in different types of behavioural deficits.

Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System

 Terms used to describe location when referring to the nervous system include:
 Ventral: toward the stomach  Dorsal: toward the back  Anterior: toward the front end  Posterior: toward the back end  Lateral: toward the side  Medial: toward the midline




etc.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The Nervous System is comprised of two major subsystems: 1. . 2. the intestines. The Central Nervous System (CNS) The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)  Somatic Nervous System – axons conveying message from the sense organs to the CNS and from the CNS to the muscles  Autonomic Nervous System – controls the heart.


Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The Central Nervous System consists of: 1. Brain Spinal Cord . 2.

Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The spinal cord is the part of the CNS found within the spinal column and communicates with the sense organs and muscles below the level of the head. .  The cell bodies of the sensory neurons are located in clusters of neurons outside the spinal cord called dorsal root ganglia.  The Bell-Magendie law states the entering dorsal roots carry sensory information and the exiting ventral roots carry motor information.


Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The spinal cord is comprised of:  Grey matter .  Each segment sends sensory information to the brain and receives motor commands. .located in the centre of the spinal cord and is densely packed with cell bodies and dendrites  White matter – composed mostly of myelinated axons that carries information from the grey matter to the brain or other areas of the spinal cord.

Photo of a cross-section through the spinal cord .

 A section of grey matter of the spinal cord and white matter surrounding it .

2.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) is comprised of the: 1. Somatic Nervous System Autonomic Nervous System .

.  Transmit messages for motor movement from the CNS to the body.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The Somatic Nervous System consists of nerves that:  Convey sensory information to the CNS.

Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The autonomic nervous system sends and receives messages to regulate the automatic behaviours of the body (heart rate.  Divided into two subsystems: 1. etc). blood pressure. . digestion. The Sympathetic Nervous System. 2. The Parasympathetic Nervous System. respiration.


blood pressure.  Consists of chains of ganglia on the left and right of the spinal cord. act as a single system “in sympathy” with one another. respiration.  Closely linked. (“fight or flight” response).Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The sympathetic nervous system is a network of nerves that prepares the organs for rigorous activity:  Increases heart rate.  Various situations activate some parts more than others. etc. .

Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The sympathetic nervous system is a network of nerves that prepares the organs for rigorous activity:  Sweat glands. . sweat glands) uses acetylecholine. although a few (e. and muscles that erect the hairs of the skin have only SNS and not PNS.  Mainly uses norepinephrine as a neurotransmitter at the postganglionic synapses. adrenals glands..g. muscles that constrict blood vessels.

a.  Decreases functions increased by the sympathetic nervous system.  Acts more independently. craniosacral system – consists of cranial nerves and nerves from sacral spinal cord.  Decreases heart rate.  A.k. conserves energy .Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The parasympathetic nervous system facilitates vegetative. increases digestive rate. nonemergency responses.

 Postganglionic axons mostly release acetylcholine as a neurotransmitter. .  Dominant during our relaxed states.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The parasympathetic nervous system facilitates vegetative. nonemergency responses.  Comprised of long preganglion axons extending from the spinal cord and short postganglionic fibres that attach to the organs themselves.

Scopolamine and Atropine block the parasympathetic response by blocking acetylcholine (anticholinergic agents).Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   Because the SNS and the PNS use different transmitters.  Flow of sinus fluid is a parasympathetic response.g.  Side effects: inhibit salivation and digestion and increase heart rate. . certain drugs excite or inhibit one system or the other.  Example: antimuscarinic agents (cold remedies) e.

Forebrain. 2. . Hindbrain.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   Three major divisions of the brain include: 1. Midbrain. 3.

superior colliculus. inferior colliculus. tegmentum. hypothalamus Cerebral cortex.Area Forebrain Also Known As Prosencephalon (“forward-brain”) Diencephalon (“between-brain”) Telencephalon (“end brain”) Major Structures Thalamus. hippocampus. substantia nigra Midbrain Mesencephalon (“middlebrain”) Rhombencephalon (“parallelogram-brain”) Metencephalon (“afterbrain”) Myencephalon (“marrowbrain”) Hindbrain . basal ganglia Tectum.

Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The Hindbrain consists of the:  Medulla. . the midbrain and other central structures of the brain combine and make up the brain stem.  Cerebellum. Located at the posterior portion of the brain.  Pons.  Hindbrain structures.

The Human Brain Stem .

. salivation.. heart rate. vomiting. coughing and sneezing.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The medulla:  Located just above the spinal cord and could be regarded as an enlarged extension of the spinal cord.g. large doses of opiates can suppress activity of the medulla).  Damage can be fatal (e.  Responsible for vital reflexes such as breathing.

muscle movements in the head.  The cranial nerve nuclei (clusters of neurons in the CNS) for nerves V through XII are in the medulla and pons. nerves I through IV are in the midbrain and forebrain. .  Cranial nerve I (Olfactory) connects directly to the olfactory bulbs of the forebrain. and many parasympathetic outputs to the organs.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   Cranial nerves allow the medulla to control sensations from the head.

salivation.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   Each cranial nerve (which originates in a nucleus) integrates sensory information. IV (Troclear). CN II (Optic) .  Others just one or the CN III (Oculomotor). or both. and dilation of the head’s blood vessels.taste from the anterior two thirds of the tongue and controls facial expressions. .  Some include both sensory and motor components. regulates motor output. CN VII (Facial) . crying. and VI (Abducens) control eye movement.


France .Pont d’Avignon.

 Location where axons from each half of the brain cross to the opposite side of the spinal cord.  Along with the medulla.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   Pons  Lies on each side of the medulla (ventral and anterior).  Works in conjunction to increase arousal and readiness of other parts of the brain. contains the reticular formation and raphe system. .

.  Ascending portion sends output to much of the cerebral cortex.g.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The reticular formation:  Descending portion is one of several brain areas that control the motor areas of the spinal cord. waking/sleeping. selectively increasing arousal and attention (e. discriminating between relevant and irrelevant background stimuli)..

 Vigilance and levels of alertness.  Circadian rhythms in animals. .Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The raphe system also sends axons to much of the forebrain. modifying the brain’s readiness to respond to stimuli.  Release serotonin to rest of brain.

g.  Helps regulate motor movement.. . trouble shifting attention between auditory and visual stimuli. difficulty with timing (e. lose balance.  Is also important for shifting attention between auditory and visual stimuli. Damage: clumsy. which rhythm is faster).Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The Cerebellum:  A structure located in the hindbrain with many deep folds. balance and coordination.

 Superior colliculus & inferior colliculus – located on each side of the tectum and processes sensory information.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The midbrain is comprised of the following structures:  Tectum – roof of the midbrain.  Superior colliculus – vision  Inferior colliculus – hearing .

 Substantia nigra – gives rise to the dopaminecontaining pathway facilitating readiness for movement. parts of the reticular formation.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The midbrain is comprised of the following structures:  Tegmentum – the intermediate level of the midbrain containing nuclei for cranial nerves (III & IV). and extensions of the pathways between the forebrain and the spinal cord or hindbrain. .

 Consists of the outer cortex and subcortical regions.  Outer portion is known as the “cerebral cortex”.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The forebrain is the most anterior and prominent part of the mammalian brain and consists of two cerebral hemispheres. .  Each side receives sensory information and controls motor movement from the opposite (contralateral) side of the body.

 A sagittal section through the human brain. .

Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   Subcortical regions are structures of the brain that lie underneath the cortex. .  Basal Ganglia – important for certain aspects of movement.  Exception is olfactory information which progresses from the olfactory receptors to the olfactory bulb and then directly to the cerebral cortex.  Subcortical structures of the forebrain include:  Thalamus – relay station from the sensory organs and main source of input to the cortex.

Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System

 The limbic system consists of a number of other interlinked structures that form a border around the brainstem.
 Includes the olfactory bulb, hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, and cingulate gyrus of the cerebral cortex.  Associated with motivation, emotion, drives and aggression.

Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System

 Hypothalamus
 Small area near the base of the brain.  Conveys messages to the pituitary gland to alter the release of hormones.  Associated with behaviours such as eating, drinking, sexual behaviour and other motivated behaviours.  Thalamus and the hypothalamus together form the “diencephalon”.


 Contains neurons.  Synthesises and release hormones into bloodstream. blood vessels and connective tissue.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   Pituitary gland – hormone producing gland (endocrine gland) found at the base of the hypothalamus. .  Respond to message from hypothalamus. which carries them to other organs.

deficits in memory.  Deteriorates in patients with Parkinson’s disease and Huntingtons’s disease leading to impaired movement. the putamen.  Associated with planning of motor movement.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   Basal ganglia – comprised of the caudate nucleus. depression.  Have subdivisions that exchange information with different parts of cerebral cortex especially the frontal areas. and the globus pallidus. and attention. reasoning. and aspects of memory and emotional expression. .

The Basal Ganglia .

 Sends axons that release acetylcholine to the cerebral cortex. wakefulness.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   Basal forebrain is comprised of several structures that lie on the ventral surface of the forebrain.  Key part of the brains system for arousal.  Contains the nucleus basalis:  Receives input from the hypothalamus and basal ganglia. and attention.  Deterioration in patients with Parkinson’s and Hungtinton’s have impairments of attention and intellect. .

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Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   Hippocampus is a large structure located between the thalamus and cerebral cortex.  Critical for storing certain types of memory. .  Toward the posterior portion of the forebrain.

.  Subarachnoid spaces are narrow spaces between brain and meninges.  The ventricles are four fluid-filled cavities within the brain containing cerebrospinal fluid.  Swelling of blood vessels in meninges causes migraine headache (meninges has pain receptors althought the brain does not).  Meninges are membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   The central canal is a fluid-filled channel in the center of the spinal cord.

Structure of the Vertebrate Nervous System   Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear fluid found in the brain and spinal cord:  Produced by choroid plexus. .  Obstruction leads to hydrocephalus.  Reservoir of hormones and nutrition for the brain and spinal cord.  Provides “cushioning” for the brain.

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 Cells within certain column share similar properties (e. place where two things are joined).  More highly developed in humans than other species. .The Cerebral Cortex   The cerebral cortex is the most prominent part of the mammalian brain and consists of the cellular layers on the outer surface of the cerebral hemispheres.  Joined by two bundles of axons called the corpus callosum and the anterior commissure. respond to touch on left hand).  Divided into two halves.. (Commissure: pathways across the midline.g.


Relative sizes of five brain components in insectivores and primates .

 Divided into four lobes. .  Cells of the cortex are also divided into columns that lie perpendicular to the laminae.  Laminae vary in thickness and prominence from one part of the cortex to another (e. Lamina V is thickest in motor cortex. Lamina IV is prominent in all the sensory motor areas but absent from the motor cortex).g.The Cerebral Cortex   Organisation of the Cerebral Cortex:  Contains up to six distinct laminae (layers) that are parallel to the surface of the cortex.


Occipital lobe 2. Parietal lobe 3. Temporal lobe 4.The Cerebral Cortex   The four lobes of the cerebral cortex include the following: 1. Frontal lobe .

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 Damage can result in cortical blindness.  Highly responsible for visual input.The Cerebral Cortex   Occipital lobe:  Located at the posterior end of the cortex. .  Known as the striate cortex or the primary visual cortex.

and information from muscle-stretch receptors and joint receptors. .  Also responsible for processing and integrating information about eye. head and body positions from information sent from muscles and joints.The Cerebral Cortex   Parietal lobe  Contains the postcentral gyrus (aka “primary somatosensory cortex”) which is the primary target for touch sensations.

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 Also responsible for complex aspects of vision including movement and some emotional and motivational behaviours.The Cerebral Cortex   Temporal Lobe  Located on the lateral portion of each hemisphere near the temples.  Target for auditory information and essential for processing spoken language. .

The Cerebral Cortex   Temporal Lobe  Tumour in temporal lobe may give rise to auditory or visual hallucinations while tumour in occipital lobe evokes only flashes of light. .  Previously wild and aggressive monkeys fail to display normal fears and anxieties. hyperphagia (inappropriate eating). hyperorality (tendency to examine objects by mouth). hypersexuality (heightened sexual drive. seeking sexual stimulation from usual or inappropriate objects).  Docility.  Klüver-Bucy syndrome associated with temporal lobe damage.

The Cerebral Cortex   The Frontal lobe:  Contains the prefrontal cortex and the precentral gyrus.  Contains the prefrontal cortex – the integration centre for all sensory information and other areas of the cortex.  Precentral gyrus is also known as the primary motor cortex and is responsible for the control of fine motor movement. (Most anterior portion of the frontal lobe.) .

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 Responsible for our ability to remember recent events and information (“working memory”). making decisions and planning movements. .  Allows for regulation of impulsive behaviours and the control of more complex behaviours.The Cerebral Cortex   The Prefrontal Cortex (cont’d)  Responsible for higher functions such as abstract thinking.

 Perhaps the brain binds activity in different areas when they produce synchronous waves of activity.  The binding problem refers to how the visual. .  All areas of the brain communicate with each other. and other areas of the brain produce a perception of a single object. but no single central processor exists that puts it all together. auditory.The Cerebral Cortex   Various parts of the cerebral cortex do not work independently of each other.


Examine the effects of stimulating particular parts of the brain. Record brain activity during behaviour. 3. . Correlate brain anatomy with behaviour. 4. Examine the effects of brain damage.Research Methods   Main categories of research methods to study the brain include those that attempt to: 1. 2.

if any accurate results.Research Methods   The process of relating skull anatomy to behaviour is known as phrenology.  Yielded few.  One of the first ways used to study the brain. .


.  Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).  These abnormal brain structures can be identified using:  Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT scan).Research Methods   Correlating brain activity with behaviour can involve the identifying of peculiar behaviours and looking for abnormal brain structures or function.

flv  Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) involves the application of a powerful magnetic field to image the brain.Imaging in medicine (3 13).flv .Imaging in medicine (6 13).  MRI .  Scanner is rotated slowly until a measurement has been taken at each angle and a computer constructs the image.  CT scan .Research Methods   Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT scan) involves the injection of a dye into the blood and a passage of x-rays through the head.

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flv .Research Methods   Recording brain activity involves using a variety of noninvasive methods including:  Electroencephalograph (EEG) .  EEG Demo Video.records electrical activity produced by various brain regions.



Imaging in medicine (11 13).Language Processing in the Brain.Research Methods   Recording brain activity involves using a variety of noninvasive methods including:  Positron-emission tomography (PET) .records emission of radioactivity from injected radioactive chemicals to produce a high-resolution image.  PET Scan .flv .flv  SPECT imaging technique .


 Magnetoencephalography (MEG) at Cook Children's.  Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses oxygen consumption in the brain to provide a moving and detailed picture.mp4 .Research Methods   Regional Cerebral Blood Flow (rCBF)  Inert radioactive chemicals are dissolved in the blood where a PET scanner is used to trace their distribution and indicate high levels of brain activity.

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 Subtraction for a Brain Scan Procedure .

Research Methods   Examining the effects of damage to the brain is done using laboratory animals and includes:  Lesion techniques: purposely damaging parts of the brain.  Ablation techniques: removal of specific parts of the brain. .

Research Methods 
 Researchers use a stereotaxic instrument to damage structure in the interior of the brain.

Research Methods 
 Other research methods used to inhibit particular brain structures include:
 Gene-knockout approach: use of various biochemicals to inactivate parts of the brain by causing gene mutations critical to their development or functioning.  Transcranial magnetic stimulation: the application of intense magnetic fields to temporarily inactivate neurons.

The Brain A Secret History .BBC Four.  Michael Mosley has areas of his brain turned off .Research Methods   Brain Stimulation techniques assume stimulation of certain areas should increase activity.  Limitation is that many interconnected structures are responsible for certain behaviours.  Example: transcranial magnetic stimulation.flv .  Researchers observe the corresponding change in behaviour as a particular region is stimulated.

 Brain-to-body ratio research has some limited validity.  IQ is correlated with amount of grey matter.  Amount of grey and white matter may also play a role.3). .  Moderate correlation exists between IQ and brain size (.Research Methods   Research has not supported that a larger brain is correlated with higher intelligence.


. whatever genes that control brain also relate to IQ. the size of one twin’s brain correlates significantly with the other twin’s IQ.Research Methods   Greater resemblance among twins for both brain size and IQ.  Therefore.  For monozygotic twins.

areas with the strongest relationship are shown in yellow. Cortical areas whose size correlated with IQ The top row shows the left hemisphere. the bottom row shows the right. . Areas who size was significantly associated with IQ are shown in red. UNM and UCI columns show the results for two universities (University of New Mexico and University of California at Irvine).

Research Methods   Men have larger brains than women but IQ is the same. . hippocampus and amygdala  Explanations in differences in cognitive abilities can perhaps be better explained by interest than abilities.  Various differences in specific brain structures exist between men and women  Left/right cortex.