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Module II: Brain and Behaviour


Neuron and Its Parts Name of Institution • Neuron: Individual nerve cell – Dendrites: Receive messages from other neurons – Soma: Cell body. body of the neuron – Axon: Fiber that carries information away from the cell body – Axon Terminals: Branches that link the dendrites and somas of other neurons .

In the right foreground you can see a nerve cell fiber in cross section.Figure 2. The nerve cell shown here is a motor neuron.1 Name of Institution FIGURE 2. Nerve impulses usually travel from the dendrites and soma to the branching ends of the axon. The upper left photo gives a more realistic picture of the shape of neurons. The axons of motor neuron stretch from the brain and spinal 3 cord to muscles or glands of the body.1 A neuron. . or nerve cell.

Synapses Name of Institution  Messages from one neuron to another pass over a microscopic gap called a synapse – Synapse: Microscopic gap between two neurons over which messages pass 4 .

Synapses Name of Institution  Messages from one neuron to another pass over a microscopic gap called a synapse – Synapse: Microscopic gap between two neurons over which messages pass 5 .

When a nerve impulse reaches the end of an axon. it is actually only about one millionth of an inch.5 Name of Institution FIGURE 2. the vesicles move to the surface and release neurotransmitters. and some inhibit its 6 activity.5 A highly magnified view of a synapse. Some transmitter molecules excite the next neuron. . The size of the gap is exaggerated here.Figure 2. Neurotransmitters are stored in tiny sacs called synaptic vesicles (VES-ihkels). These molecules cross the synaptic gap to affect the next neuron.

Neurotransmitters Name of Institution • Chemicals that alter activity in neurons. – Acetylcholine: Activates muscles – Dopamine: Muscle control – Serotonin: Mood and appetite control • Receptor Site: Areas on the surface of neurons and other cells that are sensitive to neurotransmitters 7 . brain chemicals that carry messages.

also help to relieve pain – Do not send messages. 8 .Neural Regulators Name of Institution • Neural Peptides: Regulate activity of other neurons – Endorphins: Released by pituitary gland.

and paralysis occur • Neurogenesis: Production of new brain cells 9 . numbness.Nerves and Neurons Name of Institution • Nerves: Large bundles of axons and dendrites (Not neurons) • Myelin: Fatty layer of tissue that coats axons – Multiple Sclerosis (MS) occurs when myelin layer is destroyed. weakness.

controls voluntary behavior – Autonomic System: Serves internal organs and glands. controls automatic functions such as heart rate and blood pressure 10 .Neural Networks Name of Institution • Central Nervous System (CNS): Brain and spinal cord • Peripheral Nervous System: All parts of the nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord – Somatic System: Links spinal cord with body and sense organs.

Figure 2.22 Name of Institution 11 .

Subcortex Name of Institution • Hindbrain (Brainstem) – Medulla: Connects brain with the spinal cord and controls vital life functions such as heart rate and breathing – Pons (Bridge): Acts as a bridge between medulla and other structures • Influences sleep and arousal – Cerebellum: Located at base of brain • Regulates posture. muscle tone. and muscular coordination 12 .

and hindbrain.Figure 2. (You can use the color code in the foreground to identify 13 which areas are part of the forebrain.) .25 Name of Institution FIGURE 2. midbrain.25 This simplified drawing shows the main structures of the human brain and describes some of their most important features.

Forebrain Name of Institution • Structures are part of the Limbic System: System within forebrain closely linked to emotional response – Thalamus: Relays sensory information to the cortex.g.. switchboard – Hypothalamus: Regulates emotional behaviors and motives (e. hunger. hormone release) – Amygdala: Associated with fear responses – Hippocampus: Associated with storing memories. helps us navigate through space 14 . rage. sex.

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