Chapter 6 - The Interaction between Cognitive Processes of the Brain and its Structure Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 6 - The Interaction between Cognitive Processes of the Brain and its Structure Deck (40):

What are the three parts of the Brain?

  • The Hindbrain
  • The Midbrain
  • The Forebrain

These structures work together to enable our body to behave and function in accordance with our thoughts and feelings.

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What is the hindbrain and what is it made up of?

The hindbrain is the link between the spinal cord and the brain, and is important for movement and balance. It includes:

  • the brainstem (regulates reflex survival responses)
  • medulla (heartbeat, breathing and other bodily functions)
  • pons  (controls movement, breathing, sleeping, dreams and waking)
  • cerebellum (perception and cognition, balance and fine muscle control)

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What is the forebrain?

The forebrain is responsible for higher-order thinking processes including problem-solving and planning, as well as memory, language, emotions and body movement.


What is the outer area of the brain?

The outer area of the cerebrum is called the cortex (also known as the cerebral cortex). The cortex comprises of two hemispheres which are connected to each other by the corpus callosum. Each hemisphere has 4 lobes.


How many neurons in the brain?

Approximately 100 Billion neurons.


The nervous system breakdown

  1. Central Nervous System (CNS)
  2. Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
    • Somantic Nervous System
    • Autonomic Nervous System
      • Sympathetic Nervous System
      • Parasympathetic Nervous System

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What is the CNS?

The Central Nervous System comprises of the brain and the spinal cord. The spinal cord enables the brain to communicate with the rest of the body by conveying messages to the peripheral nervous system.


Explain the segmentation of the Spinal Cord?

The Spinal Cord is segmented, with the upper section responsible for communication between the brain and upper parts of the body, and the lower section responsible for the lower parts of the body such as legs, toes and feet.

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What is the PNS?

The Peripheral Nervous System has two functions:

  • to communicate information from the body's organs, glands and muscles to the CNS, including information from the outside world and from the inside world.
  • to communicate information from the CNS to the body's organs, glands and muscles, via motor neurons.


What is the Somantic Nervous System?

The semantic nervous system is responsible for the voluntary movement of skeletal muscles. It uses both motor neurons and sensory neurons in conjunction.


What are Motor Neurons?

Motor Neurons (nerves) communicate messages from the CNS to the particular muscles that an organism intends to move at any particular moment.


What are Sensory Neurons?

Sensory Neurons (nerves) convey information from sensory receptors to the brain, via the spinal cord.


What is the Autonomic Nervous System?

The Autonomic Nervous System of the peripheral nervous system is mostly responsible for the communication of information between the CNS and the body's non-skeletal muscles, as well as the internal organs and glands which carry out basic bodily functions necessary for survival, such as digestion and heartbeat.

Operates without voluntary control or conscious awareness.


What is the Sympathetic Nervous System?

A branch of the Autonomic Nervous System, the sympathetic nervous system is like an emergency system which becomes active when the organism perceives itself to be in danger or in times of stress.

Responsible for the Fight, Flight or Freeze Response.



What is the Parasympathetic Nervous System?

A branch of the Autonomic Nervous System, the parasympathetic nervous system operates in circumstances where it is relatively calm. It is responsible for maintaining automatic day-to-day bodily functions such as digestion, normal heart rate, and normal breathing.

This normal bodily functioning is also known as homeostasis.


Parasympathetic vs. Sympathetic

see attached image

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What is the longitudinal fissure?

The deep groove which runs from the front to the rear of the cortex.


What is the Cerebral Cortex?

The cerebral hemispheres are covered by the cerebral cortex. The cortex is very thin (approx. 3 millimeters) and contains billions of neurons.


What are convolutions?

The many folds, grooves and bulges. Make the surface area (and volume) of the cortex large enough to contain an enormous number of neurons and blood vessels that can supply energy.


What are the bulges in the brain known as?

The bulges are known as gyri (singular: gyrus)


What are the valleys in the brain called?

The valleys in the cerebral cortex are called sulci (singular: sulcus)


What is the central fissure?

A very deep groove that runs from the top and down the sides, which separates the front (anterior) of the cortex from the rear (posterior)


Lobes of the cerebral cortex

The cortex of each cerebral hemisphere comprises of four distinct regions called lobes. There are eight lobes in total.

Each side (left & right) has:

  • Frontal Lobe
  • Parietal Lobe
  • Occipital Lobe
  • Temporal Lobe

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What is the primary visual cortex?

The Primary Visual Cortex in the occipital lobe receives information from the eyes


What is the Primary Auditory Cortex?

The Primary Auditory Cortex in the temporal lobe receives sound information from the ears


What is the Somatosensory Cortex?

The Somatosensory Cortex in the parietal lobe receives information from sense receptors in the skin.


How much space do the primary areas take up in the cortex?

The primary areas of the cortex take up approximately 25% of the total cortex.


What are the frontal lobes?

The frontal lobes are the largest of the lobes and have several functions, including initiating movement of the body (motor functions), language, planning, judgement, problem-solving, aspects of personality and emotions.


What is the primary motor cortex?

Responsible for initiating movement of the body (motor functions). The primary motor cortex is located in the frontal lobes.

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What is Broca's area?

Broca's area is located on the left side of the brain in the frontal lobe. It is involved in forming grammatical sentences and speech production.

Region of the brain that contains motor neurons involved in the production and control of speech. Serves a vital role in the generation of articulate speech.


What are the parietal lobes?

The main function of the parietal lobes is to enable a person to perceive their own body, and to perceive where things are located to their immediate environment. The Primary Somatosensory Cortex is located in the parietal lobe. Occupied back half of the brain.


RIGHT: perceive three-dimensional shapes and designs

LEFT: role in reading, writing and performing mental arithmetic


What happens when the right parietal lobe is damaged?

People with damage to their right parietal lobe might tend to draw only parts of a picture, rather than the whole.


Why can't someone with damage to the left parietal lobe perform mental arithmetic?

They are unable to perform the equation because they are unable to visualise the equation and mentally move the numbers around. However, if the person had paper and pencil they could perform the task fine.


Explain what would happen if the right primary somatosensory cortex was damaged.

A person will be unable to process sensation from parts of the body on the left side, and the relevant body part will be numb. The reverse will happen if the left primary somatosensory cortex is damaged.


What are the temporal lobes?

Mainly responsible for processing auditory information (sensations received in the ear). Contains the primary auditory cortex.

Responsible for: Auditory Perception, Episodic Memory, Visual Perception (identifying objects/recognising faces), Emotional Responses.


What are the occipital lobes?

Entirely concerned with vision. Located at the rear of the brain.

Information from the left side of each retina is processed in the in the left occipital lobe and information from the right side of each retina is processed in the right .

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What are association areas?

Involved in the integration of the information between the motor and sensory areas and higher-order mental processes. This includes complex cognitive processing such as decision making, thinking, planning, initiating movement, analysis, synthesis and language.


What is Wernicke's Area?

Located in the left temporal lobe.

This close proximity of language and motor areas enables these parts of the brain to communicate quickly with each other, enabling a person to engage in conversation and communication.

People with damage to Wernicke's Area can say complete fluent sentences, however, the sentences are nonsensical (WORD SALAD).

They also don't realize they can't speak/understand language properly.


What is hemispheric specialization?

The hemispheres are symmetrical in appearance and in many, but not all, functions. Therefore, although most functions are 'contralateralized', some are 'lateralized', meaning that some neural activity only takes place in one particular hemisphere.

A clear example of lateralisation is language, which is mainly the responsibility of the left hemisphere (for most people).

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What is the Corpus Callosum?

Thick band of neural fibres in the middle of the brain that connects the left and right hemispheres and allows information to cross between hemispheres.