Flashcards in Principles Of Neuroscience Lecture 31 Calculation, Estimation And Planning Deck (19)
Which area of the brain is involved with the mental functions relating to abstraction such as analysis, calculation, estimation and planning?
Pre frontal cortex
What is the function of the dorsal lateral PFC?
- Phone numbers, applying rules etc
Memory of the future
- Goals and plans, and our place in them
- Delayed gratification
Describe the function of language in relation to the PFC
Language function is generated in areas outside the PFC: in Broca's and Wernicke's areas.
Language is the subservient of the intellect.
If we don't have the PFC, we can still talk, we just don't feel like we have anything to say
What does damage to the dorsolateral PFC result in ?
The individual becomes distractible, impulsive and exhibits perseverative errors
Describe how attention is a function of the PFC in relation to a test
An image is shown and the subjects are asked to asses certain features of the image; such as age of the people, wealth, or clothing. The eye movements can be tracked
Normal: specific patterns, due to the allocation of attention during each task
Damaged PFC: can't not allocate attention; random pattern of eye movements
What are the types of higher order inferences that our brain is capable of performing?
Which region of the brain is important for this?
Meaning of proverbs
The PFC does this
How may prefrontal damage be assessed?
Tests assess PFC function
- Asked to list words beginning with B
- Mental rotation tasks
- Standard Stroop task
- Emotional Stroop task
- Tower of Hanoi
- Theory of mind tests
Describe what the Tower of Hanoi task tells us about brain function
This game requires intermediate steps in order to achieve the overall goal; delayed gratification of the result
The PFC, and Brodmann's area 10, in particular, are involved with things where we must take intermediate steps
This area is conspicuously large in humans
What is theory of mind?
Which region of the brain is important for it?
Who lacks theory of mind?
Theory if Mind is the ability to conceive different mental states and emotions of other people
The prefrontal cortex is vital for this function
Monkeys and young children do not show theory of mind
What are the two hypotheses of why curiosity is seen in humans?
1. Struggle for survival: there is competition for resources, and this drives us to explore. Those that explore will find better ways to do things, or have more resources. Curiosity is a selective advantage
2. Relaxed selection: when conditions are favourable, we are bored and complacent, and will go out and explore
Describe the molecular explanation of anxiety and how this relates to exploration and curiosity
Anxiety is controlled by the gene SIRT1
Expression of this gene increases the action of MAO inhibitors, so there are more mono amines, and thus increased anxiety
When we are more stressed and anxious, we are less likely to go out and explore
What does MAO stand for?
What does it do?
This enzyme breaks down mono amines such as Serotonin, adrenaline and noradrenalin
What effect does caloric intake have on SIRT1 expression?
Decreased caloric intake increases the expression of SIRT1 --> increased anxiety
Increased caloric intake: creased SIRT1 and anxiety
Mutations in the SIRT1 gene are associated with which disorders?
Reduced caloric intake represents what in terms of selective pressures?
This will lead to decreased ...
It represents unstable environment
Lads to decreased curiosity and exploration via increased anxiety
What are the three mechanisms of thought?
Strategic, and re strategising in the mind's eye
... is the most influential mode of thought
It represents ...
It represents a rejection of arbitrary authority, such as religion
What is insight?
This is when we suddenly know the answer to a problem, and we know for sure that this is the correct answer