Principles Of Neuroscience Lecture 31 Calculation, Estimation And Planning Flashcards Preview

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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?

Working memory
- 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
Word meaning

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?

Monoamine oxidase.

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?

Anxiety 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?

Empirical methods

Deductive methods

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


What brain patterns are associated with insight solutions?

Just before we get the answer, there is low alpha wave activity, then there is a burst of gamma activity when we get the answer

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