Brain—3 Divisions

Hindbrain—primitive      core, 1st to form, top of spinal cord, regulates basic somatic      activities like breathing

  1. Brain       stem-top of spinal cord-2 parts

i. Medulla oblongata-bump in spinal cord, controls breathing, heart rate, BP, digestion; damage is usually fatal

ii. Pons-connects the two halves of the cerebellum, regulates arousal

1. raphe nuclei—system of nerves through the pons, uses serotonin, believed to trigger and maintain slow wave sleep

  1. Cerebellum—maintains       balance, coordinates movements, and controls posture. Damage can cause ataxia—slurred       speech, tremors, and loss of balance.
  2. Midbrain—old      brain, next to form, involved with other aspects of movement and sleep
    1. Reticular       formation—system of nerves; from spinal cord through hindbrain and into       midbrain. Involved with sleep,       maintaining a waking state, arousal and attention. Also plays a part in the sensation of       touch.
    2. Substantia       nigra—midbrain into forebrain—system of nerves; regulates many aspects of       movement such as initiation, termination, smoothness, and       directedness. Parkinson’s—reduced       dopamine, destroys substantia nigra
  3. Forebrain—newest      brain, last to form, involved with higher order thinking
    1. Subcortical       Structures

i. Thalamus—“the relay station”—relays information from incoming sensory systems (except for olfactory information, which goes directly to the limbic system) to the appropriate areas of the cortex. Also involved with motor activity, language, and memory. Korsakoff Syndrome involves damage to neurons in the thalamus and mammillary bodies of the hypothalamus.

ii. Hypothalamus—controls ANS and Endocrine system in conjunction with the pituitary gland. Maintains homeostasis of fluids, temperature, metabolism, and appetite. Involved with motivated behaviors such as eating, drinking, sex, and aggression.

1. Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN)—system of nerves located in the hypothalamus; involved with regulating circadian rhythms. Takes information from the eyes (retina), interprets it, and passes it on to the pineal gland which then secretes the hormone melatonin.

iii. Basal Ganglia—system of nerves; includes the caudate nucleus, putamen, globus pallidus, and substantia nigra. Involved with planning, organizing, and coordinating voluntary movement. Disorders associated with the basal ganglia are: Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Tourette’s Syndrome. Also implicated in mania, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and psychosis.

iv. Limbic System—several brain structures that work together to mediate the emotional component of behavior. Also involved with memory.

1. Amygdala—integrates and directs emotional behavior, attaches emotional significance to sensory information and mediates defensive and aggressive behavior

2. Septum—inhibits emotionality

3. Hippocampus—involved more with memory, particularly the transfer of memory from short-term to long-term memory

  1. Cerebral       Cortex—makes up more than 80% of brain’s total weight and is responsible       for higher cognitive, emotional, and motor functions. This is the outer, gray “squiggly”       area, and it is divided into 4 lobes.

i. Frontal lobe—includes motor, premotor, and prefrontal areas. Receives information from other areas of the brain and then sends out commands to muscles to make voluntary movements. Involved with expressive language. Higher order skills, such as planning, organizing, and reasoning. Also, some concentration, attention, and orientation.

ii. Parietal—contains somatosensory cortex; involved with interpreting and making sense of touch, pain, and temperature

iii. Temporal—sound and smell, receptive language, memory and emotion

-lateral fissure—separates the temporal lobe from the frontal and part of the parietal lobes

iv. Occipital—receives visual impulses, involved in understanding visual information

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