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goal of neuroscience
Identify and explain the mechanisms the brain uses to acquire and regulate higher mental functions AND to produce both basic and skilled actions
Study of the anatomic structures, cellular functions, and physiologic processes of the nervous system
Deals with diseases that disrupt the normal structure and function (physiological properties) of the nervous system
Analyzes aphasic disorders to formulate hypotheses about the normal formulation of language in the brain
Study of the structural framework of the nervous system, consisting of nerve cells (neurons) and their tracts (fibers)
Imaging techniques for differentiating pathological tissue of CNS; radiation therapy for nervous system tumors is a sunspecialty
Deals with the growth of the nervous system during the embyonic periods of development extending from conception to 7 weeks (all brain structures should be in place)
Study of the functional properties of the nervous system (structural/metabolic, chemical, and electrical functions)
Study of characteristics an origins of diseases and their effects on nervous systems; nature, cause, and diagnosis of diseased tissue in brain and spinal cord
Organizational/regulating principles of the brain
1) Interconnectivity of the brain
2) Centrality of the nervous system
3) Hierarchy of neuraxial organization
4) Laterality of brain organization
5) functional networking
6) Topographical representation
7) Plasticity of the brain
8) Culturally neutral brain
Interconnectivity in the brain
All functionally specific primary sensory and motor regions in the cerebrum are connected thru association (indirectly connect) and commissural fibers (directly connect w/eachother); connective network allows constant interactions among functional circuits within and between each hemisphere
Centrality of the nervous system
The central nervous system (CNS) integrates all incoming and outgoing info and generates appropriate responses to the info received; no 2 parts of the peripheral body can communicate with each other w/o going thru the CNS first
Hierarcy in neuraxial organization
the neuraxis of the CNS is hierarchically organized by complexity of function; lowest level is the spinal cord, intermediate is the brainstem and diencephalon, and highest is the cerebral cortex
The lowest level of organization controls...
SPINAL CORD controls simple sensorimotor functions in the form of reflexes (which are also partially influenced by upper levels)
Intermediate level of organization controls...
BRAINSTEM and DIENCEPHALON together react to nonspecific stress and adverse bodily changes to maintain optimal homeostatic states (e.g., blood pressure, sleep)
Highest level of organization controls...
CEREBRAL CORTEX controls complex sensorimotor integration and higher mental functions (e.g., cognition, language, speech)
Laterality of brain organization aspects
1) bilateral anatomic symmetry
2) unilateral functional differences
3) contralateral sensorimotor control
Bilateral anatomic symmetry
The two cerebral hemispheres are almost identical in anatomy (with the exception of the PLANUM TEMPORALE which is enlarged on the left side for language specialization)
Unilateral functional differences
Each hemisphere has an advantage over the other for different specialized functions.
Left hemisphere=language, speech, analytical processing
Right hemisphere=emotions, music, paralinguistic functions, temporospatial attributes
Contralateral sensorimotor control
All sensory and motor fibers in the nervous system are contralaterally organized--> ascending and descending fibers cross (decussate) at the body's midline (usually at the lower [caudal] medulla of the brainstem).............basically the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body and vice versa
Nueronal systems are functionally specified; sensory and motor systems contain specialized nerve cells that analyze and respond to functionally specific stimuli
The discreteness with which sensorimotor info is retained/spatially organized in the axonal pathways from the specialized peripheral receptors of the body to the brain (remember homunculus)
Neuroplasticity/plasticity of the brain
Brain's adaptive abilities: change as a result of experience AND recognize and gradually modify tissue functions when faced w/pathology....greatest in the early years and diminishes with age..... (relevant topics are sprouting, patterns of brain development, and the critical period)
Patterns of brain development
Predetermined development (genes allocate specific functions to different areas of the brain and dictate what experiences those areas need)
Probabilistic development (represents current neurolinguistic thinking--gene experience can be modified by experience and the internal/external environment)
Period when an experience is most rewarding and effective in influencing the brain's potential; suggests that it is not the experience alone but rather the timing of the experience that regulates the potential for functional plasticity)
Culturally neutral brain
Brian operations are not governed by any personal characteristics of gender, race, or cultural variations; also unaffected by normal variations in size, shape, weight
Directional brain orientation terms
Rostral (West) Caudal(East)
Brain: towards the top of the brain/up
Spinal cord and brainstem: towards the back of the body/top of a dog
Brain: lower brain towards the jaw
Spinal cord and brainstem: towards the abdomen/belly of a dog
Vertical cut that passes longitudinally and divides the brain into right and left hemispheres
Adduction=limb is moved towards the central axis of the body
Abduction=limb is moved away from the cental axis of the body
Pronation=movement that turns the palm downward (lying on belly)
Supination=movement that turns the palm upwards (lying on back)
Striated fibers not under volitional control...controlled by the cardiovascular reflexes of the autonomic nervous system (ANS)
a motor disorder caused by damage to the brain (loss of oxygen) pre, post, or during birth
a progressive disease of the brain (motor disorder) characterized by tremor, reduced strength, and slow movements
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