THE BRAIN

STUDY
PLAY
Case Study
A research technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles
Computerized Axial Tomography (CT or CAT)
A series of X-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice through the body
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
A technique that sues magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images that distinguish among types of soft tissue;
this allows us to see structures within the brain
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
An amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface
Positron Emission Tomography Scan (PET Scan)
A visual display of brain activity
Brainstem
The oldest part and central core of the brain, responsible for automatic survival functions.
Medulla
Located at the base of the brainstem. It controls basic life-supporting functions like heartbeat and breathing
Reticular Formation
A nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling wakefulness and arousal
Thalamus
The brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex
Cerebellum
The "little brain", attached to the rear of the brainstem; it helps coordinate voluntary movements and balance
Limbic System
A ring of structures at the border of the brainstem and cerebral cortex; it helps regulate functions such as memory, fear, aggression, hunger, and thirst
Hypothalamus
A neural structure lying below the thalamus;
it helps regulates the body's maintenance activities, such as eating, drinking, body temperature, and it linked to emotion
Hippocampus
A neural center located in the limbic system that wraps around the back of the thalamus; it helps process new memories for permanent storage
Amygdala
An almond shaped neural cluster in the limbic system that controls emotional responses such as fear and anger
Cerebral Cortex
The intricate fabric of interconnected neurons that form the body's ultimate control and information processing center
Corpus Callosum
The large band of neural fibers that connects the two brain hemispheres and allows them to communicate with each other
Longitudinal Fissure
The long crevice that divides the cerebral cortex into left and right hemispheres
Frontal Lobes
The portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead that is involved in planning and judgment
Parietal Lobes
The portion of the cerebral cortex lying on the top of the head and toward the rear. Regions available for general processing, including mathematical reasoning
Occipital Lobes
The portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head. Includes the primary visual processing areas of the brain.
Temporal Lobes
The portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears. Includes the auditory (hearing) areas of the brain.
Motor Cortex
A strip of brain tissue at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movement
Somatosensory Cortex
The strip of brain tissue at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body sensations. Soma is Greek for "body."
Plasticity
The brain's ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or experience
Broca's Area
A brain area of the left frontal lobe that directs the muscle movements involve in speech
Wernicke's Area
A brain area of the left temporal lobe involved in language comprehension and expression
Brain's Left Hemisphere
For most people, language functions are in the left hemisphere.
Brain's Right Hemisphere
Houses the brain's spatial abilities
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