Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 74

Chapter 2

The Biology
of Mind

PowerPoint Presentation
by Jim Foley

2013 Worth Publishers

Surveying the Chapter: Overview
What We Have in Mind

Building blocks of the mind: neurons

and how they communicate
Systems that build the mind: functions
of the parts of the nervous system
Supporting player: the slower-
communicating endocrine system
Star of the show: the brain and its
Searching for
the biology of
Is our identity in the
heart? In the
brain? In the whole

Searching for the self by studying the body
(developed by Franz Gall in
the early 1800s):
the study of bumps on the
skull and their relationship
to mental abilities and
character traits

Phrenology yielded one big idea--

that the brain might have
different areas that do different
things (localization of function).
Todays search for the biology of the self:
biological psychology
Biological psychology
includes neuroscience,
behavior genetics,
neuropsychology, and
evolutionary psychology.
All of these
subspecialties explore
different aspects of:
how the nature of mind
and behavior is rooted in
our biological heritage.
Our study of the biology
of the mind begins with
the atoms of the mind:
Neurons and Neuronal Communication:
The Structure of a Neuron

There are billions of neurons

(nerve cells) throughout the body.
Action potential:
a neural impulse that travels down an
axon like a wave
Just as the wave can flow to
the right in a stadium even
though the people only move
up and down, a wave moves
down an axon although it is
only made up of ion exchanges
moving in and out.
When does the cell send
the action potential?...
when it reaches a
threshold How neurons communicate
(with each other):
The neuron When the The signal is
receives threshold is The action transmitted
signals from reached, the potential to another
other action potential travels down cell.
neurons; starts moving. the axon However, the
some are Like a gun, it from the cell message
telling it to either fires or it body to the must find a
fire and some doesnt; more terminal way to cross
are telling it stimulation does branches. a gap
not to fire. nothing. between
This is known as cells. This
the all-or- gap is also
none response. called the

The threshold is reached when

excitatory (Fire!) signals
outweigh the inhibitory (Dont
fire!) signals by a certain amount.
The Synapse
The synapse is a
junction between the
axon tip of the
sending neuron and
the dendrite or cell
body of the receiving

The synapse is
also known as the
junction or
synaptic gap.
are chemicals
used to send a
signal across the
synaptic gap.
Recycling Neurotransmitters [NTs]

After the neurotransmitters
stimulate the receptors on
the receiving neuron, the
chemicals are taken back up
into the sending neuron to
be used again.
Neural Communication:
Seeing all the Steps Together
Roles of Different Neurotransmitters
Some Neurotransmitters and Their Functions
Neurotransmitter Function Problems Caused by Imbalances
Serotonin Affects mood, hunger, Undersupply linked to depression;
sleep, and arousal some antidepressant drugs raise
serotonin levels
Dopamine Influences movement, Oversupply linked to schizophrenia;
learning, attention, and undersupply linked to tremors and
emotion decreased mobility in Parkinsons
disease and ADHD
Acetylcholine Enables muscle action, ACh-producing neurons deteriorate as
(ACh) learning, and memory Alzheimers disease progresses
Norepinephrine Helps control alertness Undersupply can depress mood and
and arousal cause ADHD-like attention problems
GABA (gamma- A major inhibitory Undersupply linked to seizures,
aminobutyric acid neurotransmitter tremors, and insomnia
Glutamate A major excitatory Oversupply can overstimulate the brain,
neurotransmitter; producing migraines or seizures; this is
involved in memory why some people avoid MSG
(monosodium glutamate) in food
Serotonin Dopamine
pathways pathways
Networks of neurons that Networks of neurons that
communicate with serotonin communicate with dopamine are
help regulate mood. involved in focusing attention
and controlling movement.
Hearing the message
How Neurotransmitters Activate
When the
key fits,
the site is
Keys that almost fit:
Agonist and Antagonist Molecules

An agonist molecule fills An antagonist molecule

the receptor site and fills the lock so that the
activates it, acting like the neurotransmitter cannot
neurotransmitter. get in and activate the
receptor site.
The Inner and Outer Parts of the
Nervous System
The central peripheral
nervous nervous
system system [PNS]
[CNS] consists of
consists of the rest of
the brain the nervous
and spinal system.
The CNS gathers and
makes sends
decisions information
for the to and from
body. the rest of
the body.
Types of Neurons
neurons carry
messages IN
from the
bodys tissues
and sensory Motor
receptors to neurons carry
the CNS for instructions
processing. OUT from the
CNS out to the Interneurons
bodys tissues. (in the brain
and spinal
cord) process
between the
sensory input
and motor
The Nerves
are not the same as neurons.

Nerves consist of
neural cables
containing many
Nerves are part of
the peripheral
nervous system and
connect muscles,
glands, and sense
organs to the
central nervous
More Parts of the Nervous System
The Peripheral Nervous System
The sympathetic
NS arouses
NS calms
(rest and digest)
The Central Nervous System

The brain is a web of

neural networks.
The spinal cord is full of
interneurons that
sometimes have a mind
of their own.
Neural Networks

These complex webs of interconnected

neurons form with experience.
Neurons that fire together, wire together.
Interneurons in the Spine
Your spines
interneurons trigger
your hand to pull
away from a fire
before you can say

This is an example
of a reflex action.
The Endocrine System

The endocrine system

refers to a set of glands that
produce chemical
messengers called
The Bodys Slow but Sure
Endocrine Message System
The endocrine
system sends
molecules as
messages, just like
the nervous system,
but it sends them
through the
bloodstream instead
of across synapses.
These molecules,
called hormones,
are produced in
various glands
around the body.
The messages go to
the brain and other
produce hormones such as
Adrenal Glands adrenaline/epinephrine,
noradrenaline/norepinephrine, and

Adrenal Glands
1. The sympathetic
fight or flight
nervous system
responds to stress
by sending a
message to
Pancreas adrenal glands to
release the
hormones listed
2. Effect: increased
heart rate, blood
pressure, and
blood sugar. These
provide ENERGY
for the fight or
The Pituitary Gland
The pituitary gland is the
master gland of the
endocrine system.
It is controlled through
the nervous system by the
nearby brain area--the
Pituitary gland
The pituitary gland
produces hormones that
regulate other glands
such as the thyroid.
It also produces growth
hormone (especially
during sleep) and
oxytocin, the bonding
The Brain
What well discuss:
how we learn about the brain
the life-sustaining inner parts of the
brain: the brainstem and limbic system
the outer, wrinkled bark: the cortex
left, right, and split brains
Questions about parts of the brain:
Do you think that the brain is the Is it possible to
sum of its parts, or is the brain understand the brain?
actually about the way they are
connected? If the human brain were
What do you think might happen so simple that we could
if a particular area of the brain understand it, we would
was stimulated? be so simple that we
What do you think might happen Emerson M. Pugh
if a particular area of the brain
was damaged or not working but we can try.
Investigating the Strategies for finding out
what is different about the
Brain and Mind: mind when part of the
brain isnt working
How did we move beyond normally:
How did we get inside the case studies of accidents
skull and under the (e.g. Phineas Gage)
bumps? case studies of split-brain
by finding what happens patients (corpus callosum
when part of the brain is cut to stop seizures)
damaged or otherwise lesioning brain parts in
unable to work properly animals to find out what
by looking at the happens
structure and activity of chemically numbing,
the brain: CAT, MRI, magnetically deactivating,
fMRI, and PET scans or electrically stimulating
parts of the brain
Studying cases of brain damage
When a stroke or injury damages part of the brain, we
have a chance to see the impact on the mind.
Intentional brain damage:
Lesions (surgical
destruction of brain
performed on animals
has yielded some
insights, especially
about less complex
brain structures
no longer necessary, as
we now can chemically
or magnetically
deactivate brain areas
to get similar
Split-Brain Patients
Split = surgery in
which the
connection between
the brain
hemispheres is cut
in order to end
severe full-brain
Study of split-brain
patients has yielded
insights discussed at
the end of the
We can stimulate parts of the brain
to see what happens
Parts of the brain, and even neurons, can
be stimulated electrically, chemically, or
This can result in behaviors such as
giggling, head turning, or simulated vivid
Researchers can see which neurons or
neural networks fire in conjunction with
certain mental experiences, and even
specific concepts.
Monitoring activity in the brain
Tools to read electrical, metabolic, and magnetic
activity in the brain:

EEG: PET: positron emission

electroencephalogram tomography

MRI: magnetic
fMRI: functional MRI
resonance imaging
An EEG (electroencephalogram)
EEG: is a recording of the electrical
electroencephalogram waves sweeping across the
brains surface.
An EEG is useful in studying
seizures and sleep.

The PET scan allows us to see what
PET: positron emission
part of the brain is active by
tomography tracing where a radioactive form
of glucose goes while the brain
performs a given task.
MRI: magnetic
fMRI: functional MRI
resonance imaging

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) Functional MRI reveals

makes images from signals produced by brain activity and
brain tissue after magnets align the spin function rather than
of atoms. structures.
The arrows below show ventricular Functional MRI
enlargement in a schizophrenic patient compares successive
(right). MRI images taken a
split second apart, and
shows changes in the
level of oxygen in
bloodflow in the brain.

Areas of the brain and their functions

The brainstem The limbic The cortex (the

and cerebellum: (border) system: outer covering):
coordinates manages integrates
the body emotions, and information
thought to
The Brain:
Less Complex Brain Structures
Our tour of the brain begins with parts of the human
brain found also in simpler animals; these parts
generally deal with less complex functions:

Brainstem (Pons and Medulla)


Reticular Formation


Limbic System
The Brainstem:
Pons and Medulla
The Base of the
The Medulla

The medulla controls the most basic functions

such as heartbeat and breathing.
Someone with total brain damage above the
medulla could still breathe independently, but
someone with damage in this area could not.
The Pons

The pons helps

coordinate automatic
and unconscious
The Thalamus (Inner Chamber)

The thalamus is the

sensory switchboard or
All sensory messages,
except smell, are routed
through the thalamus on
the way to the cortex
(higher, outer brain).
The thalamus also sends
messages from the cortex
to the medulla and
Reticular (Netlike) Formation

The reticular formation is a

nerve network in the
It enables alertness,
(arousal) from coma to
wide awake (as
demonstrated in the cat
It also filters incoming
sensory information.
Cerebellum (little brain)
The cerebellum
helps coordinate
movement such as
playing a sport.

The cerebellum has many other

functions, including enabling
nonverbal learning and memory.
The Limbic (Border) System
The limbic system coordinates:
emotions such as fear and
basic drives such as hunger
and sex.
the formation of episodic
The hippocampus
processes conscious,
episodic memories.
works with the amygdala
to form emotionally
charged memories.
The Amygdala (almond)
consists of two lima bean-
sized neural clusters.
helps process emotions,
especially fear and
The Amygdala
stimulation of a
cats amygdala
provokes aggressive
If you move the
electrode very
slightly and cage
the cat with a
mouse, the cat will
cower in terror.
The Hypothalamus:
lies below (hypo) the
thalamus. Thalamus
regulates body temperature and
ensures adequate food and
water intake (homeostasis), and
is involved in sex drive.
directs the endocrine system via
messages to the pituitary gland.

The Hypothalamus as a Reward Center Riddle: Why did the rat

cross the grid?
Why did the rat want to
get to the other side?
Pushing the pedal that
stimulated the electrode
placed in the
hypothalamus was much
more rewarding than food
Review of Brain Structures
The Cerebral Cortex
The lobes consist of:
outer grey bark structure that is wrinkled in order to
create more surface area for 20+ billion neurons.
inner white stuffaxons linking parts of the brain.
180+ billion glial cells, which feed and protect neurons
and assist neural transmission.
300 billion synaptic

The brain has

left and right
The Lobes of the Cerebral Cortex:
involved in speaking and
Frontal Lobes muscle movements and in
making plans and judgments

Parietal Lobes include the sensory cortex

include the visual areas;

they receive visual
Occipital Lobes information from the
opposite visual field

Temporal Lobes include the auditory

processing areas

Functions of the Brain:
The Motor and Sensory Strips
Output: Motor Input: Sensory
cortex (Left cortex (Left
hemisphere hemisphere
section section receives
controls the input from the
bodys right bodys right side)

Axons Axons
receiving motor sending
signals FROM sensory
the cortex information
TO the cortex
Using our knowledge of functions:
Brain-computer interfaces
and neural prosthetics
Here, a robotic arm is
operated through
controls embedded in
the motor strip of the
We may soon be able to
use computers to
translate neural inputs
into more commands
and words than simply
grabbing food.
Sensory Functions of the Cortex

The sensory strip deals

with information from
touch stimuli.
The occipital lobe deals
with visual information.
Auditory information is
sent to the temporal
The Visual Cortex

This fMRI scan

activity in the
visual cortex
when a person
looks at a
Association function of the cortex
More complex animals have more cortical space
devoted to integrating/associating information
Association Areas:
Frontal Lobes
The frontal lobes are
active in executive
functions such as
judgment, planning, and
inhibition of impulses.
The frontal lobes are also
active in the use of
working memory and the
processing of new
Phineas Gage (1823-1860)
Case study: In a work accident, a
metal rod shot up through Phineas
Gages skull, destroying his eye and
part of his frontal lobes.
After healing, he was able to function
in many ways, but his personality
changed; he was rude, odd, irritable,
and unpredictable.
Possible explanation:
Damage to the frontal lobes could
result in loss of the ability to suppress
impulses and to modulate emotions.
Novela chilena sobre el caso:
Aravena, Francisco. (2015). La vida eterna de Phineas Gage. Santiago:
Penguin Random House.
Parietal Lobe Association Areas
This part of the brain has many functions in the
association areas behind the sensory strip:
managing input from multiple senses
performing spatial and mathematical reasoning
monitoring the sensation of movement
Temporal Lobe Association Areas

Some abilities managed by association areas in this by

the temples lobe:
recognizing specific faces
managing sensory input related to sound, which helps
the understanding of spoken words
Whole-brain Association Activity
Whole-brain association
activity involves complex
activities which require
communication among
association areas across the
brain such as:
meditation and spirituality
Specialization and Integration
Five steps in reading a word aloud:
Plasticity: The Brain is Flexible
If the brain is damaged,
especially in the general
association areas of the
the brain does not
repair damaged
neurons, BUT it can
restore some functions
it can form new
connections, reassign
existing networks, and
insert new neurons, This 6-year-old had a
some grown from stem hemispherectomy to end life-
cells threatening seizures; her
remaining hemisphere
compensated for the damage.
Our Two

Lateralization (going to one side)

The two hemispheres serve some different functions.
How do we know about these differences?
Brain damage studies revealed many functions of
the left hemisphere.
Brain scans and split brain studies show more about
the functions of the two hemispheres, and how they
coordinate with each other.
The intact but lateralized brain
Right-Left Hemisphere Differences
Left Hemisphere Right Hemisphere

Thoughts and logic Feelings and intuition

Details such as trees Big picture such as forest
Language: words and Language: tone, inflection,
definitions context
Linear and literal Inferences and associations
Calculation Perception
Pieces and details Wholes, including the self
Split- Brain Studies

To end severe
seizures, some
people have had
surgery to cut the
corpus callosum,
a band of axons
connecting the Researchers have studied the
hemispheres. impact of this surgery on
patients functioning.
Separating the Hemispheres:
Factors to Keep in Mind

Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of

the body AND is aware of the visual field on
that opposite side.
Without the corpus callosum, the halves of
the body and the halves of the visual field do
not work together.
Only the left half of the brain has enough
verbal ability to express its thoughts out loud.
Split visual field
Each hemisphere does
not perceive what each
EYE sees. Instead, it
perceives the half of the
view in front of you that
goes with the half of the
body that is controlled
by that hemisphere.
Divided Awareness in the Split Brain
Try to explain the following result:

The divided brain in action
Talent: people
are able to
follow two
instructions and
draw two
different shapes
people can be
frustrated that
the right and left
sides do
different things
The Future of Brain Research
Can these questions be answered?
Is every part of the minds functioning going to
be found someday on some brain scan?
If so, have we found the mind, or is that still
something separate from the brain?
Chapter 2
The Biology
of Mind

by Jim Foley

2013 Worth Publishers