Brain Structure and Function

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Hindbrain

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Psychology

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23 Terms

1

Hindbrain

Consists of structures in the top part of the spinal cord and serves as our “life support system” as it controls the basic biological functions that keep us alive. (Medulla, Pons, Cerebellum)

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2

Medulla Oblongata

Involved in the control of our blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing; located above the spinal cord.

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3

Pons

Connects the hindbrain with the midbrain and forebrain; involved in the control of facial expressions.

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4

Cerebellum

Located on the bottom rear of the brain that looks like a smaller version of our brain; coordinates some habitual muscle movements (means little brain).

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5

Midbrain

Area of the brain located just above the spinal cord that coordinates simple movements with sensory information.

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6

Reticular Formation

A netlike collection of cells throughout the midbrain that controls general body arousal and the ability to focus our attention; if this does not function, we fall into a coma.

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7

Forebrain

Areas of this region of the brain control what we think of as thought and reason; seen as “what makes humans human”

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8

Thalamus

Located on top of the brain stem and is responsible for receiving sensory signals coming up the spinal cord and sending them to the appropriate areas of the forebrain.

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9

Hypothalamus

A small structure right next to the thalamus; controls several metabolic functions, including body temperature, sexual arousal, hunger, thirst, and the endocrine system.

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10

Amygdala

Structures near the end of each hippocampal arm that are vital to our experiences of emotion.

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11

Hippocampus

Part of the mind that surrounds the thalamus that is vital to our memory system as memories are processed through this area and then sent to other locations for permanent storage (damage to this prevents the storage of new information).

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12

Cerebral Cortex

Gray wrinkled surface of the brain that is actually a thin layer of densely packed neurons.

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13

Fissures

Wrinkles on the surface of the brain that increases the available surface area and therefore areas for neurons to be tightly packed together.

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14

Contralateral Control

Phenomena in which the right hemisphere of the brain gets sensory messages and controls the left side of the body, and vice versa.

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15

Corpus Callosum

The nerve bundle that connects the two hemispheres of the brain.

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16

Association Area

Any area of the cerebral cortex that is not associated with receiving sensory information or controlling muscle movements; areas are very active in various human thoughts and behaviors.

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17

Frontal Lobe

Large areas of the cerebral cortex located at the top front part of the brain behind the eyes.

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18

Prefrontal Cortex

Anterior of the frontal lobe that is thought to play a critical role in directing thought processes; said to act as the brain’s central executive and believed to be responsible for abstract thought and emotional control.

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19

Broca’s Area

Portion of the frontal lobe responsible for controlling the muscles involved in producing speech; damage to this might leave us unable to make the movements needed to speak.

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20

Wernicke’s Area/Temporal Lobe

Area of the brain that processes sound sensed by our ears.

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21

Parietal Lobes

Located behind the frontal lobe but still on top of the brain that contains the sensory cortex

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22

Sensory Cortex

A thin vertical strip that receives incoming touch sensations from the rest of our body.

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23

Occipital Lobes

Located at the very back of our brain that receives impulses from the retinas in our eyes and is therefore connected to vision

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