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PSY 312: Brain and Behavior. Dr. Mark Prendergast Office: B449 BBSRB (on the corner of Virginia and Limestone St.) Office hours: by appointment Telephone: 257-6120 e-mail: [email protected] Tracy Butler, M.S. Office: 448-D BBSRB Office hours: by appointment

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PSY 312: Brain and Behavior

Dr. Mark Prendergast

Office: B449 BBSRB (on the corner of Virginia and Limestone St.)

Office hours: by appointment

Telephone: 257-6120

e-mail: [email protected]

Tracy Butler, M.S.

Office: 448-D BBSRB

Office hours: by appointment

Telephone: 323-0575

e-mail: [email protected]

Required Text: Basics of Biopsychology by John P.J. Pinel (2007)

Outline:This class provides an introduction to structural and functional characteristics of the nervous system. Topics range from simple brain structures and behaviors to more complex functions such as drug addiction and other psychiatric illnesses.

Attendance:Attendance is never a course requirement in my classes.

Cheating:Cheating is not tolerated. I define cheating as either giving or receiving help during exams or during the writing of a paper. This can be from a classmate or any other method, including copying from a WWW site. In addition, any written assignment for this class is to be done independently and working on written assignments together also constitutes as cheating. If you need further clarification of what the University defines as cheating, please read the description in your Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. Anyone caught cheating will at minimum receive a zero and likely fail the course.

Grading: Your grade will be based on the % correct on 3 exams, including the final (100 points each, a total of 300 points). Each exam will consist of multiple choice questions. If an emergency arises and you must miss class on an exam day, please let me know prior to class. Make-up exams should be scheduled as soon as possible. Final grades will be assigned on a curve based upon overall exam performance. Regardless of class performance, however, 90% is guaranteed an "A", 80% at least a "B", 70% at least a “C”, 60% at least a “D” and below 60% an E.

Extra Credit: All students will be allowed to complete 1 extra credit assignment worth up to the equivalent of 5 points on an exam. This assignment must be a 2 page (double spaced) summary of an article published in a scientific journal identified on Extra credit assignments are due prior to the final exam.

Documented disability policy: if a disability exists and requires academic accommodations, please see me as soon as possible. To receive accommodations in the course, you must provide me with a Letter of Accommodation from the Disability Resource Center.

Anatomy of Brain Prendergast

Sept. 9th and 14th: NO CLASS

Neural Activity Prendergast

Development of the Nervous System Prendergast

Brain Damage and Neuroplasticity Prendergast

Learning, Memory, and Amnesia Butler/Prendergast

Hunger, Eating, and Health Butler

Hormones and Sex Prendergast

Sleep, Dreaming, and Circadian Rhythms Prendergast

Addiction, Emotion, and Stress Prendergast

Guest Lecture, Dr. Bill Stoops: Studying Drug Abuse in Humans

Addiction, Emotion, and Stress, cont’d Prendergast

Mechanisms of Perception Prendergast

Behavioral Neuroscience of Psychiatric Butler

Sensory Motor Systems Prendergast

Special role that genes and heritability play in behavior Prendergast

FINAL EXAM: 12/14 @ 1:00 p.m.

Lecture notes: available on-line before every class at

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How should you use your textbook ???

  • Lecture material is the most important to know

  • The textbook is meant to help explain the lectures

  • If material is in the book but not the lecture, you will not be tested over it

  • You do not need to read every part of every chapter

I suggest…

  • … that you read lecture notes first, then consult the book

  • If there is still any confusion, come talk to me or Tracy

here is how you can print the slides out without the dark background, in plain black and white.

1. click on print, when the print dialog box opens look to the lower left, for the menu called "print what".

2. use the mouse to select "handouts"

3. just below that menu is another menu called "Color/grayscale".  Use the mouse to select "pure black and white".

4. just to the right of the "print what" and "Color/grayscale" drop down menus is a menu called "slides per page".

Just pick how many slides you want per page and print them out. The slides will be all black and white with no background.

Anatomy of the Brain (and spinal cord)

What you see is NOT what you get !

Legend for color coding:

Cerebral cortex

Ventricle (cerebrospinal fluid)

Corpus callosum


Brain stem

Gyri (gyryus): folds of brain

Sulci (sulcus): gaps between gyri

The HOPES Brain Tutorial (Stanford University)

2 primary cell types in nervous system
2 primary cell types in nervous system

  • neurons – 10 to 100 billion neurons

    can vary tremendously in size and shape but all have 3 components

    • Cell body or “soma”

      • contains nucleus

    • Dendrites

      • “antenna” of neuron, projections that receive chemical signals

        from other neurons and other types of cells

    • Axons

      • The “transmitter” of a neuron, it’s usually a long fiber (can be inches long) that ends very closely to another neuron

goal of every cell is to receive chemical signals from nearby cells and

to send chemical signals to nearby cells


Cell Body





  • Chemicals are transported to end of axon

  • by “microtubes”

  • Packaged in fatty “sacs” called “synaptic vesicles”

  • Release, out of axon at the right time

Neurons can be:

Multipolar: many “processes” extend from

cell body (most neurons)

Unipolar: 1 process

Bipolar: 2 processes

1: “Nucleus”

* Core of cell body

* Contains almost all

genetic information

2: Nearby cells called


wrap most axons with a

fatty substance called


3 primary types of neurons
3 primary types of neurons

  • motor neurons

    • efferent – carry info from CNS

  • sensory neurons

    • afferent – carry info toward CNS

  • interneurons

    • carry info within regions

2 glial cells 10 to 100x the number of neurons
2. Glial cells – 10 to 100X the number of neurons

  • Glial cells provide important supportive role:

    • providing nutrients to neurons

    • provide support for neurons

      • myelin sheaths (oligodendrocytes in brain/spinal cord

        “Schwann cell in periphery)

    • play a role in response to neuronal injury

      • astrocytes

    • play a role in brain development

      • radial glia(helps guide new neurons to their place in brain)

2 divisions of the nervous system
2 divisions of the nervous system

  • CNS – Central Nervous System

    • brain, spinal cord

  • PNS – Peripheral Nervous System

    • Everything outside of the brain and spinal cord

Pns peripheral nervous system 2 components
PNS - peripheral nervous system2 components

1. autonomic nervous system

- “involuntary”

- role in emotion and stress

controls smooth muscles, cardiac muscles and glands

two anatomically separate components

Sympathetic nervous system part of autonomic ns
Sympathetic Nervous System(part of autonomic NS)

  • “fight or flight”

    • activated during emergencies, stress and/or arousal

      • ex. Adrenal gland releases adrenalin (norepinephrine) into blood stream

      • causes increased heart rate, better attention

Parasympathetic nervous system
Parasympathetic nervous system

  • Maintain homeostasis, energy restoration

    • physiological changes:

    • Role is to regulate normal bodily function at

      times of rest

      - lower heart rate, stimulates digestion of food, controls urination, etc.

2 somatic nervous system
2. Somatic nervous system

  • voluntary nervous system

    • 31 pairs of spinal nerves


    • sensory nerves

      • Afferent (transmit information about touch, pain,

        temperature. (but not vision or smell !)

  • Motornerves

    • Efferent (controls movement)

Spinal column and spinal nerves:

Bridge from brain

to peripheral NS

Sections of Cord





A pair of nerves (31 pairs) emerges from each level

1 of each pair = sensory info. to spinal cord from body

1 of each pair = motor info. from spinal cord to body



Gray matter vs white matter ??

Dorsal root (incoming) vs ventral root (outgoing)


Brings info. INTO

the the brain


Sends info. OUT

of the brain

Courtesy, Marie-Luise Lehmann

Central nervous system brain and spinal cord
Central Nervous System - brain and spinal cord

  • How is it protected?

    • skull

  • obvious - advantages of skull

  • less obvious - disadvantage- closed head injury

    • -swelling causes compression of brain


  • How is it protected?

    • Skull

    • CSF - cerebrospinal fluid

      • CSF production

        • role of ventricles

    • Advantages:

      • Cushion

      • Delivers nutrients

  • Disadvantages:

    • hydrocephaly


  • How is it protected?

    • Skull

    • CSF - cerebrospinal fluid

    • meninges

      3 membranes that “wrap” around the outside of brain

      dura mater – “tough mold”, leather-like outer meninge

      arachnoid – middle layer

      pia mater- “little mold”, directly attached to brain

Dura mater

Arachnoid mater

The Pia mater is too thin to see

(also, it usually tears off when the Arachnoid

mater is removed)


Protect brain by:

preventing it from touch skull

holding cerebrospinal fluid in

stabilizing blood supply to and from brain


  • How is it protected?

    • Skull

    • CSF - cerebrospinal fluid

    • meninges

    • blood brain barrier







Blood-brain barrier (BBB):protects brain by making it

difficult for substances to get in

  • Most substances (nutrients, oxygen,drugs, proteins, etc.) are carried into the

  • cranium by the blood stream. But, most things can’t get from the blood

  • to neurons because of the BBB




Drugs, oxygen, nutrients, etc.… diffuse through capillary walls into tissue


Red blood cells


organs, etc


organs, etc


organs, etc

Lipid (fat) cells

Capillary in peripheral

nervous system

drugs nutrients toxins


1. Things in blood diffuse into tissue relatively easily

Endothelial cells

Capillary in


Nervous System


  • Most things can’t get out of capillaries because of endothelial cells

  • Important things, like oxygen, glucose are “transported” into brain

  • by special transporters

Example of the importance of blood-brain barrier

  • Medication dosing: some drugs (for example, Prozac, Paxil)

  • cross from capillaries to neurons easily.* hijack “transporters”

  • * some can “slip” through without transporter

This means that you can give a low

dose (small amount) of the drug to get a

good response

But, if a drug doesn’t cross capillary membrane easily…?

You have to give a lot of the drug (high dose)

Much more likely to get nasty side effects


Most of the drugs used to treat HIV infection and AIDS

don’t cross the blood-brain barrier easily

2. Brain Damage:

Many “types” or “classes” of drug have a very, very

hard time getting past the blood brain barrier

So, if you are trying to treat a disease that affects the

brain (as well as the rest of the body), the brain is

especially likely to be damaged by the disease

Exception to the blood-brain barrier:

  • Area of brain that has “chemoreceptors”

  • to detect toxins that get in blood stream

  • The “vomit center”

  • a.k.a. “Area postrema”

2. A gland in CNS that controls several hormones

Intro to Brain Development Terminology

5 divisions of brain during “embryologic” development (first 8 weeks)

1 = Telencephalon

2 = Diencephalon

3 = Mesencephalon

4 = Metencephalon

5 = Myelencephalon

72 hr old chick

Telencephalon (cerebral cortex, limbic system, basal ganglia): “thought”, emotion,

motor control

Diencephalon (thalamus and hypothalamus): sensory relay, homeostatic functions

Mesencephalon (midbrain): tectum (dorsal) and tegmentum (floor)

Metencephalon (pons and cerebellum): pons is fiber tracts, cerbellum is motor area

Myelencephalon (medulla): efferent and afferent fiber tracts, “reticular formation”

arousal, sleep, attention


or end



Evolutionarily: “Old” “younger” “youngest”

“Older” part of brain are more similar to lower animals than “young” ones

  • Forebrain – also known as the “cerebrum”

Cerebral cortex

Much larger portion of the total brain weight than seen in almost all

other animals

- allows for more cognitive ability and emotional range

The Forebrain (telencephalon and diencephalon) largest part of the brain. Makes up 2/3 of entire organ.

left and right cerebral hemispheres are separated by the longitudinal fissure

Outermost covering = the cerebral cortex - gray matter: cell bodies and dendrites of neurons.


1. Cerebral cortex (outer portion) has four lobes with the following functions:

Frontal- Primary motor cortex - Voluntary control of skeletal muscles; controls personality, intelligence, emotional control and speech.

Temporal - Auditory cortex and olfactory cortex; Conscious perception of auditory, olfactory stimuli.

Parietal - Primary sensory cortex; Conscious perception of touch, pressure, vibration, pain, temperature, and taste - controls sensory input

Occipital - Visual cortex: Conscious control of visual stimuli.





Gyrus:raised ridge of


Sulcus:fissures or


Fissure:large sulcus

3 major functions and areas of cerebral cortex:

Sensory - motor - associative

Sensory areasreceive/interpret impulse for sense receptors: eyes, ears, taste buds, nose, touch, pain, pressure, heat, and cold receptors.

Motor areasof cortex start impulse responsible for all voluntary movement.

Associativeareas are responsible for memory, learning, and thought. These areas combine information from lower areas

and make sense of it to make decisions.

The Telencephalon, cont’d

Just below the cortex lies several structures that are

very important for emotion, learning, movement, language

and other behaviors.

  • 2. Limbic system: emotion and learning

  • 3. Basal ganglia: movement

  • 4. Corpus collosum: thick band of fibers that connects the

  • left and right hemispheres of the brain

Limbic system: large, interconnected network of nuclei

involved in emotion, learning, and sensory information

Basal Ganglia:

'basal ganglia' means: the caudate nucleus, putamen

and globus pallidus

importantforcontrolling voluntary movements

and establishing postures

Putamen and

Globus pallidus

= “lentiform nucleus”

Corpus collosum

The 2nd part of the forebrain is the “Diencephalon”

Comprised of several regions involved in:

- relaying sight, smell, sound, etc. info. to cortex

-regulating temperature, thirst, sexual behavior, eating…


- fibers tracts from eyes vision (optic chiasm)

- “Pituitary gland” = regulates many things using hormones


Forebrain summary


Cerebral cortex thalamus

Limbic system hypothalamus

Basal ganglia pituitary gland

Corpus collosum optic chiasm

  • Midbrain (mesencephalon) – sensory relay center (relays info. from outside of brain to brain

  • In lower animals = is more dominant and important than in humans.

Midbrain1. Just above pons.

2. Largest part of brain in lower vertebrates.

3. Center for visual and auditory reflexes: pupil reflex, blinking, adjusting ear volume to sound

4. Neurons that influence basal

ganglia and movement are here

5. Neurons that influence pleasure

are here, project to limbic system




C. Hindbrain - (mylencephalon and metencephalon)

sensory/motor relay, movement, arousal, control of internal organs

Reticular formation

NOTE: the Brain stem is composed of the Midbrain and the Hindbrain

Pons1. Serves as a relay system, linking spinal cord, medulla oblongata, cerebellum, and cerebrum.

Medulla Oblongata1. Lowest portion of brain.

2. Controls internal organs: heart rate, peristalsis, respiration, secretions from glands, blood pressure, swallowing, coughing, and vomiting.

3. Connects spinal cord with other parts of brain.

Cerebellum1. motor learning

2. Motor reflexes

Reticular formation1. wake/sleep cycles

2. attention

Hindbrain summary


Cerebellum medulla

Pons reticular formation

Reticular formation

How to remember the cranial nerves…

Olfactory nerve,

Optic nerve,

Oculomotor nerve,

Trochlear nerve,

Trigeminal nerve,

Abducens nerve,

Facial nerve,

Auditory nerve,

Glossopharyngeal nerve,

Vagus nerve,

Spinal accessory nerve and

Hypoglossal nerve.