PSYC 170 - Summer 2013 - Professor Claffey

Notes: Organization

8/4/13 - adapted from Hans Peterson's notes
10/30/12 - original version

Anatomical Directions in Humans


Planes of the Brain

planes planes

Anatomy of the Nervous System

nervous system 

Peripheral Nervous System

____________ neurons - carry sensory signals from the body that arrive in the brain
____________ neurons - carry motor signals to the body that exit the brain

Somatic System

 _______________ control of body movements

Autonomic System

controls visceral functions, largely outside of _________________________


Engages the body’s __________________, increase/decrease energy expenditures
Heart Rate:         Digestion:         Respiratory Rate:         Perspiration:


Engage the body's _____________________, increase/decrease energy expenditures

Central Nervous System

Consists of the _________ and __________________________

Spinal Cord

Primary functions:

  1. Conduct ________________ information from the brain to the muscles
  2. Conduct ________________ information from the body to the brain
  3. Contain circuits for __________________ and pattern generation
spinal cord
___________________ – makes up the outside of the spinal cord, consisting of highly myelinated axons that carry information either up or down the spinal cord

___________________ – the inner component of the spinal cord, primarily composed of cell bodies and ___________________, which allow motor and sensory neurons to communicate

__________ side - afferent/efferent (sensory neurons)
__________ side - afferent/efferent (motor neurons)

Protecting the Brain

The ____________ provides protection against impact and force.
Underneath the skull is the ________________, which act like a wrapper.

________________________ provides cushioning and is involved in the healthy exchange of molecules.

        produced in the _____________________, which are several large hollow cavities throughout the brain.

Chemical Protection

The brain is protected by foreign chemicals by the ___________________________, a tightly-packed system of cells wrapped around blood vessels walls that prevent many molecules from entering the brain.
Advantages – Protects from foreign bodies, and thus brain infection is quite rare
Disadvantages – Because the blood brain barrier prevents many molecules from reaching the brain, it is difficult to develop pharmaceuticals that can act upon the brain.

Brain Subdivisions


myelencephalon metencephalon


____________ Involved in various autonomic processes in the body, including respiratory and cardiac functioning.

___________________ Involved in sleep-wake cycle and habituation.


______________ Also autonomic functioning such as regulating breathing

__________________  motor behavior, balance, movement and coordination



Mid brain

  • preliminary vision & auditory processing
  • rich in dopaminergic neurons - movement and reward
  • motor coordination and communicating with the cerebellum and motor cortex
  • processing pain



  • regulatory gateway
  • all sensory input goes through the thalamus
    • visual input in Lateral Geniculate Nucleus (LGN)
    • auditory input in Medial Geniculate Nucleus (MGN)

  • links the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland
  • regulates body temp, hunger, thirst, and other autonomic process

telencephalon lobes


  • Evolutionarily the most recent part of the brain
  • Our complex behavior such as voluntary movement, sensory input, speaking, memory, problem solving, and other executive functions are developed here. There are two parts that comprise the telencephalon, the ______________ and _______________.

______________ – groove in cerebral cortex

______________ – ridge or wrinkle in cerebral cortex

______________ – deep groove in cerebral cortex

______________________ – divides right and left hemisphere

______________________ – divides frontal lobe and parietal lobe

______________________ – divides frontal lobe and parietal lobe from temporal lobe

______________________ – intercortical structure that allows right and left hemisphere to communicate with one another

Cerebral cortex

Cortical layers

cortical layers 2-4 mm thick with white matter underneath
cortex has layers that differ in neuron organization
some layers consist mostly of:

    _________________ from _____________neurons__
         signals arriving from other areas of the brain (__________)

        densely packed neurons with many synapses (_____________)

    __________________ of neurons whose
        axons project to other cortical areas (__________________)
__________________ cells
    one of the main types of neurons in the cortex
    large multipolar (many extensions) neurons
    many dendrites extending up towards surface of cortex
    large axon that extends down and then to other areas of the cortex
        these axons are what make up the white matter
    integrates signals and communicates to other areas of the brain

Occipital Lobe

dedicated to processing ________________ input
information proceeds from _____________ to ______________ processing
cells sensitive to edges, color, shapes, orientation
specialized areas for ______________ and ________________________
Ventral vs dorsal stream
    information flowing along dorsal stream processes _________ objects are
    information flowing along ventral stream processes _________ objects are

Parietal Lobe

_____________________ cortex - receives sensory input from body

_____________________ cortex
    integrating vision (dorsal stream) / hearing / touch
    sense of space and our bodies relation to space

Temporal Lobe

superior temporal gyrus (top) - __________________ and __________________

inferior temporal gyrus (bottom) - "what" or ventral stream of __________________

medial temporal lobe (inside) - hippocampus, declarative __________________

Frontal Lobe

primary motor cortex (__________________ movement control)

secondary motor areas (__________________ movement control)

prefrontal cortex - advanced __________________ functions, __________________
    "pre" meaning before or in front of

Subcortical Structures

"subcortical" is everything under the cortex (the very outer surface)
includes areas introduced above: thalamus, hypothalamus, medulla, pons, cerebellum
includes the limbic system & basal ganglia

Limbic system

limbic system circles the thalamus (limbic is Greek for ring)
regulates the four Fs of behavior:
   fighting, fleeing, feeding, and ______________


    declarative memory
        knowledge that can be declared as oppose to procedural memory

    (Greek: almond)
    emotional learning, fear & aggressive behaviors

Basal ganglia

basal ganglia

Serves as the _______________ for selecting movement
   It is as though the cortex is "proposing" many
   different actions and the basal ganglia selects
   only one

May also select ______________ and ________________ decisions

Consists of:
  • caudate (dorsal striatum)
  • putamen (ventral striatum)
  • globus pallidus
  • subthalamic nuclei

Copyright 2013 - Michael Claffey