Shared Flashcard Set


Basic Neurophysiology
Handbook of School Neuropsychology-Chpt. 2

Additional Psychology Flashcards




What are the four phases of brain development? 

1. birth of neurons

2.  cell migration

3.  cell differentiation/maturation

4.  cell death/synaptic pruning

At birth, the brain has differentiated neurons in the correct place (for typical children).  In regard to brain development, what continues to take place after birth?
The branching and connections of dendritic "trees" and the myelination of axons takes place at extraordinary rates.  This process accounts for the majority of hemispheric growth after birth. 
Cortical maturation begins with___, progresses to ___, and ends with the ____.

begins with the primary sensory zones, moves on to the association areas, and ends with the frontal lobes. 


The discontinous nature of frontal lobe development is particularly important because changes in learning and behavior are associated with these changes.  Dramatic changes in cortical development appear to coincide with Piaget's stages of cognitive development.

What is the "crowding hypothesis"?

When one hemisphere takes over functions of the other, following damage to the other hemisphere, it is hypothesized that this may result in limitations in for both the function that is spared and the other functions as well.  So, if the left hemisphere is damaged, some language functions as well as some right hemisphere funstions, such as spatial skills, may be lost b/c language "crowds out" the spatial skills.  Interestingly, language skills may be more likely to crowd out nonverbal skills than vice versa.


grey matter =

white matter =


grey matte = nerve cells = houses and neighborhoods

white matter = myelinated axons that speed transmission of info = highways




tracts or commissure =

largest commissure =


which commissure connects the front of the brain to the back of the brain?


gyrus= bump in the brain

sulcus= fissure or valley that seprates the gyri

tracts or commissure = connect different brain areas

largest commissure = the corpus callosum, connect right and left hemispehere


The cingulate connects the front of the brain to the back


1. The term afferent is related to _.

2. The term efferent is related to _.

3. ipsalateral =

4. contralateral =

5.  Basically, everything above the brain stem crosses over, or _, from one side of the brai


1. input

2. output

3. same side of body

4.  opposite side of body

5.  decussates

6.  ipsalateral



1.  The basal ganglia has many connections to both _ and _ structures, including the _.

2.  Originally, the basal ganglia were believed to be involved in primarily _, but now, they are known to be involved in _, _, and _ functions. 


1.  cortical and subcortical structures, including the cerebellum.

2.  motor functions, executive, motor, and sensory functions.

3.  ADHD, OCD, and Tourette's

Although the limbic system has long been considered the emotional brain, what suggests that this conceptualization may be simplistic?
The hippocampus, part of the limbic system, is involved in memory encoding, consolidation, and possibly retrieval and the cingulate gyrus, also part of the limbic system, is involved in attention and executive control. 
Name the four structures of the diencephalon.

1.  thalamus (grand central station)


2.  epithalamus (secretes melatonin and is associated with circadian rhythms and other activity cycles)


3.  hypothalamus (regulation of hunger-thirst, temp, sleep, and hormones; considered autonomic center of the brain)

What does the fact that the cerebellum affects the ipsalateral side of the body suggest?
It possibly serves the function of a cortical check and balance system, because the cortical areas all affect the contralateral regions.  Consistent with this, the cerebellum seems to be intimately involved in timing, learning, and memory, and coordination of cognitive functions. 

Why are subcortical dysfunctions more likely to be recognized by physicians? 


Simply put, how are cortical deficits different from subcortical deficits?


Subcortical symptoms are more obvious and easier to assess. 


Cortical deficits, on the other hand, are likely to be identified as "soft signs" that require further neuropsych investigation.  Cortical deficits are more likely to be present as learning and behavior problems. 


Note that the processes subserved by both subcortical and cortical functions are intimately related and often clinically inseparable. 

What are the "two laws of cortical functioning"?

1.  No complex behavior can be linked to one specific brain area; most brain-behavior relationships require and examination of interrelated brain networks.


2.  There is much individual variability in cortical organization and function; differences within individuals can be greater than differences between individuals


1.  What does the telencephalon consist of?


2.  Name the three structures of the basal ganglia and their primary function


3.  Name the three structures of the limbic system


1.  The four lobes, the limbic system, and the basal ganglia.


2.  caudate, putamen, globus pallidus - all have motor functions

3.  hippocampus (memory function), amygdala (emotion), cingulate (executive)

Name five other subcortical structures and their basic functions

1.  Tectum (vision and hearing)


2.  Tegmentum (motor)


3.  Cerebellum (body position)


4.  Pons/medulla (ascending-descending tracts, cranial nerves)


5.  Reticular formation (arousal)


1. Describe the basic functions of each of the four lobes:


2.  Simply put, the three posterior lobes are associated with_


3.  and the frontal lobe is associated with _.


4.  Howeve


1. Occipital lobe: Seeing - processes visual info

Temporal lobe: Hearing -  receives auditory information

Parietal lobe: Gnosis - responsible for touch and somatic senses

Frontal lobe: Praxis - governs motor output and general behavior


2.  receiving afferent or input info


3.  efferent projections or output


4.  sent or received from other brain areas.


1.  What separates the frontal motor area from the parietal somatosensory area?


2.  Simply put, anything posterior from the central sulcus is responsible for _;


3.  anything anterior is involved in<


1.  The central sulcus


2.  receiving afferent or sensory input


3.  efferent or motor input.


Keep in mind that numbers two and three are simplifications - the anterior and posterior areas interact with each other and are involved in almost every aspect of cognition. 

Decribe the three tenets of Luria's "laws of functional organization," which are helpful in understanding the posterior-anterior axis represented by the four lobes of the neocortex.

1.  The brain is hierarchically organized, from basic to more complex zones


2.  The cortical areas diminish in specificity, from simple processing of stimuli to complex integration demands


3. And they increase in lateralization of function, from undifferentiated cells to unique hemisphere systems

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