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Bio Psychology
Origins of Brain and Behavior
Undergraduate 3

Additional Physiology Flashcards




Why Study Brain/Behavior Relationship?
  • To understand, treat and prevent behavioral disorders
  • To understand the role of the brain/behavior and consciousness
  • To understand brain/behavior evolution
  • Changes in Behavior are reflected in functional change in brain function
  • These goals are complimentary and function best when all are functioning together
Prolonged Exposure Technique
  • Exposure to anxiety producing situations in a controlled environment in an attempt to unlearn your current association and relearn an association with that situation that does not produce anxiety- Used to help reduce anxiety in situations such as Public Speaking
What is the drug Cycloserine?

Small doses of Cycloserine helps improve associative learning. This drug is often given in small doses (only) pre-therapy session in attempt to increase amount of associations with anxiety inducing event to help patient relearn a new association. Results from graph suggest that the drug improved the effectiveness of therapy sessions.

What are the two main structures of the Brain?



- Is bilaterally symmetrical

-Lateralization of function exists between both sides of the brain

-Brain has a lot of sulci and gyri, these 2 characteristics are often species typical (Ex: Humans have these cracks and bump patterns consitentebtly but not necessarily exact)

Forebrain (Pink) 

  • prominent in mammals and birds, responsible for most conscious behaviors
  • Basically your cerebellum
  • Has two nearly symmetrical Halves called hemispheres (one on left and one on right)

Brainstem- (Red)

  • responsible for most of our unconscious behaviors
  •    Sensorimotor parts are located here





What is the Cerebral Cortex?

  • The entire outer layer of the forebrain
  • Consists of a thin, folded layer of nerve tissue
  • We have alot of cerbral cortex b/c it has a large surface area & due to the folds/folding in the brain
  • Cortex is latin for bark of a tree, considering the cortex's heavily folded surface and location (covers most of the rest of the brain)
  • These brain folds are not random
What are Sulcus (sulci) and Gyrus (gyri)?

Suclis- a groove in the brain taht usually is found in the neo-cortex or the cerebellum


Gyri- bump in the brain that is formed by foldings of the cerebral cortex

What are the Four Lobes of the Brain?
  1. Frontal Lobe
  2. Parietal Lobe
  3. Occipital Love
  4. Temporal Lobe

What is the Function of the Frontal Lobe?


(Think about balling hand into fist and pointing it outwardly in front of you)

Frontal Lobe

  • Forward pointing (fingers on fist)
  • Lies anterior to the central sulcus (blue divider in picture)
  • Located at the side of the brain
  • Tends to have desicion making/ planning/organizing (aspects of Executive Functioning)
  • Controls voluntary movement on your extremities 
What is the Function of the Parietal Lobe?
  • Cerebral Cortex located on top of the skull, behind the frontal love and above the temporal lobe
  • Lies posterior to the central sulcus (blue divider) and beneath the parietal bone at the top of the skull
  • Helps direct our movements toward a goal or to perform a task (Ex: Grasping an Object)


What is the Function of the Occipital Lobe?
  • Area at the back of each hemisphere beneath the occipital bone
  • Cerebral Cortex where visual processes begin


What is the Function of the Temporal Lobe?
  • Located on the side of the brain
  • Lies below the lateral fissure, beneath temporal bone at the side of the skull 
  • (approximately same place where thumb on your upraised fist)
  • Cortex that functions with hearing, language and musical abilities



What are the two main structures of the Central Nervous System (CNS) ?


Briefly: CNS 

-The brain and spinal cord that together mediate behavior

-Considered "central" both b/c it is physically located to be the core of the nervous sytem and it is the core structure mediating behavior


1) Brain


-Encased in bone (skull)

-Neurons or nerve cells most directly control behavior


2) Spinal Cord


  • Part of CNS encased within the vertebrae (spinal column) 
  • Provides most of the connections between the brain and rest of the body
  • Descends from the brain sem through a canal in the backbone






What is the Peripheral Nervous System Functionality? (Both Divisions) 



  • All the neurons with projections outside the brain and spinal cord


1) Somatic Division

  • Conveys sensory information to the CNS and motor info from the CNS to the skeletal muscles
  • Soma means "body"


2) Autonomic Nerous System

  • Enables the CNS to govern the workings of the internal organs (Ex: heartbeat, respiration, digestion)


Why Can't the CNS exist without the PNS/ What is Embodied Conition?
  • You need input and output with the brain to function properly
  • Sensory input is crucial to proper thinking
  • Much crucial sensory input comes from sensing ones own motions 
  • Lack of sensory input (Ex: Floating in water experiment) can lead to many issues and disturbia/hallucinations
Embodied Cognition
  • Def- Is movements that we make and those we perceive from others are essential features of conscious behavior
  • Immediate environment also influences behavior
Who was IrenäusEibl-Eibesfeldt and why did he say:
"Behavior consists of patterns of time?"
  • These patterns include movements, vocalizations, thinking that involve behaviors such as smiling
  • Question arose: How can you measure thinking?
  • Electrical brain monitoring and biochemical processes can bet measured 
How is Behavioral Complexity (across species) and CNS Complexity Related?
Side Notes:
-A mixture of inherited and learned behaviors differs greatly in different species
-Generally, animals with smaller nervous systems have a narrow range of behaviors and depend on heredity
Generally, animals with more complex nervous systems have more behavioral options and depnd on learning
Behaviors can vary in complexity along at least 2 dimensions
1) The intricacy of the behavior movement itself
2) The extent to which a behavior pattern differs across members of a species (role of experience)
-Species-typical behaviors are often considered less complex than behaviors that vary extensively between individuals of a species
-Less “species-typical” behavior patterns typically involve more learning and are considered more complex.

How did the Egyptian's feel about the brain's importance?
Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus (1700 BCE)
 -Describes a number of cases of head injuries     
-First mention of aphasia (loss of speech due to brain damage).
-Mentions contralateral (opposite side of body) relationship between injury and behavior.
-Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus  = exception to the rule at its time.
-Egyptians didn’t preserve the brain.
-Brain not mentioned in Hebrew (1200 to 200 BCE)  or Christian bibles
What was Aristotle's Mentalism View?


-an explanation of behavior as a function of the non-material mind

-influenced modern behavioral scientific terms including: sensation, perception, attention, imagination, emotion, motivation etc.



  • Proposed that the psyche (synonym for mind) was an entity that was the source of human behavior/intellectualemotional functions
  • Believed the brain cooled the blood, no role in producing behavior
  • Referred to as the mind (anglo-Saxon word for memory derived from psyche) and cannot be studied with scientific methods 
What was Descartes' idea of Dualism? What were some of the issues?
Dualism: Both a nonmaterial mind and the material body contribute to behavior.                                                                             
Mind-Body Problem- how does a non-material mind and physical brain interact
Rene Descartes (1596-1650):
-Mind influences and receives input from the body through the brain
-* Mind is located in the pineal gland. *
-Mind controls rational behavior
-Brain directs body via mechanical and physical principles
-Simple behaviors don’t require mind because they did not require rational behavior
Ex: sensation, movement, digestion                        
-Mind regulates  behavior by directing the flow of ventricular fluid to appropriate muscles                 
-Descartes believed that this type of reflexive behavior did not include the mind (b/c not rational) but included the brain[image][image]
Issues With Descartes:
Descartes had a speech test and an action test that tested whether animals were capable of rational behavior/abstract thought
Problems include:
1) Expansion of the muscles due to blood being pumped into them disproved
2) When people lose their pineal gland they don’t lose their rational thoughts/behaviors
3) Other animals have pineal glands
4) How would a nonmaterial mind interact with a nonmaterial brain to regulate entities
5) Problems with speech and action test: Certain animals are symbolically capable of language/communication that show they are able to discuss things that are not immediately present.
Issue with action test specifically is that some animals are able to construct tools to help them acquire immediate stimuli
What was Darwin's Theory of Materialism and Natural Selection?

Materialism- Behavior can be fully explained by the workings of the nervous system


Natural Selection:


-Explanation for how new species evolve and existing species change over time

-Differential success in reproduction by organisms with different characteristics (phenotypes) results from the interaction of organisms with their environment



Dualism eventually fell out of favor and was replaced by materialism because there was no need for the nonmaterial mind
Darwin DID NOT create materialism
Theories of evolution supported materialism
Ideas that organisms receive favorable traits from parents and transfer relative traits to their offspring due to evolution                      
What are three implications for Psychobiology Due to Natural Selection?

Important Implications of Natural Selection:


1) B/c all animal species are related, so too must their brains


2)B/c all animal species are related, so to is their behavior


3)Both brain and behavior changed bit by bit in animals that evolved to greater complexity, as humans obviously did

How Do New Traits Arise?
  1. Appearance of New trait (ex: through mutation)
  2. Adaptive Trait
  3. Increases chances of survival
  4. Trai passed on to offspring

*These steps increase cahnce of survival but more importantly reproduction*

What does the term Common Ancestor Refer to? (Evolution of Brain and Behavior)

Common Ancestor


-A forebarearer from which two or more lineages or family groups arise (Ex: Humans and apes are thought to share a common ancestor)


-We can trace our lineage by comparing the genes, brains and behaviors of different animals


What is Taxonomy?

-Def: Branch of biology concerned with naming and classifying species


  • Groups organism with common characteristics
  • Useful for helping us trace the evolution of brain cells and the brain
  • Even a simple network of neurons can produce seemingly complex behavior (EX Sea anemone video)
  • King Phillip Cuts Open Five Green Snakes (Kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species)


What is a Cladogram? What is a Nerve Net?

Def: Displays groups of related organisms as branches on a tree


-Nerve Net: extremely simple organisms have this. It has no structure that resembles a brain or spinal cord but consists entirely of neurons that receive sensory info and connect directly to other neurons that move muscles

  • If we look at just animals, we look at the similarities of the nervous system and behaviors
    Various aspects of the nervous system exist among taxonomy
    In segmented nerve trunk, segmented sections of the nervous system exist that can perform tasks individual of the other sections
    The further you move down the line, ganglia exist that begin to represent something similar to brains

What is a Chordate? (def and evolutionary)

Def: a phylum that consiss of frogs, humans, fish and birds


-Chordates display the greatest degree of variation in encephalization (meaning in the head)

-Behavioral complexity among chordates is related to the evolution of cerebral hemispheres and cerbellum

-Cerebellum increases in sizes/folds/surface area as the brain gets larger and more complex in species


Features that Distinguish Chordates:


1) All have a brainstem

2) Nervous system is "crossed"

3) Spinal cord lies behind heart and gut


What is the Cerebellum's Function?

-Major structure of the brainstem specialized for coordinating and learning skilled movement

-In large brained animals, it may also have a role in the coordination of other mental processes

What are Features Common to Primates?
  1. Excellent color vision
  2. Eyes in front of face
  3. Females usually have only one infant per pregnancy (infants require more care)
  4. Large brains for skilled movements and social behavior

Note: Primates are not typically well developed at birth (altricial)

How are Brain Size and Behavior Related?
Note: We typically see a relationship between tool usage and brain size in the Homo species
Allometry- study between size and shape. Try to come up with sizing techniques such as measuring arm length with torso
Body size/brain size are related on about a 2/3rds ratio
Species above line have a brain that is larger than predicted by weight and below the line have a smaller brain than predicted by weight
What is the Encephalization Quotient (EQ) ?

Encephalization Quotient (EQ): Measure of brain size obtained from the ratio of actual brain size to the expected brain size for an animal of a particular body           


quotient is a measure of brainsize obtained from the ratio of actual brain size over expected brain size

If brain size of 1, you have an EQ of 1. If above line, EQ > 1, if below line EQ < 1[image][image]
What lead to Hominid (walking upright) Brain Enlargement?
  • Three fold increase in brain size over last 5 million years
  • *Evidence suggests each new himinid species appeared after new environments appeared due to climate changes*
  • Central Africa was giant jungle and eventually the great rift valley formed. This major tectonic geographic shift separated into two land masses
  • This rift created a jungle on one side and a grassland on the other that forced animals to adapt
How Does Diet and Foraging Affect Brain Size?
•Foraging techniques geatly affect brain size. Ex: Animals that eat fruit must have good sensory skills (ex: color vision) to recognize fruit ripedness, good motor skills to reach and manipulate food sources, spatial skills are required to navigate to trees that contain fruit, memory skills are required to remember where fruit trees are and when their fruit will be ripe or if previously eaten, successful fruit eating animals tend to have complex social relations and a means of communicating with other of their speies
-Hypothesis of these two monkeys is that fruit consumption/diet/foraging is relative to brain size
These two monkeys have very similar body size
Fruit eaters have relatively larger brain sizes than other animals
It is also the case, on average, that carnivores have larger brain sizes than fruit eaters
What are Competing Explanations for Increased Human Brain Size? (Radiator Hypothesis, Stedman)

Radiator Hypothesis- (Falk) 

(a view that changes in hominid physiology drove increased brain size)

- The more active and larger the brain is, the more heat it generates

-The Homo (human) species' skulls have more widely dispersed blood flow, which allowed for increased brain size

Homo skulls have holes in the skull that allow for blood vessels that go in and out that important for getting nutrients to a potentially larger brain and increase blood to the brain allows for a cooling system
Pre-Homo skulls did not have these holes in their skulls
Speaks to the physiology of the body and the changes that have occurred over time            
Stedman- Suggest that physiological adaptation stems from a genetic mutation associated with marked size reductions in individual facial muscle fibers and entire masticatory muscles. Thus smaller masticatory muscles in turn led to smaller and more delicate bones in the head. Smaller bones in turn allowed for changes in diet and an increase in brain size
What is Neotony?

Def:Retention of juvenile characteristics of ancestral species as adults of the descendant species


-Rate of maturation is slowed

-Allows more brain cells to be produced

-Bigger head relative to body

-Juvenile characteristics are allowed to be developed at an earlier time in the organisms life therefore allowing for a longer maturation period for that organsim than their ancestors


2 Views that Promote Neotony

1) At times of abundant resources, less physiologically and behaviorally mature individual organisms can successfully reproduce, yielding offspring that have this trait in common

2)At times of food insufficiency, maturation and reproduction are slowed, allowing a longer time for development

What are some Fallacies of Human-Brain Size Comparisons? What is the definition of Species-Typical Behavior?
  1. Human brain varies from 1000-2000 grams varying on body mass
  2. Age and Health affect brain mass including people who suffer brain injuries early in life
  3. If larger brain indicates intelligence, how can this be measured?

Species-Typical Behavior- behavior displayed by all members of a species


Making these comparisons for humans presents two problems:


1)Individual performance on a task is influenced by many factors unrelated to inherent ability, such as opportunity, interest level, training, motivation and health


2)People vary in individual abilities depending on the task so it is difficult to say which is inherent to intelligence specifically

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