The Brain - Psychology Unit 3

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The brain
Weighs 1300-1400g
Made up of about 100 billion neurons
The most complex living structure in the universe

The cerebral hemispheres
Are the two halves of the cerebral cortex
Although they appear to be separated by a deep grove (the longitudinal fissure) they are actually connected by the corpus callosum They receive messages from and control the opposite side of the body

The corpus callosum
Is the strand or bridge of nerve tissue that connects the left and right hemispheres Information can be passed between the left and right hemispheres

The lobes of the brain
You need to be able to explain the functions of the four lobes of the brain (frontal, parietal, occipital and temperal)

The frontal lobes
Are the largest of the four lobes
Responsible for higher mental abilities
At the back of each frontal lobe is the motor cortex
Also contains broca’s area in the left frontal lobe

The primary motor cortex
Directs the bodys movement
The size of the area for each body part is dependent on the importance of the body area, not their actual size The bottom of the body is located at the top of the cortex and vice versa

Broca’s area
Is responsible for the production of articulate speech
Broca’s aphasia is an impairment in articulating language caused by damage to broca’s area Someone suffering from broca’s aphasia can understand what is said, know that they want to repeat it, but cannot say it. Usually connecting words such as ‘the’ and ‘to’ are missing in their sentences

The parietal lobe
Home of the somatosensory cortex
Is associated with the coordination of senses and movement
If damaged, patients may become clumsy in their movements and have difficulties with spatial skills. They may confuse left and right and may suffer from spatial neglect.

The primary somatosensory cortex
Sensations detected by sensory neurons throughout the body are organised and interpreted here This cortex reflects the sensitivity of body areas not...
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