Everything you do, feel, experience is because of the brain. Even a simple behavior requires complicated actions by the brain in a matter of seconds. After you complete this discussion assignment, you might find yourself in awe of how the brain makes your daily life possible.
In this discussion, you are asked to apply what you have learned in Module 2 and Module 3. There are TWO sections to this discussion assignment.
Section 1 focuses on Module #2 learning.
Section 2 focuses on Module #3 learning.
Complete ALL sections of the discussion and be DETAILED in your answers.
Take your time on composing a great discussion. Review your answers before submitting your post. In your discussion incorporate things that you have learned from Ch. 2, Ch. 3, Ch. 4 readings.
Your personal discussion post should be a minimum of 350 words for each section [section 1, section 2]. It should be organized, clear, and related to the assignment questions and readings.
Section 1- Module 2 Discussion: THE BRILLIANT STRUCTURES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
Reminder: Module 2 focuses on Ch. 2
- the cells of the nervous system
- the communication within neurons by action potentials
- communication between neurons at synapses
- actions of neurotransmitters and other messengers
- basic features of the nervous system: directions, meninges, ventricular system, and CSF that flows and protects the brain
- prenatal and postnatal brain development
- major structures and functions of the CNS and PNS
- how neurotransmitters work in the brain
- how drugs interact with the brain receptors
(A) BRAIN STRUCTURES AND OUR BEHAVIORS
- Select a personal activity or combination of activities. Then select at least 3 brain structures and describe the role of the structures in your selected activity.
Remember to include the name of the brain structure, its location in the brain and the function, and how it relates to your selected activity. As you write this section, imagine that you are explaining it to someone who does not have knowledge about how the brain creates the behavior(s). Be detailed.
Some examples of everyday activities could be things like driving to school or work, studying, cooking, watching or playing sports, playing video games, playing a musical instrument, bike riding, skateboarding, surfing, planning a birthday party, planning and going on a trip, selecting and watching a movie, doing something artistic, etc. Emotions, thoughts, language, memory are also part of structures. The list is limitless. Pick something that is personal to you, then the next time you do that behavior you will know which brain structures helped you out.
(B) BRAIN COMMUNICATION, NEUROTRANSMITTERS, AND OTHER CHEMICALS: Equally important as brain structures is Neuron communication and Neurotransmitters, the language of your brain. Complete both 1 and 2.
- Choose ONE thing that you learned, stood out to you, or surprised you in reading Ch. 2 about the cells of the nervous system and how communication happens within a neuron, and how communication happens between neurons at synapses spreading the message throughout the brain to reach different brain structures and areas. 2 is an important chapter because it reveals to us how the brain functions at the cellular level and how important the balance at the cell level is critical to a healthy brain.
- Choose ONE, either a neurotransmitter, hormone, or neuromodulator that you personally could not live without. Why is this brain messenger important to you? Which brain areas does your selected neurotransmitter/hormone influence? Does the pathway of this neurotransmitter influence the 3 brain structures involved in your activity in A? There are diagrams in Ch. 2, Ch. 3 showing pathways of neurotransmitters and the brain areas/structures they flow into.
- C) PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, CRANIAL, and SPINAL NERVES: Your brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves work in perfect synergy with your peripheral nervous system to coordinate movement, regulate heart and body temperature, provide sensory feedback, detect pain and body stress, and much more. There is a constant stream of communication back and forth between your peripheral nervous system (PNS), Cranial and Spinal nerves, and the Brain (CNS). Choose either the autonomic system or nerves.
Choose ONE of the following:
- Using an EXAMPLE (personal if you can), describe how your Autonomic Nervous System was activated “fight or flight” and prepared your body for a response. What happened during the sympathetic and parasympathetic responses of your nervous system?
- Using a personal example, describe how an experience of pain/stress/emotions in the mind and body was related to any one of the 12 cranial nerves or spinal cord. For example, if you are stressed does this create tension in your neck, shoulder, jaw, if so which nerve is being activated?
- Describe and explain one thing from Ch. 4 Psychopharmacology that stood out to you. Why is this important information for us all to understand better?
Section 2- Module 3 Discussion: I SENSE, I THINK, I CONTEMPLATE, I MOVE!
Reminder: Module 3 focuses on
The Brain Sensory and Perception Systems
- eye structures, photoreceptors, optic nerve and visual pathways
- brain regions involved in visual sensory processing, LGN, visual cortexes
- brain regions involved in visual perception processing, dorsal and ventral streams of information
- visual conditions and disorders
- audition and vestibular systems that process incoming information
- somatosensory systems of touch, temperature, itch, pain, proprioception, and kinesthesia
- gustation and olfaction systems
The Brain Movement Systems
- structures of skeletal muscles, extrafusal and alpha motor neurons, intrafusal fibers, Golgi tendon organs
- control of movement by the spinal cord, reflexes, gamma motor systems
- control of movement by the brain, the different motor cortex involved in the movement
- control of movement through descending pathways down the spinal cord, lateral group, and ventromedial groups
- other brain subcortical structures involved in the movement, cerebellum, reticular formation, basal ganglia
- complex motor behavior, mirror neurons, reaching and grasping movements
- deficits of skilled movements: apraxia
(A) SENSORY SYSTEMS and the MOTOR SYSTEMS
First think of FAVORITE HOBBY OR ACTIVITY (i.e. playing a sport or watching your favorite athlete play sports, dancing, working out, swimming, hiking, cooking, playing a musical instrument, etc. *Pick a different example than the one you used in Section 1.
Pick something that involves sensing and processing incoming information from the environment and then executing actions through the motor systems. Using your example, explain the following:
1. Describe and explain in detail the SENSORY SYSTEMS involved in your chosen hobby/activity example. Refer to Ch. 6 and Ch. 7.Include names of the sensory structures, functions of those sensory structures, pathways they take in the brain, where that sensory information is processed in the brain. It might be helpful to map out on a piece of paper the flow of sensory information involved in your chosen activity and then write your summary.
It is kind of cool to introspectively look at the internal biology of our brain as it processes the world. We always look outwards, thinking everything we are is out there, but in fact, one could reason that it’s the biology of the brain that creates reality from within.
As you learn about the details of sensory systems imagine if one small part of the many systems stop working due to injury or disease. How might that impact your life? For example, I like listening to music and I bet you do too. Then imagine if the cilia of the basilar membrane in a structure in your ear are damaged, then we would not hear the music well. Having knowledge and understanding the systems of the brain can help us take better care of our brain 🙂
2. Describe and explain in detail the MOTOR SYSTEMS involved in your chosen hobby/activity example. Refer to Ch. 8. Include names of motor structures, functions of those structures, where are the motor cortexes located, descending/ascending motor pathways in the brain, where that information is processed or being sent in the brain/body. It might be helpful to you if you mapped out on a piece of paper the flow of information through the motor systems and the peripheral nervous system which controls the body before summarizing the steps.
Above, you discussed the sensory systems that bring incoming information to the brain to assess. It is the motor systems of the brain with all the different cortexes and pathways that allow us to interact with and influence our environment. The motor networks of the brain help us survive through taking actions (movements). For example, as adults, we have mature motor systems whereas babies do not and therefore are dependent on us for survival.
Think back to module 2 and learn about neurons and structures and the cerebral cortex. The human brain has a large cerebral cortex with 100 billion-plus neurons that allow us to engage in complex reasoning and assessment. Our cerebral cortex oversees and directs our motor cortex systems, giving us the ability to be deliberate and thoughtful in our movements. The cerebral cortex makes the sensory and motor systems of the human brain unique and powerful.
Requirements for this Discussion:
-Your discussion post should be a minimum of 350 words for each section.
-Use book Physiology of Behavior, 12e By Neil R. Carlson, Melissa A. Birkett chapters 2,3,&4
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