Memory – the STORAGE and RETREIVAL of information.
SHORT TERM & LONGTERM
Short term lasts for a few seconds or hours e.g. input from senses or long term memories being recalled. Long term lasts for days, months, years. PATTERNS, REPETITION & STRONG STIMULI (bright colours, strong smells) help us remember.
Studying the brain
Studying the Brain – to find out what each part of the cortex can do to help the diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders (Alzheimer’s disease) and brain damage (stroke). STUDYING PATIENTS WITH BRAIN DAMAGE seeing what effects a certain area of damaged brain has on the patient. ELECTRICALLY STIMULATING putting tiny electrodes into the tissue, observing what stimulating a certain part does, so you get an idea of what the part does e.g. motor area – muscle contraction and movement. MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING SCANNER (MRI) produces detailed picture of the brain, you can see which parts are active when people are doing things e.g. trying to recall a memory.
Brain development – There are billions of neurones in the brain therefore you can: MODIFY BEHAVIOUR AS A RESULT OF EXPERIENCE (learn), COORDINATE COMPLICATED BEHAVIOUR (social behaviour) Connections between neurones form as a child experiences new things – when a neurone is stimulated by experience it branches out. Repetition strengthens pathway, therefore they are more likely to transmit impulses. After around aged 10 pathways that aren’t used DIE – makes it harder to learn when you’re older.
Reflexes – RAPID, INVLOUNTARY RESPONSES TO CERTAIN STIMULI e.g. pulling your hand off a hot object. Many are there to protect you. Stimulus detected by receptors – impulse sent along sensory neurone to CNS – sent through relay neurone in the CNS which relays it to a motor neurone – to an effector e.g. a muscle contracts. A REFLEX ARC
SIMPLE REFLEXES INCREASE THE CHANCE OF SURVIVAL – finding food, sheltering from predators, finding a mate. Human simple reflexes include: bright light – pupil gets smaller to avoid damage. Newborn babies will suckle stimulated by touching the lips.
REFLEXES CAN BE MODIFIED BY THE BRAIN. A response can be overridden by a neurone between the brain and the motor neurone of the reflex arc e.g. not dropping a hot dinner plate. REFLEX RESPONSES CAN BE LEARNED an animal can learn to produce the same response to a different stimulus e.g. Pavlov’s dogs – they drooled when they smelt food and later when they heard the bell. This is a CONDITIONED REFLEX