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Biopsychology Essay

1489 words - 6 pages


The brain is the control centre for the body and it sits in the skull at the top of the spinal chord. The brain is so complex that doctors and scientists still don’t know what some parts do. The brain is made up of different sections consisting of the frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal lobes.

Part of the brain that is responsible for memory is also known as the hippocampus, it is located within the temporal lobes, adjacent to the amygdale. The hippocampus is involved in memory forming, organizing and storing information. It is particularly important in storing new memories and connecting emotions and senses, such as smell and sound to, memories. A case ...view middle of the document...

The person may be able to speak clearly, but the words when put together make no sense. This way of speaking has been called "word salad" because it appears that the words are all mixed up like the vegetables in a salad.
The frontal lobe is the largest of the four lobes. The frontal lobe is responsible for many different functions involving conscious thought, voluntary movement, and personality. Frontal lobe damage can dramatically change personality and behaviour, and impair judgment, attention span and organization. Phineas Gage (1823-1860) is one of the earliest documented cases of severe brain injury who suffered major personality changes after receiving trauma to the brain. Phineas Gage was employed as a railroad worker in Vermont, when a freak accident happened whilst excavating rocks. A premature explosion occurred causing an iron rod known as a tamping iron to propel through Gages skull. The force of the explosion drove the ut the top of his head. Although Gage survived the accident and maintained his motor, speech and memory functions as well as regaining his physical strength over time, his wife, family and friends noticed a severe change in his personality. Once a polite and caring person, Gage became selfish and often displayed inappropriate behaviour. He had no respect for social graces and often lied about his accomplishments. From being energetic and focused, he was now erratic and unreliable, his friends barely recognized him. "Gage," they said, "was no longer Gage.

The Central Nervous System (CNS)
The Central Nervous System is effectively the centre of the nervous system, the part of it that processes the information received from the peripheral nervous system. The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord and is where most information is processed. It receives and interprets signals from the peripheral nervous system (PNS), which is a network of nerves spread throughout the body. The PNS allows signals to travel between the central nervous system and the body's sensory receptors and motor effectors, such as the muscles. The nervous system is divided into two functional divisions, the somatic nervous system which allows for voluntary movement such as muscle movement and is important for communication and an involuntary system known as the autonomic nervous system.

Autonomic Nervous System
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls basic functions of the body that we do not normally have conscious control over, such as the heartbeat, digestion, breathing and blood flow. These involuntary actions are controlled by the (ANS) which is divided into two separate divisions called Parasympathetic and Sympathetic systems. Most organs receive signals from both divisions and for normal function these systems are required to work together. The sympathetic system tends to stimulate a particular function while the parasympathetic tends to calm. However, if the body is stressed, such as in the fight or flight...

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