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Purchase a digital-only subscription now for unlimited online access to local news and information. When out on an outdoor adventure, have several ways to start an emergency fire with you, such as a magnesium fire starter.
A series of bushcraft events will be held in woodlands across Telford during the school summer holidays and local families are being encouraged to give it a try! The events will include building shelters and camp fires using materials found in the wood. The events are for suitable for children aged six to 14 years, who are accompanied by an adult. The events are free because of funding given by Natural England and the Big Lottery to encourage families to use their local green spaces. Every outdoor adventurer has a list of required gear for whatever journey they embark upon. The Bear Grylls Scout Essentials Kit should be the cornerstone of any outdoor excursion whether you are camping, hiking, backpacking or even prepping for emergencies.
This is a€?Our Brains Control Our Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviora€?, section 3.2 from the book Beginning Psychology (v. This content was accessible as of December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book. PDF copies of this book were generated using Prince, a great tool for making PDFs out of HTML and CSS. For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page.
DonorsChoose.org helps people like you help teachers fund their classroom projects, from art supplies to books to calculators. Explain the structure of the cerebral cortex (its hemispheres and lobes) and the function of each area of the cortex. If you were someone who understood brain anatomy and were to look at the brain of an animal that you had never seen before, you would nevertheless be able to deduce the likely capacities of the animal. Humans have a very large and highly developed outer brain layer known as the cerebral cortex.
The brain stemThe oldest and innermost region of the brain, it serves to control the most basic functions of life, including breathing, attention, and motor responses. Running through the medulla and the pons is a long, narrow network of neurons known as the reticular formationA long, narrow network of neurons that runs through the medulla and the pons.. The brain stem is an extension of the spinal cord, including the medulla, the pons, the thalamus, and the reticular formation.
Above the brain stem are other parts of the old brain that also are involved in the processing of behavior and emotions (see Figure 3.9 "The Limbic System").
This diagram shows the major parts of the limbic system, as well as the pituitary gland, which is controlled by it.
The cerebellumTwo wrinkled ovals located behind the brain stem that function to coordinate voluntary movement.
Whereas the primary function of the brain stem is to regulate the most basic aspects of life, including motor functions, the limbic system is largely responsible for memory and emotions, including our responses to reward and punishment. The amygdalaA region of the old brain primarily responsible for regulating our perceptions of, and reactions to, aggression and fear. Located just under the thalamus (hence its name) the hypothalamusA brain structure that performs a variety of functions, including the regulation of hunger and sexual behavior, as well as linking the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland. The hippocampusA limbic system brain structure important in storing information in long-term memory.
All animals have adapted to their environments by developing abilities that help them survive.
You might think that we should be able to determine the intelligence of an animal by looking at the ratio of the animala€™s brain weight to the weight of its entire body.
Although the cortex is only about one tenth of an inch thick, it makes up more than 80% of the braina€™s weight.
The cerebral cortex is divided into two hemispheres, and each hemisphere is divided into four lobes, each separated by folds known as fissures. The brain is divided into two hemispheres (left and right), each of which has four lobes (temporal, frontal, occipital, and parietal).
Fritsch and Hitzig also found that the movement that followed the brain stimulation only occurred when they stimulated a specific arch-shaped region that runs across the top of the brain from ear to ear, just at the front of the parietal lobe (see Figure 3.11 "The Sensory Cortex and the Motor Cortex"). The portion of the sensory and motor cortex devoted to receiving messages that control specific regions of the body is determined by the amount of fine movement that area is capable of performing. Just as the motor cortex sends out messages to the specific parts of the body, the somatosensory cortexAn area just behind and parallel to the motor cortex at the back of the frontal lobe that receives information from the skina€™s sensory receptors and the movements of different body parts., an area just behind and parallel to the motor cortex at the back of the frontal lobe, receives information from the skina€™s sensory receptors and the movements of different body parts.
As you can see in Figure 3.11 "The Sensory Cortex and the Motor Cortex", the motor and sensory areas of the cortex account for a relatively small part of the total cortex.
The control of some specific bodily functions, such as movement, vision, and hearing, is performed in specified areas of the cortex, and if these areas are damaged, the individual will likely lose the ability to perform the corresponding function. Our brains are the most a€?plastica€? when we are young children, as it is during this time that we learn the most about our environment.
Plasticity is also observed when there is damage to the brain or to parts of the body that are represented in the motor and sensory cortexes.
We have seen that the left hemisphere of the brain primarily senses and controls the motor movements on the right side of the body, and vice versa. The information that is presented on the left side of our field of vision is transmitted to the right brain hemisphere, and vice versa. This research, and many other studies following it, has demonstrated that the two brain hemispheres specialize in different abilities. Although Gazzanigaa€™s research demonstrated that the brain is in fact lateralized, such that the two hemispheres specialize in different activities, this does not mean that when people behave in a certain way or perform a certain activity they are only using one hemisphere of their brains at a time. There are both advantages and disadvantages to being left-handed in a world where most people are right-handed.
Despite the potential difficulty living and working in a world designed for right-handers, there seem to be some advantages to being left-handed. In sports in which handedness may matter, such as tennis, boxing, fencing, or judo, left-handers may have an advantage. The old braina€”including the brain stem, medulla, pons, reticular formation, thalamus, cerebellum, amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampusa€”regulates basic survival functions, such as breathing, moving, resting, feeding, emotions, and memory.
The cerebral cortex, made up of billions of neurons and glial cells, is divided into the right and left hemispheres and into four lobes.
The brain changes as a function of experience and potential damage in a process known as plasticity. The left cerebral hemisphere is primarily responsible for language and speech in most people, whereas the right hemisphere specializes in spatial and perceptual skills, visualization, and the recognition of patterns, faces, and melodies.
The severing of the corpus callosum, which connects the two hemispheres, creates a a€?split-brain patient,a€? with the effect of creating two separate minds operating in one person. Studies with split-brain patients as research participants have been used to study brain lateralization. Neuroplasticity allows the brain to adapt and change as a function of experience or damage.
Consider your own experiences and speculate on which parts of your brain might be particularly well developed as a result of these experiences.

Which brain hemisphere are you likely to be using when you search for a fork in the silverware drawer? Do you think that encouraging left-handed children to use their right hands is a good idea? The participants will also forage for food and learn some outdoor cooking techniques and basic survival skills.
Not many survival kits incorporate first aid items and medical supplies into their regime. See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms.
However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed.
The cortex provides humans with excellent memory, outstanding cognitive skills, and the ability to experience complex emotions. The job of the reticular formation is to filter out some of the stimuli that are coming into the brain from the spinal cord and to relay the remainder of the signals to other areas of the brain. The thalamusThe egg-shaped structure above the brain stem that filters sensory information coming up from the spinal cord and relays signals to the higher brain levels. The limbic systemA brain area located between the brain stem and the two cerebral hemispheres that governs emotion and memory. The cortex contains about 20 billion nerve cells and 300 trillion synaptic connections (de Courten-Myers, 1999).de Courten-Myers, G. If we look at the cortex starting at the front of the brain and moving over the top (see Figure 3.10 "The Two Hemispheres"), we see first the frontal lobeOne of the four brain lobes, responsible primarily for thinking, planning, memory, and judgment. Fritsch and Hitzig had discovered the motor cortexThe part of the cortex that controls and executes movements of the body by sending signals to the cerebellum and the spinal cord., the part of the cortex that controls and executes movements of the body by sending signals to the cerebellum and the spinal cord.
Thus the hand and fingers have as much area in the cerebral cortex as does the entire trunk of the body. Again, the more sensitive the body region, the more area is dedicated to it in the sensory cortex.
The remainder of the cortex is made up of association areasBrain regions in which sensory and motor information is combined and associated with stored knowledge. This fact provides an interesting way to study brain lateralizationThe idea that the left and the right hemispheres of the brain are specialized to perform different functions.a€”the idea that the left and the right hemispheres of the brain are specialized to perform different functions. In split-brain patients, the severed corpus callosum does not permit information to be transferred between hemispheres, which allows researchers to learn about the functions of each hemisphere. In most people the ability to speak, write, and understand language is located in the left hemisphere.
Ultrasound scans show that 9 out of 10 fetuses suck the thumb of their right hand, suggesting that the preference is determined before birth (Hepper, Wells, & Lynch, 2005),Hepper, P. In the past, left-handed children were forced to write with their right hands in many countries, and this practice continues, particularly in collectivistic cultures, such as India and Japan, where left-handedness is viewed negatively as compared with individualistic societies, such as the United States. Throughout history, a number of prominent artists have been left-handed, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso, and Max Escher. Body parts requiring the most control and dexterity take up the most space in the motor cortex.
Body parts that are the most sensitive occupy the greatest amount of space in the sensory cortex. Which brain hemisphere are you most likely to be using when you struggle to remember the name of an old friend? This kit is different, Bear Grylls and Gerber understand the importance of first aid and chose not to neglect this need. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (46 MB) or just this chapter (6 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline).
In each animal the brain is layered, and the basic structures of the brain are similar (see Figure 3.6 "The Major Structures in the Human Brain"). Ita€™s designed to control the most basic functions of life, including breathing, attention, and motor responses (Figure 3.8 "The Brain Stem and the Thalamus"). The reticular formation also plays important roles in walking, eating, sexual activity, and sleeping. The amygdala has connections to other bodily systems related to fear, including the sympathetic nervous system (which we will see later is important in fear responses), facial responses (which perceive and express emotions), the processing of smells, and the release of neurotransmitters related to stress and aggression (Best, 2009).Best, B.
Through its many interactions with other parts of the brain, the hypothalamus helps regulate body temperature, hunger, thirst, and sex, and responds to the satisfaction of these needs by creating feelings of pleasure. Human beings do not have any of these particular characteristics, but we do have one big advantage over other animalsa€”we are very, very smart. The elephanta€™s brain is one thousandth of its weight, but the whalea€™s brain is only one ten-thousandth of its body weight.
More recent research has mapped the motor cortex even more fully, by providing mild electronic stimulation to different areas of the motor cortex in fully conscious patients while observing their bodily responses (because the brain has no sensory receptors, these patients feel no pain).
Our sensitive lips, for example, occupy a large area in the sensory cortex, as do our fingers and genitals. In the sample on the left, the split-brain patient could not choose which image had been presented because the left hemisphere cannot process visual information.
Automatic teller machines (ATMs), classroom desks, scissors, microscopes, drill presses, and table saws are just some examples of everyday machinery that is designed with the most important controls on the right side. Right-handers, however, play very few games against left-handers, which may make them more vulnerable. With safety and survival in mind, Bear Grylls and Gerber have again collaborated to create a complete survival kit with incredible versatility, effectiveness, quality and durability. The innermost structures of the braina€”the parts nearest the spinal corda€”are the oldest part of the brain, and these areas carry out the same the functions they did for our distant ancestors. The brain stem begins where the spinal cord enters the skull and forms the medullaThe area of the brain stem that controls heart rate and breathing., the area of the brain stem that controls heart rate and breathing. When electrical stimulation is applied to the reticular formation of an animal, it immediately becomes fully awake, and when the reticular formation is severed from the higher brain regions, the animal falls into a deep coma.
People who have damage to the cerebellum have difficulty walking, keeping their balance, and holding their hands steady.
If the hippocampus is damaged, a person cannot build new memories, living instead in a strange world where everything he or she experiences just fades away, even while older memories from the time before the damage are untouched.
On the other hand, although the human brain is one 60th of its body weight, the mousea€™s brain represents one fortieth of its body weight.
Following the frontal lobe is the parietal lobeOne of the four brain lobes, responsible primarily for processing information about touch., which extends from the middle to the back of the skull and which is responsible primarily for processing information about touch.
As you can see in Figure 3.11 "The Sensory Cortex and the Motor Cortex", this research has revealed that the motor cortex is specialized for providing control over the body, in the sense that the parts of the body that require more precise and finer movements, such as the face and the hands, also are allotted the greatest amount of cortical space. If you were stimulated in the visual cortex, you would see flashes of light or color, and perhaps you remember having had the experience of a€?seeing starsa€? when you were hit in, or fell on, the back of your head.
These association areas are the places in the brain that are responsible for most of the things that make human beings seem human. Hand preference for writing and associations with selected demographic and behavioral variables in 255,100 subjects: The BBC Internet study.
This explains why a disproportionately high number of left-handers are found in sports where direct one-on-one action predominates.
The a€?old braina€? regulates basic survival functions, such as breathing, moving, resting, and feeding, and creates our experiences of emotion.

In many cases the medulla alone is sufficient to maintain lifea€”animals that have the remainder of their brains above the medulla severed are still able to eat, breathe, and even move. Consuming alcohol influences the cerebellum, which is why people who are drunk have more difficulty walking in a straight line. Despite these comparisons, elephants do not seem 10 times smarter than whales, and humans definitely seem smarter than mice.
Then comes the occipital lobeOne of the four brain lobes, responsible primarily for processing visual information., at the very back of the skull, which processes visual information. The temporal lobe, located on the lower side of each hemisphere, contains the auditory cortexThe area located in the temporal lobe that is responsible for hearing and language., which is responsible for hearing and language. The association areas are involved in higher mental functions, such as learning, thinking, planning, judging, moral reflecting, figuring, and spatial reasoning. Processing of basic speech acts following localized brain damage: A new light on the neuroanatomy of language.
In other sports, such as golf, there are fewer left-handed players because the handedness of one player has no effect on the competition. At this point, however, this idea remains only a hypothesis, and determinants of human handedness are yet to be fully understood. Other areas of the cortex act as association areas, responsible for integrating information. Mammals, including humans, have developed further brain layers that provide more advanced functionsa€”for instance, better memory, more sophisticated social interactions, and the ability to experience emotions.
The spherical shape above the medulla is the ponsA structure in the brain stem that helps control the movements of the body, playing a particularly important role in balance and walking., a structure in the brain stem that helps control the movements of the body, playing a particularly important role in balance and walking.
Positive reinforcement produced by electrical stimulation of septal area and other regions of rat brain. Finally, in front of the occipital lobe (pretty much between the ears) is the temporal lobeOne of the four brain lobes, responsible primarily for hearing and language., responsible primarily for hearing and language.
The temporal lobe also processes some visual information, providing us with the ability to name the objects around us (Martin, 2007).Martin, A. From the left to the right: How the brain compensates progressive loss of language function. This fact is puzzling, in part because the number of left-handers is so low, and in part because other animals, including our closest primate relatives, do not show any type of handedness.
Humans have a very large and highly developed outer layer known as the cerebral cortex (see Figure 3.7 "Cerebral Cortex"), which makes us particularly adept at these processes. In humans, the cerebral cortex is wrinkled and folded, rather than smooth as it is in most other animals.
Supporting all these neurons are billions more glial cells (glia)Cells that surround and link to the neurons, protecting them, providing them with nutrients, and absorbing unused neurotransmitters., cells that surround and link to the neurons, protecting them, providing them with nutrients, and absorbing unused neurotransmitters. They found that stimulating the right side of the brain produced movement in the left side of the doga€™s body, and vice versa.
By doing so, they assured thata€”because the two hemispheres had been separateda€”the image of the shape was experienced only in the right brain hemisphere (remember that sensory input from the left side of the body is sent to the right side of the brain).
It is also superior in coordinating the order of complex movementsa€”for example, lip movements needed for speech. This creates a much greater surface area and size, and allows increased capacities for learning, remembering, and thinking. This finding follows from a general principle about how the brain is structured, called contralateral control. And if a person loses a finger, the area of the sensory cortex that previously received information from the missing finger will begin to receive input from adjacent fingers, causing the remaining digits to become more sensitive to touch (Fox, 1984).Fox, J.
The right hemisphere, on the other hand, has only very limited verbal abilities, and yet it excels in perceptual skills. The thalamus also receives some of the higher braina€™s replies, forwarding them to the medulla and the cerebellum.
The researchers noticed that after being stimulated, the rat continued to move to the exact spot in its cage where the stimulation had occurred, as if it were trying to re-create the circumstances surrounding its original experience. For instance, the myelin sheath surrounding the axon of many neurons is a type of glial cell. The brain is wired such that in most cases the left hemisphere receives sensations from and controls the right side of the body, and vice versa. These new neurons originate deep in the brain and may then migrate to other brain areas where they form new connections with other neurons (Gould, 2007).Gould, E. The right hemisphere is able to recognize objects, including faces, patterns, and melodies, and it can put a puzzle together or draw a picture. The thalamus is also important in sleep because it shuts off incoming signals from the senses, allowing us to rest. The glia are essential partners of neurons, without which the neurons could not survive or function (Miller, 2005).Miller, G.
The braina€™s neurons have a remarkable capacity to reorganize and extend themselves to carry out particular functions in response to the needs of the organism, and to repair damage.
A note on Corballis (1997) and the genetics and evolution of handedness: Developing a unified distributional model from the sex-chromosomes gene hypothesis.
As a result, the brain constantly creates new neural communication routes and rewires existing ones.
The principles of neuroplasticity help us understand how our brains develop to reflect our experiences.
Left-handed people are also better at envisioning three-dimensional objects, which may explain why there is such a high number of left-handed architects, artists, and chess players in proportion to their numbers (Coren, 1992).Coren, S.
NeuroplasticityThe braina€™s ability to change its structure and function in response to experience or damage. For instance, accomplished musicians have a larger auditory cortex compared with the general population (Bengtsson et al., 2005)Bengtsson, S. In this surgery the region that normally connects the two halves of the brain and supports communication between the hemispheres, known as the corpus callosumThe region that connects the two halves of the brain and supports communication between the hemispheres., is severed. They found that the once angry animal immediately became passive and no longer responded to fearful situations with aggressive behavior. Because the left and right hemispheres are separated, each hemisphere develops a mind of its own, with its own sensations, concepts, and motivations (Gazzaniga, 2005).Gazzaniga, M.
In one experiment a rat was given the opportunity to electrically stimulate its own hypothalamus by pressing a pedal. In addition to helping us experience fear, the amygdala also helps us learn from situations that create fear. The rat enjoyed the experience so much that it pressed the pedal more than 7,000 times per hour until it collapsed from sheer exhaustion. Left-handedness: Association with immune disease, migraine, and developmental learning disorder. Family size, miscarriage-proneness, and handedness: Tests of hypotheses of the developmental instability theory of handedness.

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