Autodidact: self-taught


The Brain

by V. L. Craven

Various Information about the Brain

Cortex: makes you different from animals; aware of things around you.
a) Occipital lobe: vision
b) Temporal lobe: hearing, receptive language
c) Frontal lobe: ½ of cortex. Back: motor strip—all voluntary movement. Lots of room used for hands amd mouth. The rest is association area i.e. we don’t understand it. 1. reading, rest, relaxation 2. logic 3. attention 4. sequence 5. planning 6. emotional control/personality
d) Parietal lobe: Front: sensory strip—hot/cold, numb, tingle, pain. The rest is association area and integrates senses & language.
a) Medulla: breathing & heartbeat, swallowing, sneezing and blood pressure.
b) Cerebellum: gross (big) muscle movement
c) Reticular Formation: 1. routing [entrance to brain] 2. gives priority to 1 piece of info [attention] 3. controls awareness (sleep)
d) Midbrain: relay station for vision & hearing
e) Thalamus: final relay station for all sensory info before cortex
f) Hypothalamus: controls thirst, hunger, temperature & sex.
Lymbic system (part of e & f): controls basic emotions.


-01- A coma is caused by injury to the stem of the brain. -The corneal reflex is the only one that continues to function. -Loud breathing or none at all, face (usually) red, blood pressure (usually) high, pulse not accelerated, but sometimes slowed, relaxed.
-02- A coma: an unconscious state. Stage I: To lie there, somewhere far off. Stage II: Serious disturbance. Stage III: Deep unconsciousness. Continual disturbance.
-03- Waking coma…Diencephalic—midbrain syndrome (deadening of the brain)… Sleeping state (parasomnia), Asleep and yet completely awake and yet unable to wake up, never able to wake up again…The patient is awake, though no reaction for the senses results.
-04- Partial aphasia: Muteness is what they call it, it can continue but also suddenly disappear.
-05- Monkeys that are dominant in their social group have high levels of serotonin. They are not especially big or fierce, as you might think. They are level-headed, less impulsive than ordinary monkeys, less likely to interpret play as aggression. Monkeys with low levels of serotonin are more likely to be aggressive and ill-tempered. Scientists have studied serotonin levels in CEOs and fraternity presidents. Guess what they found? People in leadership positions have higher serotonin levels than they subordinates. People with low levels of serotonin are more likely to be aggressive and ill-tempered. Both monkeys and people can be manipulated. Low cholesterol diets reduce serotonin levels. Monkeys fed low-cholesterol diets because 40% more likely to take aggressive action against a fellow monkey. Humans given cholesterol lowering drugs become more violent too. They are far more likely to die from suicide or murder. Cholesterol treatment is a double-edged sword It cuts the risks of heart attack by 14%, but it increases the risk of violent death by 78%. …Dopamine dictates motivation. People with low dopamine levels lack initiative. People with lots of dopamine ride motorcycles and jump out of airplanes. A neurotransmitter\ called norepinephrine stimulates the metabolism. It also makes people shy and apathetic. Scandinavians have lots of it. It helps them to withstand the cold. – Evan Mandery, Dreaming of Gwen Stephani
-06- People with lots of oxytocin form relationships easily. People with too little have anxiety about forming close bonds. In one study, scientists examined a group of students each of whom described himself as being madly in love. The scientists hooked these students up to brain-imaging equipment. When the scientists showed the smitten students pictures of their loved ones, blood rushed to four small sections of the brain, areas rich with receptors for oxytocin and our old friend dopamine. Study after study shows that romantic infatuation lasts no more than two or three years. The chemicals associated with a new love have less and less of an impact on the body over time, in the same way that the body builds a tolerance to a drug or resistance to a disease. Love is a disease. Call it a condition if this makes you feel any better about it. We excuse impetuous action on the basis that someone is under the influence of love.

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