Essay Instructions: INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE WRITER:
Topic: Chapter 3 - Neuroscience and Behavior - Discussion Topic
Chapter 3 - Neuroscience and Behavior
Each time I read information on how our biology and particularly our brain influences our behavior I find that something different fascinates me.
Please use your discussion response as an opportunity to tell us about what you found most interesting in this chapter and why. You should write at least 15 complete sentences.
You must discuss something different than the 13 paragraphs below.
What I found most interesting in chapter 3 of the nervous system is that the brain has a lot to do with many parts of our body. It influences the spinal cord; it transmits messages between the brain and the rest of the body. The thing I find more interesting about the spinal cord is that it controls simple behaviors on its own. And example is the way the knee jerks forward when it is tapped with a rubber hammer when you visit a doctor. When the knee jerks it is a type of reflex. It is a automatic response to incoming stimulus. I find it interesting that in any situation that I am in, my brain responses and I react. I also find the peripheral nervous system interesting because both divisions have different duties that take part in your body. The somatic division helps with my turning a page and the motion of my eyes to be able to move them and to read things. The automatic division controls many parts of my body that help me stay alive.
The body can be controlled by both consciousness and unconsciousness, namely some muscles like skeletal muscles can be controlled by the brain. On the other hand, cardiac muscles that keep the heart beating and supplying blood and other muscles that in the lungs which keep us breathing can be controlled by the autonomous nervous system. When somebody says the body is controlled by the mind, there are actually a lot more complicated mechanisms and physiology that make all those actions possible (whether it is voluntary or involuntary). It is interesting to know that the nervous system work at a very fast pace, within a few millisecond, a signal/message can be transmitted between neurons to the target organs throughout the body. The brain also contains a relay station that collects all the signals of different senses and process these signals to give rise to a response/reaction.
The thing that is most interesting to me in Chapter 3 is Behavioral genetics. I was not aware that we have a sequence of 3 Billion chemical pairs that make up our DNA and of that 3 Billion we have 25,000 individual genes which appear in a specific sequence on a particular chromosome. It is so hard to believe that our personality and behavorial habits are linked back to our genetic heritage. Scientist are starting to learn how disordes such as schizophrenia and depression develop and maybe with time they can be treated. I have 2 nephews in my family with Autism, and for those that dont know what Autism is, it is
a disorder that influences the development of language and effictive social functioning. Autism is increased in the presence of a gene realted to early brian development. Children with a gene called HOXA1 are twice as likely to develop the disorder. I wonder how many people in my family have the gene and didnt develop the disorder. This Chapter has really made me want to do more research on Genetics, i have such a high interest in it now.
What I found most interesting in this chapter was how the brain works. Everybody knows that your actions are made because of your brain, but to know how it works is what fascinates me. In order for you to make a movement your brain has to send the right message to your body. These messages are called neurons. I learned that neurons are the ones that communicate with other cells and transmit the message through the nervous system. This allows our body to make precise movements. Is interesting that the way the message is send is through an electrical charge, meaning our body is controlled by electrical signals. Not only it allows us to perform an activity but also imitate or predict another persons behavior. Some of the neurons have different effects. The one that interest me the most is the neurotransmitter glutamate. This plays a big part in our brain. It permits us to learn and have a memory.
I found the most interesting part in this chapter are knowing exactly how does our brain function and the nervous system. I always wonder how come sometimes when i get nervous or excited i will sweat. I found out that it is because of our heart rate increases, we begin to swear, and we develop goose bumps all over out body.
When you touch a hot stove, you pull your finger away. The nervous system acts as a communication network for the body. I also found that the brain sends signals to nerves throughout the body. That in turns make muscles move. Some of these signals are voluntary, like kicking a ball or eating ice cream. Some of the signals are involuntary, like the beating of the heart or the reflex to pull your hand away from something hot. But all of these signals are controlled by the nervous system.
The topic regarding perception and behavior in Chapter 3 really fascinated me because I learned a great deal about how our mind and body, experiencing the world around us, communicates the perceptions and thoughts we have and things we learn. Our body’s interaction with the environment results in stimulating our senses and our overall cognitive knowledge of the world and our experiences. The cognitive learning and reactions we develop through the senses and the complex features of our mind and overall body makeup contributes to the uniqueness of each individual. It’s truly remarkable how our biological makeup as people are so similar, yet the reactions and the perceptions of people are so different as individuals. Scientists have come to discover the different biological and psychological parts of the mind and body that lead to the process of thinking and behavior; however, the very nature of behavior is too complex to narrow down into definitive facts. This is why psychologists and scientist continue to study behavior and the mind, because the factors that contribute to such things continue to evolve and change. Our bodies might not evolve as fast as our behaviors and our perceptions, but as our environment and the reactions our mind gets from the world changes, our behaviors and perceptions transform and adjust. This part of Chapter 3 really made me think about the importance of continuous research into how neurosciences contribute to the better understanding of people and how they think, feel, and react. The complexity of our brain's biology and its functions greatly amplifies the way behavior is formed and how it changes.
In this chapter they wrote about "Behavioral Genetics". Wow, it indicated that we (Human beings) as evidence shows, are pre-disposed to behave and react to our environment in predictable ways according to our genetic make-up. We even (as stated on the text) search for that type of environment, lifestyle, and even the amount of domestic violence that we adapt to according to our genes. I was also fascinated with the fact that the "Nature and Nurture" aspect of Psychology was not (at least in this part of the book) equally discussed. I also happened to be an individual that believes that Nurture happens to be an equally important part of the behavior that we project towards people and society as well. I believe that as we mature and continue to step-up in our life cycle, we encounter (experience) new things that will shape our behavior, whether good or bad, and mold our thought process to react differently than we did 10 years prior. In other words; I believe that our characteristics, and behavior is determined equally among both genetics and environmental experiences. If we were to determine that genetic behavior was all that it was, it would be an indication that we have no free will. Now, if that was to be true, talk about taking advantage of everyone in this world...Communism, here we come.
After going through Chapter 3, the section that I am interested in the most is Neuroscience and Behavior. In our daily lives, there are lots of stimulus which trigger our body to respond to them. At first I am not familiar with the mechanism when one encounters fear. Now I know that the sympathetic division and parasympathetic division are responable for creating fear and calming our bodies down. The feeling of fear is created by increasing heartbeat, begins sweating and developing goose bumps. Our sympathetic division is responsible for these responses. On the other hand, parasympathetic division is responsbile for calming us down. Our body cannot function properly if one of the dvisions aren't working. Imagine, without the help parasympathetic division, our hearts will keep beating when we are fear of something. This could be fatal since fast heartbeat may increase blood pressure. After reading this chapter, I am more familiar with the mechanism when we are responding to fear. Apart from that, this chapter enables me to realize that our system usually work as pair or as a group in order to perform normally. Without one of them, our body cannot function probably and this may lead to death.
In chapter 3 I found several things to be very interesting but what fascinated me the most was the structure of the brain. I know the brain controlled our behavior through every waking moment but as I found out, it also controls our moments in our sleep. I use to assume when we would sleep our brain would rest as well but I was wrong because the brain is always at work. It controls our thoughts, hopes, aspirations, and our dreams. Every single part of our body depends on our brain and the nervous that extend through out the body. I always thought that the right side of the brain controlled the right side of our body but it did not turn out that way. As I kept reading the chapter I found out that the left hemisphere of the brain controlled the right side of the body. The right hemisphere controlled the left side of the body. If the right hemisphere is damaged would cause functional difficulties in the left side of the body. I found all this to be very interesting because we do not really realize how important our brain is to the body.
In chapter 3, the section that interested me was when they talked about neuroplasticity and the brain. The story of Jacob having uncontrollable epileptic seizures as a baby is a really sad and really caught my attention. I think that if I was a mother and was told that my son would never be able to learn how to sit up or feed himself, I would be devastated. I thought it was pretty amazing that the surgeons were able to remove 20% of Jacob's brain when he was only five months old. I think it’s fascinating that the remaining parts of his brain took over and Jacob was still able to live a normal life after such a risky procedure. I did not know that the brain had the ability to shift functions to different locations or that the brain reorganizes itself, which is called neuroplasticity. Also, as you grow older, new neurons in your brain are created, which is called neurogenesis. These abilities that the brain is capable of have an importance for the treatment of disorders in the nervous system.
After reading chapter 3 Neuroscience and Behavior, I found the most interesting thing to be is the Nervous System. What I found to be very fascinating about nervous system is the central nervous system. The central nervous system is composed of the brain and spinal cord. The spinal cord leaves the brain and travels down the back, it is only about the thickness of a pencil. The spinal cord is very delicate and it is protected by the bones in are back. The spinal cord is a major part of the central nervous system, it transfers information from the outside body parts to the spinal cord and then to the brain. If the spinal cord where to become damaged it can result in quadriplegic, paraplegic, and paralysis. The brain is the other part of the central nervous system. The brain is roughly half the size of a loaf of bread. The brain constantly controls behavior and major body functions. In order to be healthy and functional your brain and spinal cord must be working in sync with each other.
The split brain: Exploring the Two Hemispheres, was the most interesting to me. It was interesting because it is a procedure were a part of the brain such as the corpus callosum is surgically cut. This could be done for patients that have seizures. When the corpus callosum is cut the seizures decrease with time. Biofeedback is another procedure were a person learns to control themselves through conscious. Such as blood pressure, heart and respiration rate, skin temperature, sweating, and the constriction of particular muscles. With Biofeedback the patient will be hooked up to electronic devices. They will be attached to a certain part of the body were it is needed the most. Biofeedback can help patients that have been in severe accidents gain ability to function again. This part of chapter three was the most interesting because I learned how people can function with certain parts of their brain and how much information the brain holds and were it is located.
Whenever I open a psychology book up the portion that always fascinates me most the portion talking about neuron structure and, specifically neurotransmitters. I have a quite a few friends who are on medications that affect neurotransmitters and I, myself was prescribed a pill for a sleep disorder. I suppose the subject fascinates me because I can view dysfunction of neurotransmitters as something that is very personal to me.
It’s fascinating that such a tiny portion (compared to the mass of the rest of your body) is such a dominating force. An overabundance or deficiency of a neurotransmitter can have such devastating results. I admit that I cannot help but conduct small experiments on my friends and I. I’m genuinely interested in the way persons with these dysfunctions react to things like better sleep or healthier diets, for example. I cannot help but believe there are solutions other than pills to help these types of brain disorders. Although I’m a believer in medicine and the positive results it can have on brain dysfunctions, my own experience with my sleep disorder has led me to believe healthy habits can also altar brain activity.
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Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: The topic of this essay is “translating behavioral neuroscience to daily life.” You should choose an experience from your life and describe it using the processes and mechanisms that we have discussed in the course. Your essay should include a discussion of at least one sensory system, at least one sensorimotor response, and at least one of the psychological processes that we covered, e.g., stress, sleep, hunger, etc. Written in narrative form with an introduction, body, and conclusion; and scientifically rigorous in its use of neuroscience terminology and concepts.
Sources: Pinel, J.P.J. Biopsychology (8th Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. 2011.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Paper Theme:
Through the term we have explored several accounts of scientific reduction applied to neuroscience. One is the classical model of reduction; another is mechanistic reduction; yet another is 'ruthless reductionism.' We have also explored some work that contends good cognitive neuroscience is not reductionistic. I want you to explore the prospects for a reductionistic neuroscience, using real examples. The examples may be ones discussed by the authors we have read, or may be drawn from other sources. Pay attention to the fact that there are several accounts of reduction in play. Keep in mind that the authors may select examples to fit their view of reduction; so you should probably evaluate a model of reduction using cases other than those picked by the author. Think of yourself as evaluating the prospects for a research program.
Opinion can be included.
Bechtel, “Molecules, Systems, and Behavior: Another View of Memory Consolidation,” in the Oxford Handbook.
Robins and Craver, “Biological Clocks: Explaining Models of Mechanisms,” in the Oxford Handbook.
Chemero and Heyser, “Methodology and Reduction in the Behavioral Sciences: Object Exploration as a Case Study,”in the Oxford Handbook.
Silva and Bickle, “The Science of Research and the Search for Molecular Mechanisms of Cognitive Functions,” in the Oxford Handbook.
Allen, Grau and Meagher, “The Lower Bounds of Cognition: What Do Spinal Cords Reveal,” in the Oxford Handbook.
Rosenberg, “Lessons for Cognitive Science from Neurogenomics,” in the Oxford Handbook.
All 6 resources are located in ...
John Bickle, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Neuroscience. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009
Guidelines for Written Assignments:
1) General Goals - The goal of the short essays is to help students learn to articulate, develop, and defend their views in a written form, emphasizing the ability to discuss issues in a way that is clear and well organized. Each paper should be no more than 8 typewritten pages, or roughly 2000 words, though they might be less than that.
2) Emphasize your reasoning - Exposition of readings and summary of readings or class materials should be kept to a minimum. It will be necessary, of course, to explain an author's views in order to explain the relevance of some ideas, or to develop your own views. Insofar as this is necessary, try to explain the views in your own words, and as clearly as possible. Also take the time to show that you are right in attributing a view to an author. This is the role for quotation, rather than using quotation as a substitute for explanation. Where you find views ambiguous or unclear, try to make them clear and unambiguous. You can also discuss the source of the ambiguities you see. In discussing the topics, do not rest content with merely stating whether you agree or disagree with a given position; instead, explain why you believe as you do.
3) Follow logical structure - Organize your material according to the logical structure of the argument. There are many ways to do this, depending on the particular subject matter and the view you adopt. For example, in the introductory paragraph clearly state the main issue you see, and your position on it, then provide the necessary background assumptions and presuppositions, followed by the main body of your paper which should include a statement of your principal reasons for your position. Be clear what conclusion you draw. Editing is an important part of the writing process; in fact, it is probably the most central feature in developing a strong essay.
4) Document and justify your use of source material - Additional resources are not necessary for the course assignments, though the integration of material from other sources is certainly encouraged when it is relevant. In any case, you should always document your sources wherever appropriate. If you are at all in doubt, cite a source. Always give a citation for any quote, including any from the course text. It is not necessary to use formal footnotes (though that is allowed); and whether or not you use footnotes, you should attach a bibliography with full citations for any sources used.
5) Be original - Absolutely avoid even the appearance of plagiarism. Be sure all the work is your own. Academic dishonesty will result in a failing grade. If you are using someone else's words, quote them and provide a proper citation. Take the time to explain their views in your own words too. If you draw on some source, even using your own words, again use a proper citation.
6) Reread and critically evaluate ??" When you think you are done, reread your own work and evaluate it in light of the ‘total evidence.’ Rewrite or edit in light of your evaluation.
6) Format for the written assignments - All written assignments must conform to certain guidelines, including the following:
• All written work must be typed and double-spaced. Papers that are not will not be accepted. They should be submitted, if possible, as word attachments and emailed to me. Be kind and do not submit printed papers. It is not good for trees.
•Standard English usage, spelling and punctuation are required for an acceptable paper. Assignments that have a consistent pattern of spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors will not have good grades.
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Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Educational Neuroscience
Educational neuroscience is an exciting new discipline that brings together research from psychology, neuroscience and pedagogy to help educators make the best curriculum, instructional and assessment choices for effective learning. Provide a brief summary of the article and explain how the findings could be translated into what educators do in schools and classrooms. Do the findings support differentiated teaching and learning? Why or why not?
Excerpt From Essay:
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