Category: Neuroscience

Temporal lobe

Temporal lobe

Temporal lobe         05/13/16

 

The temporal lobe is one of the four major lobes of the cerebral cortex. The temporal lobe is housed in the back-lower-left part of the brain. The temporal lobe is responsible for processing sensory input, , appropriate retention of visual memories, Language comprehension, and emotional association. The temporal lobe hosts the primary auditory cortex, which is responsible for semantics comprehension in humans. People with damage to the temporal lobe often have trouble recalling visual stimuli,

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The cerebral cortex Part II

The cerebral cortex Part II

The cerebral cortex Part II                  05/12/16

 

Connecting the two hemispheres of the brain is a band of nerve fibers known as the Corpus Callosum. Furthermore, on the back end of the brain is a region known as the Frontal lobe. This is where the majority of our personality is housed, and gives us capacity for emotional and abstract thought. Two very important areas in this region are the Motor cortex (which houses the motor neurons, which in turns control the movement of our body) and the Broca’s areas (which gives us the ability to control our mouths and create speech). In addition, there are the Parietal lobes, which houses the Sensory cortex (which controls our sensory neurons, which allows us to feel sensations). In the back of the brain there is the occidental lobe which receives input from the eyes to create vision for individuals.

 

The cerebral cortex Part I

The cerebral cortex Part I

   The cerebral cortex Part I                    05/11/16

 

The cerebral cortex is by far the most important area of the human brain, granting it the capability for advanced reasoning skills, personal identity, and essentially what makes us human. The cerebral cortex occupies the covering surface of the brain. Because the human brain is so powerful, it takes up a larger than average percentage of our brain then average. Having a large head could have made childbirth problematic, but luckily evolution is an ever-so foresightful force, so it decided to pack the cerebral cortex into fissures that are found all over the surface. If you were to unfold the cerebral cortex, it would be as pig as full pizza! To streamline cognition, the cerebral cortex is divided into two hemispheres, the left and right hemispheres. Serious note: Contradictory to popular opinion, this brain divide has no influence on personality, having a preference for a certain part of the brain does not result in being more “creative” or more “logical”, such an idea is merely pseudoscience.  

Neurons

Neurons

Neurons                       Isaac Gendler

        01/23/15

“What is the most basic framework of the human mind”?

This is one of the most fundamental and dazzling questions that has perplexed Scientists and Philosophers for the entirety of human history. And only recently has the greater human intellectual community come to understand a fraction of an answer to this deceptively simple question. Abode in the boundless complexities of the human brain is an intricate system of cells known as Neurons.

To put it simply, the prime specialization of neurons is to transmit information from one neuron to another. This information is stored in electrical currents and chemical signals termed “Neurotransmitters”. All Neurons are electrically excitable, which means that their membrane voltage levels can change. This voltage is moderated through the use of Ion pumps . If a neuron wants to send a signal, then what it does is that it heightens it’s potential difference through the use of ion channels  until it reaches an apex of voltage and is forced to release the signals in a cascade of chemicals and/or electricity. After a bout of activity, the system returns to impassivity. To use a (heavily simplified) mechanical analogy, imagine that the brain is like a plumbing system, and that Neurons are pipes and that the electrical signals and ions are the fluid flowing through.

 

The Physiology of Neurons are very simple. The Neurons take in information the use of Dendrites (the branches out of the cell body of the picture). The cell body is know in the Scientific community as the “soma”. Electrical signals and ions are transmitted through the use of axons (the long tube like structure), and when they reach the ends known as the axon terminals, The voltage buildup starts and given time the synapses on the ends of the axon terminals permits electrical and chemical signals to be sent across.

 

Neurons have three types of specializations. Motor Neurons are used to send signals to control muscle movement, Sensor Neurons are used to yield information about senses such as pain and smell (or both if you leave out food for too long). And finally, Interneurons are used to transmit information between cells.

 

Neurons are a most peculiar facet of the human brain. It is utterly astounding to contemplate that such infinitesimal objects (around 4*10-6 meters in diameter) play such a pivotal role in the interplay of biological cognition. And what is even more intriguing is that there is so much more to learn about the human brain, and it it up to the explorers of the future to figure it out. So if you’re interested, go to the library, ask your teachers, and look online for any information you can find. Or even better yet, find out for yourself and spend a career in research.

 

Best regards

Isaac A. Gendler