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What Is The Study Of The Brain Called

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What Is The Gray Matter And White Matter

Cognitive Science: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Gray and white matter are two different regions of the central nervous system. In the brain, gray matter refers to the darker, outer portion, while white matter describes the lighter, inner section underneath. In the spinal cord, this order is reversed: The white matter is on the outside, and the gray matter sits within.

Gray matter is primarily composed of neuron somas , and white matter is mostly made of axons wrapped in myelin . The different composition of neuron parts is why the two appear as separate shades on certain scans.

Each region serves a different role. Gray matter is primarily responsible for processing and interpreting information, while white matter transmits that information to other parts of the nervous system.

Brain Doctors And Sports Medicine

A relatively new subspecialty within sports medicine has to do specifically with the brain. Any athlete can sustain a brain injury, but those who play high contact sports such as football and ice hockey are particularly susceptible to concussions. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury resulting from a blow to the head that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth inside the skull. A concussion can cause chemical changes in the brain and can stretch or damage brain cells. Although a concussion is usually not life-threatening, it is an injury that must be taken seriously. It can cause dizziness, double vision and impairment of motor function. A history of repetitive brain injury, as seen in some retired players from the National Football League, is blamed for a condition called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy , a degenerative brain disease. This condition is not seen in athletes only â military veterans and others who have been subject to repeated brain injuries can develop this debilitating condition.

With greater awareness of the dangers of head injuries, particularly in young people, doctors and researchers are working toward better measures of prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of brain injury.

Neural Circuits And Systems

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Questions in systems neuroscience include how neural circuits are formed and used anatomically and physiologically to produce functions such as reflexes, multisensory integration, motor coordination, circadian rhythms, emotional responses, learning, and memory. In other words, they address how these neural circuits function in large-scale brain networks, and the mechanisms through which behaviors are generated. For example, systems level analysis addresses questions concerning specific sensory and motor modalities: how does vision work? How do songbirds learn new songs and bats localize with ultrasound? How does the somatosensory system process tactile information? The related fields of neuroethology and neuropsychology address the question of how neural substrates underlie specific animal and human behaviors. Neuroendocrinology and psychoneuroimmunology examine interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine and immune systems, respectively. Despite many advancements, the way that networks of neurons perform complex cognitive processes and behaviors is still poorly understood.

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How Much Does A Human Brain Weigh

The human brain weighs about 3 lbs. and makes up about 2% of a human’s body weight. On average, male brains are about 10% larger than female brains, according to Northwestern Medicine in Illinois. The average male has a brain volume of nearly 78 cubic inches , while the average female brain has a volume of 69 cubic inches . The cerebrum, which is the main part of the brain located in the front area of the skull, makes up 85% of the brain’s weight.

Structurefunction Relationship In Neurological Disorders

The Study Of The Brain And Nervous System Is Called

The objective of this section is to cite some examples where the structurefunction relationship has helped to elucidate more about neural mechanisms for example, in the normal aging process and in some pathologies, particularly those that have been described as network disorders such as epilepsy, schizophrenia and autism.

Considering what has been said up to now, the correspondence between SC and FC would be a better biomarker of brain disorders than those biomarkers based only on imaging modalities. Why some functions are preserved after similar structural brain damage in some patients and not in others is an open question. In this framework, inter-individual variability in the evolution, behavior and neurological profile among patients with the same pathology has been associated with different structurefunction relationship between patients. That is, more than diseases, there are patients and, therefore, the personalized medicine forms the basis of the future clinical-therapeutic approach.

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Jobs Involving The Study Of The Brain

The brain is the most complex and least understood human organ. The study of the brain goes by many names, but is most generally known as neuroscience. The study of the brain can also be called neurology, neurophysiology, neuropsychology or cognitive science, depending on on how what you are studying about the brain. Most researchers who study the brain are medical doctors, but many come from other academic and professional backgrounds, ranging from cognitive scientists to neurolinguists to hypnotherapists.

Innovative Imaging Could Provide Insight Into Brain Growth And Function

Narayanan Bobby Kasthuri, a BU School of Medicine assistant professor of anatomy and neurobiology, describes a new brain imaging technique in Cell. Photo by Janice Checcio

Around the turn of the 20th century, a Spanish neuroscientist named Santiago Ramón y Cajal created intricate images of intertwined neurons that changed brain science forever. His exquisite illustrations helped scientists understand some fundamental facts about the brain, namely that long-armed neuronscommunicating over gaps called synapsesare the basic unit of our nervous system.

Now, a team of Boston scientists, working with funding from the National Institutes of Health , the National Science Foundation , and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute , among others, has created a new system for imaging and analyzing neurons on a much finer scale, one they hope will produce insights into everything from developing brains to devastating mental disorders. Details of the system, as well as their analysis of a sliver of mouse cortex, were published in the July 30, 2015, edition of the journal Cell.

The work overturns a long-standing assumption, known as Peters Rule, that if two neurons are close to each other, they are likely to form synapses that allow them to communicate. It seems logical, but, Kasthuri learned, it turns out to be false, at least in this particular part of mouse brain, a piece of cortex that receives sensory information from whiskers.

Cell

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Study Finds Women Have More Brain Changes After Menopause

by American Academy of Neurology

Women who have gone through menopause may have more of a brain biomarker called white matter hyperintensities than premenopausal women or men of the same age, according to a new study published in the June 29, 2022, online issue of Neurology.

White matter hyperintensities are tiny lesions visible on brain scans that become more common with age or with uncontrolled high blood pressure. These brain biomarkers have been linked in some studies to an increased risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.

“White matter hyperintensities increase as the brain ages, and while having them does not mean that a person will develop dementia or have a stroke, larger amounts may increase a person’s risk,” said study author Monique M. B. Breteler, MD, Ph.D., of the German Center of Neurodegenerative Diseases , in Bonn, Germany, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Our study examined what role menopause may have on amounts of these brain biomarkers. Our results imply that white matter hyperintensities evolve differently for men and women, where menopause or factors that determine when menopause starts, such as variations in the aging process, are defining factors.”

The study involved 3,410 people with an average age of 54. Of those, 58% were women, and of the women, 59% were postmenopausal. Also, 35% of all participants had high blood pressure and of those, half had uncontrolled high blood pressure.

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Lesions Provide A Picture Of What Is Missing

What are the Parts of the Brain?

An advantage of the cadaver approach is that the brains can be fully studied, but an obvious disadvantage is that the brains are no longer active. In other cases, however, we can study living brains. The brains of living human beings may be damaged as a result of strokes, falls, automobile accidents, gunshots, or tumours, for instance. These damages are called lesions. In rare occasions, brain lesions may be created intentionally through surgery, such as that designed to remove brain tumours or reduce the effects of epilepsy. Psychologists also sometimes intentionally create lesions in animals to study the effects on their behaviour. In so doing, they hope to be able to draw inferences about the likely functions of human brains from the effects of the lesions in animals. Lesions allow the scientist to observe any loss of brain function that may occur. For instance, when an individual suffers a stroke, a blood clot deprives part of the brain of oxygen, killing the neurons in the area and rendering that area unable to process information. In some cases, the result of the stroke is a specific lack of ability. For instance, if the stroke influences the occipital lobe, then vision may suffer, and if the stroke influences the areas associated with language or speech, these functions will suffer. In fact, our earliest understanding of the specific areas involved in speech and language were gained by studying patients who had experienced strokes.

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Why Study The Brain

The brain is the most complex part in the human body. This three-pound organ is responsible for our intelligence, interpreting sensation, initiating body movement, and controlling all of our behaviors.

The brain and the rest of the central nervous system are composed of a variety of cells, but the primary functional unit is a cell called a neuron. All sensations, movements, , memories, and feelings are the result of signals that pass through neurons of differing shapes, sizes, and functions. The average brain contains 80-90 billion neurons, the cell bodies of which form gray matter. Many, many more specialized cells called glia protect and support neurons in gray matter, and provide insulation for their delicate interconnections in the white matter. The folds in the human brain form sulci and gyri , adding to its surface area to maximize the number of cells that can pack into our skulls, and increasing the quantity of information we can process.

The Cerebrum: Front Part Of The Brain

The largest part of the brain, located in the front, is called the cerebrum. The cerebrum is responsible for:

  • Movement
  • Emotions
  • Learning

The cerebrum is made up of the right and left cerebral hemispheres. The hemispheres are connected at the bottom and have a deep groove running between them. In general, the right cerebral hemisphere controls the left side of the body, and the left cerebral hemisphere controls the right. The right side is involved with creativity and artistic abilities. The left side is important for logic and rational thinking.

The cerebral hemispheres are divided into lobes . Each lobe is responsible for a variety of bodily functions. Frontal lobes are involved with personality, speech, and motor development. Temporal lobes are responsible for memory, language and speech function. Parietal lobes are involved with sensation, while the occipital lobes are the primary vision centers.

The surface of the cerebrum appears wrinkled and is made up of deep grooves and bumps or folds . The outer part of the cerebrum is called gray matter and contains nerve cells. The inner part is called white matter and contains connections of nerves.

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What Is A Neurosurgeon

Neurosurgeons are medical doctors who provide both nonsurgical and surgical treatment of conditions, diseases and injuries to the brain, neck, spinal cord and central nervous system. They perform brain surgery but may also operate on herniated discs and pinched nerves that cause pain in other parts of the body, including the legs and back.

Neurosurgeons have the longest required training period of any medical specialty. After medical school, they must complete a one-year internship and then spend five to seven years in residency. Some doctors will undertake additional specialty training in the form of a fellowship so they can focus intensely on one area of the body, such as the spine.

The Importance Of Neurotransmittersfast Chemical Messengers

Hallmark protein found in Alzheimer

neurons

  • Motor neurons receive messages from the the CNS and generate movements
  • Sensory neurons transmit information about the 5 senses from your sense organs themselves to the rest of the brain
  • Inter-neurons take messages between other neurons

Neurons are long stringy things. This shows how three vof them link together, with the axon tips on one neuron nearly touching the dendrites of the next neuron.nucleus dendrites axonaxon terminalssynaptic gap

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Brain Computer Interface Research

Brain computer interface research explores the user or patients ability to control their brain waves, in order to send commands to a brain computer interface. The computer interfaces with electroencephalogram signals. This protocol is useful for patients experiencing paralysis, and for gaming and other futuristic uses.

Rewarding Ourselves With Love

In 2005, Fisher led a research team that published a groundbreaking study that included the first functional MRI images of the brains of individuals in the throes of romantic love. Her team analyzed 2,500 brain scans of college students who viewed pictures of someone special to them and compared the scans to ones taken when the students looked at pictures of acquaintances. Photos of people they romantically loved caused the participants brains to become active in regions rich with dopamine, the so-called feel-good neurotransmitter. Two of the brain regions that showed activity in the fMRI scans were the caudate nucleus, a region associated with reward detection and expectation and the integration of sensory experiences into social behavior, and the ventral tegmental area, which is associated with pleasure, focused attention, and the motivation to pursue and acquire rewards.

The ventral tegmental area is part of what is known as the brains reward circuit, which, coincidentally, was discovered by Oldss father, James, when she was 7 years old. This circuit is considered to be a primitive neural network, meaning it is evolutionarily old it links with the nucleus accumbens. Some of the other structures that contribute to the reward circuitthe amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortexare exceptionally sensitive to behavior that induces pleasure, such as sex, food consumption, and drug use.

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Exemplar Essayhow To Write A 8

Explain aggression, applying your knowledge of brain structure.

  • An 8-mark apply question awards 4 marks for describing brain structure and 4 marks for applying it to aggression . You need a conclusion to get a mark in the top band .

DescriptionApplication

  • Notice that for a 8-mark answer you dont have to include everything about brains. I havent mentioned the other parts of the limbic system, testosterone or the hypothalamus. But it is a balanced answer – half description, half application.

Migration To The Cerebral Cortex

Brain and Central Nervous System

The mammalian brain develops from the core outward. Long before the recognizably wrinkled surface of the cerebral cortex appears, the hollow, fluid-filled ventricles are present. These serve both as a connection back to the spinal cord and as the site of origin for the new elements that will ultimately be assembled into the outermost surface of the brain, the cerebral cortex. Thus, in the course of development, the neurons and supporting glial cells of the cortex must somehow make their way there from the ventricular zone. This stage has been described as a massive migration of cells, and the distances involved are enormous, at least from the point of view of a single cell: some may travel as much as several millimeters to their eventual destination in the cortex.

One other striking aspect of neuronal migration is the order in which the six layers of the cortex are built up: from the innermost to the outermost. Each migrating neuron, before arriving at its own predetermined site in the cortex, must travel outward through all the neurons that have migrated and settled in the cortex before it. As a result, each layer of the cortex, as it builds up, has the opportunity to carry an accretion of information from nearby cells that have preceded itinformation that may help to lay the groundwork for the next developmental stage.

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Right Brain Left Brain

The cerebrum is divided into two halves: the right and left hemispheres They are joined by a bundle of fibers called the corpus callosum that transmits messages from one side to the other. Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. If a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, your left arm or leg may be weak or paralyzed.

Not all functions of the hemispheres are shared. In general, the left hemisphere controls speech, comprehension, arithmetic, and writing. The right hemisphere controls creativity, spatial ability, artistic, and musical skills. The left hemisphere is dominant in hand use and language in about 92% of people.

Salaries And Job Outlook For Brain Doctors

Brain Doctor Salaries

Medical Scientist

$83,520

For each type of brain doctor discussed, here’s a snapshot of salary ranges and job outlooks. Salaries and opportunities vary depending on education, training and skills, as well as geographic location and other factors.

Neurologist

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks salaries and makes employment projections for civilian occupations in all industries. Although the bureau does not specifically look at neurologists, they belong to a category titled “Physicians and Surgeons.” Median pay is approximately $208,000 annually, meaning that half in these professions earn more and half earn less. Other sources of salary information for neurologists show a range between $98,036 and $333,410 per year. The job growth for physicians and surgeons is expected to be 13 percent through 2026, faster than average compared to all other jobs.

Neurosurgeon

As with neurologists, the BLS does not track by this specialty. Other sources show the median salary to be $395,329 annually, with a range between $103,899 and $788,689.

Psychiatrist

The average annual salary for a psychiatrist is $197,986 per year. Salaries typically range from $99,861 to $283,381.

Psychologist

Medical Scientist

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