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SENSORY PROCESSING AND TOUCH

Sensory receptor organs are organs specialized to detect a certain stimulus.


Receptor cells within the organ convert the stimulus into an electrical signal.
An adequate stimulus is the type of stimulus to which a sensory organ is particularly
adapted.
NOW: Mechanical receptors (touch, audition)
Photosensitive receptors (vision)
Chemical receptors (smell, taste)
Concept of labeled lines says that the brain recognizes distinct senses because
action potentials travel along separate nerve tracts.
Coding: Patterns of action potentials in a sensory system that reflect a stimulus.
Range fractionation takes place when different cells have different thresholds for
firing, over a range of stimulus intensities.
Tonic receptors show slow or no decline in action potential frequency.
Phasic receptors display adaptation and decrease frequency of action potentials.
Four tactile receptors detect touch:
1. Pacinian corpusclesvibration, fast-adapting
2. Meissners corpusclestouch, fast-adapting
3. Merkels discstouch, slow-adapting
4. Ruffinis endingsstretch, slow-adapting
Dermatome: strip of skin innervated by particular nerve: CERVICAL, THORACIC,
LUMBAR, SACRAL

VISION
1. A pupil (dark hole in the the front) Allow light to enter and reach the retina,
Controls the amount of light received
2. A lens (in-between, to bend incoming light): Focus light on the retina
3. A retina (with photoreceptors at the back): Photoreceptor generate signals
towards the brain
FOVEA/MACULA= small central part of retina containing special light-sensitive cells
and allowing us to see fine details
IRIS/PUPIL=Iris surrounds the pupil and control its size to regulate amount of
entering light
LENS= focuses light on retina; Ciliary muscles attached to each side of the lens,
help change the shape of the lens, according to the distance of the object being
viewed.
CORNEA = The transparent coating which covers the iris and the pupil.; refracts
light
*cones: photopic, daytime vision, colori nformation high acuity; red, blue, green
*rods: scotopic, nightime vision, low acuity, no color
The most direct pathway for visual information to exit the eye : Photoreceptors (only
light-sensitive cells) to -> bipoloar cells to -> ganglions cells (only output / non-
graded)
At each synaptic step, responses are modified by lateral connections of:
a) Horizontal cells:Receive input from photoreceptors; Project laterally to influence
bipolar cells and photoreceptors
b) Amacrine cells:Receive input from bipolar cells; Project latteraly to influence
surrounding ganglion and bipolar cells
RECEPTIVE FIELD: The receptive field of each cell is the area on the retina over
which the behavior of that cell can be directly influenced.
M (magnocellular; larger receptive fields, low contrast stimuli and movement) vs. P
(parvocellular; color, 90% of) cells
The LGN (Lateral Geniculate Nucleus) act as a relay between the retina and the
primary (striate) cortex.
HYPERCOLUMN: Every hypercolumn is a complete feature detector for a very small
part of the visual field
BLOB: encoding specific color info

MOTOR SYSTEM:
Four views on motor control and plasticity
The Behavioral View Considers Reflexes versus Plans
The Control Systems View Considers Accuracy versus Speed
The Neuroscience View Reveals Hierarchical Systems
The Spinal Cord Is a Crucial Link in Controlling Body Movement
The reflex (simple, unvarying, and unlearned responses to sensory stimuli such as
touch, pressure, and pain) is the basic unit of movement.
A motor plan, or motor program, is a set of commands sent to muscles established
before the action occurs. Movement is planned, although plan can be modified
dynamically (through feedback)
MECHANISMS:
1) Closed-loop control mechanisms maximize accuracy; information from what is
being controlled flows back to the controlling device.
2) An open-loop control mechanism maximizes speed: There is no (time for)
external feedback, and the activity is pre-programmed. Ballistic movements are
rapid completed no matter what sensory feedback is received.
Hierarchy of motor control systems:
1. The skeletal system and attached muscles allow for movement
2. The spinal cord controls skeletal muscles (directly through reflexes to stimulation
or using motor plans from higher levels)
3. The brainstem integrates motor commands (from higher levels) down to the
spinal cord. It also relays sensory information towards the forebrain.

Action potentials travel down the motor neuron, which branches into many
terminals near its target, where acetylcholine (ACh) is released.
These targets, where the neuron terminates on the muscle fiber, are called
neuromuscular junctions (NMJ).
The NMJ is an effective synapse; almost every action potential elicits a contraction.
A motor unit consists of a single motor neuron and all the muscle fibers it
innervates.
Spinal cord injuries to a large area may result in flaccid paralysis; reflexes below the
level of the injury are lost.
The pyramidal system (or corticospinal system) consists of neuronal cell bodies in
the cerebral cortex and their axons, which form the pyramidal tract to the spinal
cord.

Nonprimary motor cortex lies anterior to M1 and has two main regions:
1. The supplementary motor area (SMA) initiates sequences of movements.
SMA is important for mental rehearsal of internally generated complex movements
activates.
2. Premotor cortex contains neurons that fire when motor sequences are guided
externally by stimuli.
Mirror neurons in premotor cortex are active both when an individual makes a
particular movement and
when an individual sees another individual make that same movement.
The basal ganglia are forebrain nuclei that modulate movement: Caudate nucleus
and putamen, together known as the striatum; Globus pallidus; The substantia nigra
and subthalamic nucleus are associated structures.

The cerebellar cortex contains Purkinje cells, which only send inhibitory messages;
the cerebellum guides movement through inhibition.

LEARNING AND MEMORY:


Patient H.M., Henry Molaison, suffered from severe epilepsy.
Because his seizures began in the temporal lobes, a decision was made to remove
the anterior temporal lobes on both sides. H.M.s surgery removed the amygdala,
the hippocampus, and some cortex. > H.M. had normal short-term memory but had
severe anterograde amnesia. > H.M. was able to improve his motor skills with
practice, but he could not remember performing them.
Declarative memory deals with whatfacts and information acquired through
learning that can be stated or described. (Things we are aware of accessing, that we
can declare to others.)
Two subtypes of declarative memory
1.Semantic memorygeneralized memory knowledge regardless of encoding
episode.
2.Episodic memorydetailed autobiographical memory with specific episodes.
Nondeclarative (procedural) memory deals with howshown by performance rather
than conscious recollection (learnt by doing such as riding a bike).
Three subtypes of nondeclarative memory
1. Skill learninglearning to perform a task requiring motor coordination. Involves
motor cortex, basal ganglia and cerebelum.
2.Primingrepetition priminga change in stimulus processing due to prior
exposure to the stimulus (completing STA__ after being primed with stamp). Lead
to reduced activation in occipitotemporal cortex.
3.Associative learningthe association of two stimuli or of a stimulus and a
response
Testing declarative memories in monkeys: Delayed non-matching-to-sample taska
test of object recognition memory, where the subject must choose the object that
was not seen previously.
A modern view of declarative memory: Recollection of the item in the specific
context in which they are presented; Function of hippocampus
Sense of familiarity with the features of the item that are presented; Mediated by
perirhinal cortex

Working memory can be subdivided into three components, all supervised by an


executive control module:
Phonological loopcontains auditory information used to rehearse
(numbers)
Visuospatial sketch padholds visual impressions (used to imagine
locations towards your car in parking)
Episodic buffercontains more integrated, sensory information (like
movie clips)
An intermediate-term memory (ITM) outlasts a STM, but is not permanent: Tasks to
evaluate working memory; Spatial-location recognition; Response recognition;
Object recognition
Long-term memories (LTMs) last for days to years.
Mechanisms differ for STM and LTM storage but are similar across species.
The primacy effect is the better recall for items at the beginning of a list (LTM).
The recency effect shows better recall for items at the end of a list (STM).
Encodingsensory information is passed into short-term memory.
Consolidationshort-term memory information is transferred into long-
term storage.
Retrievalstored information is used.
Invertebrates demonstrate nonassociative learning, which involves a single
stimulus presented once or repeated. Three types of nonassociative learning
Habituationa decreased response to repeated presentations of a
stimulus.
Dishabituationrestoration of response amplitude after habituation.
Sensitizationprior strong stimulation increases response to most
stimuli.
Hebb proposed that when two neurons are repeatedly activated together, their
synaptic connection becomes stronger. Cell assembliesensembles of neurons
linked via Hebbian synapses could store memory traces.
Long Term Potentiation (LTP) is the biological basis of Hebbs Rule: long-term
increase in the excitability of a neuron to a particular synaptic input caused by
repeated high-frequency activity of that input

EMOTION
Emotion is defined as a subjective mental state that is usually accompanied by
distinctive behaviors, feelings, and involuntary physiological changes.
Sympathetic nervous systemfight or flight system; generally activates the body
for action
Parasympathetic nervous systemrest and digest generally prepares the body to
relax and recuperate
THEORIES OF EMOTION:
1) FOLK: autonomic responses (stomach churring) are caused by emotion
2) JAMES LANGE: emotions we feel are caused by bodily changes; emotions differ
due to diff phys. Resp
3) CANNON BARD THEORY: emotions precede psych responses and help deal with a
changing environment; cerebral cortex decides on emotional response + activates
symphat. Response
SCHACHTERs COGNITIVE ATTRIBUTION MODEL: According to Schachters cognitive
attribution model, emotional labels (e.g., anger, fear, joy) are attributed to relatively
nonspecific feelings of physiological arousal.
DARWIN: expressions and emotions came from a common ancestor.
Individual response stereotypy is the tendency of individuals to have different
patterns of emotional reactivity from each other and keep the same response
pattern throughout their lives.
PLUTCHIK EMOTIONS:
Joy/sadness
Affection/disgust
Anger/fear
Expectation/surprise
EKMAN EMOTIONS:
anger, sadness, happiness, fear, disgust, surprise, contempt, and embarrassment.
The facial feedback hypothesis suggests that sensory feedback from our facial
expressions can affect our mood, supporting the James-Lange theory.
The medial forebrain bundlea tract that rises from the midbrain through the
hypothalamuscontains many sites for self-stimulation. Brain self-stimulation refers
to animals performing a task to provide electrical stimulation to their brainalso
works in humans.
KlverBucy syndrome is characterized by reduction of fear and anxiety,
hypersexuality; results from bilateral removal of large portions of temporal lobe.
Fear conditioning is a type of classical conditioning where a previously neutral
stimulus is repeatedly paired with an unpleasant experience, causing the subject to
act fearful in response to the previously neutral stimulus.

SLEEP:
Circadian rhythms are those functions of a living organism that display a rhythm of
about 24 hours.
A free-running animal is maintaining its own cycle without external cues.
A phase shift is the shift in activity in response to a synchronizing stimulus, such as
light.
Entrainment is the process of shifting the rhythm.
The biological clock is in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)located above the
optic chiasm in the hypothalamus.
Circadian rhythms are disrupted in animals with SCN lesions.
Isolated SCN neurons can maintain electrical activity synchronized to the previous
light cycle.
In amphibians and birds, the pineal gland is sensitive to light (through the skull).
In mammals, light information goes from the eye to the SCN via the
retinohypothalamic pathway.
Non-REM sleep (NREM) can be divided into three stages and is characterized by lack
of rapid eye movements.
1 stage: alpha activity; vertex spikes
2 stage: gamma activity, SLEEP SPINDLES (bursts of waves), K COMPLEXES (sharp
negative EEG potential)
3 stage: slow wave sleep, delta activity, large amplitude
Rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM) is characterized by small-amplitude, fast-EEG
waves, no postural tension, and rapid eye movements.
REM: active EEG, awake like (beta), paradoxical
Sleep cycle: period of SWS followed by one of REM (90-110min)
Functions of sleep
1) energy conservation
2) niche adaptation
3) body restoration
4) memory consolidation
Sleep:
FOREBRAIN: displays SWS
BRAINSTEM: activates forebrain into wakefulness
PONTINE SYSTEM: triggers REM
HYPOTHALAMIC SYSTEM: affects other three
Isolated brain, or encphale isol, is made by an incision between the medulla and
the spinal cord. Animals showed signs of sleep and wakefulness, proving that the
networks reside in the brain.
Isolated forebrain, or cerveau isol, is made by an incision in the midbrain. The
electrical activity in the forebrain showed constant SWS but not REM. Thus, the
forebrain alone can generate SWS.
The constant SWS activity in the forebrain is generated by the basal forebrain.
Neurons in this region become active at sleep onset and release GABA.GABA
suppresses activity in the nearby tuberomamillary nucleus.
The reticular formation is able to activate the cortex. Electrical stimulation of this
area will wake up sleeping animals, while lesions of this area produce persistent
sleep.
Large lesions of the pons abolish REM sleep. Neurons of the subcoeruleus

AUDITION:
Outer ear
Pinna
Auditory canal
Middle ear
Eardrum (Tympanic membrane)
Ossicles
Oval window
Inner ear
Cochlea
Sound wave moves the tympanic membraneTympanic membrane moves the
ossiclesOssicles move the membrane at the oval windowMotion at the oval
window moves fluid in the cochleaMovement of fluid in the cochlea causes a
response in sensory neurons
The Cochlea contains:
3 chambers: Vestibular, middle and tympanic canals (scalae)
2 separating membranes: Reissners and basiliar membrane
Organe of corti, between basiliar and tectorial membrane
Sound intensity is coded in two ways:
1.The firing rate
Louder sound induces basiliar membrane to vibrate with more amplitude
Membrane potential of hair cells is more depolarized
Hair cells fires action potentials at higher rate
2.The number of active neurons
Louder sound induce movement of basiliar membrane over larger span
Activates more cells
Louder sound induce sensitivity to larger frequency span
Axons in the auditory nerver project to cochlear nucleus in an organized manner
based on characteristic frequency.
Tonotopy is sometimes not enough: Maps have no neurons < 200 Hz : Intensity is
not unambiguously dissociated from frequency
Phase-locking: consistent firing of cell at the same phase of the sound wave; At low
frequencies : Firing rate = Sound frequency: Works up to 4 KHz, not reliable for
higher freq.
*interaural delay AND phase difference