Special Sub-Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience 101
|In the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) there are more neurons than there are glial cells.|
False. In our CNS there is up to as many as fifty times more glia than there are neurons. Glial cells are involved in metabolic functions and the repair and protection of neurons. There are several different types of glia in the CNS, such as astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia.
|What is the resting potential of a neuron?|
-70 mV. The resting potential of a neuron is the voltage of the cell while it is not active. The voltage is -70 mV due to an influx of negatively charged ions into the cell that causes it to polarize, and to the blockage of positively charged ions which prevents any depolarization of the cell.
|The birth and development of new neural tissue is the basis of which neurological concept?|
Neurogenesis. In the past, many scientists denied the idea that the adult human brain was capable of forming new neurons throughout life. However, studies, such as Van Prang, et al., have shown clear evidence of adult neurogenesis in mammalian species, particularly in the hippocampus and olfactory bulb of the brain.
|Which lobe of the brain is primarily responsible for our ability to see?|
Occipital lobe. The occipital lobe is located at the back of the brain, below the parietal lobe and to the side of the temporal lobe. The occiptal lobe has many different functions other than being responsible for our sight, such as our perception of color and motion. It is seperated from the parietal and temporal lobes by the parieto-occipital sulcus and the preoccipital notch.
|What is the name of the neurologist that mapped the brain into 52 different areas according to their cytoarchitectonic (histological) characteristics?|
Korbinian Brodmann. In 1909, Korbinion Brodmann constructed this detailed map of the human brain by individually identifying neurons with a technique called Nissl staining. This technique shows the location of the cell body of a neuron.
|The brain's diencephalon is composed of the thalamus and the hypothalamus.|
True. The diencephalon is situated within the center of the brain, just above the brainstem. It acts a relay system between sensory inputs and other areas of the brain, as an interactive site for the CNS and endocrine system. The diencephalon also works together with the limbic system.
|A cerebral vascular accident is also known as what?|
Stroke. A cerebral vascular accident is the previously known medical term for a stroke. A stroke is the loss of brain function due to a disturbance in blood flow to the brain. There are several different causes of strokes, such as an embolism due to atherosclerosis of an artery, occlusion of a blood vessel, and other determined or undetermined causes.
|What is the basic sampling unit of an fMRI imaging study?|
Voxel. A voxel is a small rectangular prism that is the basic sampling unit of an fMRI; it is comparable to a pixel in pictures, the difference is it is used for brain imaging studies. An fMRI is a brain imaging technique that measures brain activity by determining the amount of oxygenated blood to deoxygenated blood in a particular brain structure.
|What is the name of the electric charge that propagates down the axon of a neuron and onto other neurons when the cell depolarizes enough to reach its "threshold"?
Action potential. An action potential occurs when the cell depolarizes enough to reach its "threshold". These action potentials occur at the axon hillcock, which is the part of the neuron that connects the cell body to the axon. They are able to propagate down the axon without losing its signal through saltatory conduction, which is basically the action potential jumping from one node of ranvier (a break in the myelin in the axon) to the next.
|Which of the following is not considered a part of the limbic system?|
Globus pallidus. The globus pallidus is part of the basal ganglia in the brain. The limbic system is a grouping of several brain structure, such as the amygdala, hippocampus, diencephalon, cingulate gyrus, fornix, parahippocampal gyrus, and several other structures. The limbic system supports many functions, including emotion, behavior, memory, and sense of smell.
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