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Brain Structures & Functions.

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Brain Structures & Functions.

Describe the primary functions of the following structures and give an example of behavioral changes that may occur if the structure is damaged: corpus callosum, Wernicke’s area, Broca’s area, hippocampus, and the cerebellum. (Ch. 2.8-2.9)

The Corpus callosum is an enormous band of axons that connect the right and the left hemispheres of the human brain. It acts like a bridge enabling the brain’s two hemispheres to communicate with each other and thus function as an integrated whole. The motor cortex in the right hemisphere of the brain controls the movement of the left side of the body, and the sensory cortex in the left hemisphere registers pain if our right hand gets burned. The crisscrossed interconnection is known as contralateral, which explains why most people who suffer from stroke experience paralysis in the opposite of the body from where the stroke occurred in their brain (Hudson & Whisenhunt, 2019, 2.10).

Wernicke’s area is a part of the left hemisphere of the temporal lobe involved in understanding language and is associated with receptive language deficits. Patients with brain damage in the Wernicke’s area experience difficulties understanding what is said to them. These individuals can typically respond in a lengthy sentence that most often does not make sense (Hudson & Whisenhunt, 2019, 2.8).

Broca’s area is a region within the frontal lobe that initiates the movement required to produce speech. In this area, we have the interplay of the motor and sensory cortices that keep an individual from mispronouncing words. Individuals whose Broca’s area is injured have challenges making words come out correctly or speaking. These individuals may have their comprehension intact but experience challenges expressing themselves (Hudson & Whisenhunt, 2019, 2.8).

The hippocampus is a part of the human brain involved in the creation and consolidation of information to make new memories. The part appears curved when viewed in cross-section, and it can be thought of as a top-notch administrative assistant in a very busy office. The hippocampus is responsible for creating and logically organizing human memories and retrieving these memories whenever necessary. It plays a role in memory processes, and people whose hippocampus is damaged will only hold informant for a limited time and are unable to make enduring memories. Individuals can experience memory loss as a result of impairment of the hippocampus due to drug use (Hudson & Whisenhunt, 2019, 2.8).

The cerebellum is one part of the human brain located in the hindbrain behind the pons and medulla. The cerebellum works to control and process perceptions and motor movements.  Many neural pathways link the cerebellum with the spinal cord and the cerebral motor cortex. The cerebrum smoothly integrates these pathways receiving feedback about the body position and using it to direct our movements. The cerebellum controls coordination, balance, and fine touch movements, and thus, its damage is evident in movement-related difficulties as the brain part is involved in modifying motor movement. Alcohol is among the most noticeable substances that affect the cerebellum as it manifests itself in movement-related difficulties. A sobriety test is a quick and reliable way of assessing whether the cerebellum is functioning normally or is impaired (Hudson & Whisenhunt, 2019, 2.8).

References

Hudson, D. L., & Whisenhunt, B. L. (2019). Revel for Psychology (1st Edition ed.). Pearson Learning Solutions.

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