Brain Atlas - Introduction The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and the spinal cord, immersed in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Weighing about 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms), the brain consists of three main structures: the cerebrum, the cerebellum and the brainstem. Cerebrum - divided into two hemispheres (left and right), each consists of four lobes (frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal). – closely packed neuron cell bodies form the grey matter of the brain. Cerebellum – responsible for psychomotor function, the cerebellum co-ordinates sensory input from the inner ear and the muscles to provide accurate control of position and movement. Brainstem – found at the base of the brain, it forms the link between the cerebral cortex, white matter and the spinal cord. Other important areas in the brain include the basal ganglia, thalamus, hypothalamus, ventricles, limbic system, and the reticular activating system. Basal Ganglia Thalamus and Hypothalamus Ventricles Limbic System Reticular Activating System Glia
Functional magnetic resonance imaging Researcher checking fMRI images Functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI (fMRI) is a functional neuroimaging procedure using MRI technology that measures brain activity by detecting associated changes in blood flow. This technique relies on the fact that cerebral blood flow and neuronal activation are coupled. When an area of the brain is in use, blood flow to that region also increases. The primary form of fMRI uses the Blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) contrast, discovered by Seiji Ogawa. The procedure is similar to MRI but uses the change in magnetization between oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood as its basic measure. FMRI is used both in the research world, and to a lesser extent, in the clinical world. Overview The fMRI concept builds on the earlier MRI scanning technology and the discovery of properties of oxygen-rich blood. History Three studies in 1992 were the first to explore using the BOLD contrast in humans. Physiology
Nervous system The nervous system is the part of an animal's body that coordinates its voluntary and involuntary actions and transmits signals between different parts of its body. Nervous tissue first arose in wormlike organisms about 550 to 600 million years ago. In most animal species it consists of two main parts, the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS contains the brain and spinal cord. The PNS consists mainly of nerves, which are enclosed bundles of the long fibers or axons, that connect the CNS to every other part of the body. The central nervous system functions to send signals from one cell to others, or from one part of the body to others and to receive feedback. Neuroscience is the field of science that focuses on the study of the nervous system. Structure All animals more advanced than sponges have nervous systems. Cells The nervous system contains two main categories or types of cells: neurons and glial cells. Neurons Glial cells Anatomy in vertebrates
Know Your Neurons: How to Classify Different Types of Neurons in the Brain’s Forest | Brainwaves Previously, on Know Your Neurons:Chapter 1: The Discovery and Naming of the Neuron Chapter 2: How to Classify Different Types of Neurons, or The Dendrology of the Neuron Forest Scientists have organized the cells that make up the nervous system into two broad groups: neurons, which are the primary signaling cells, and glia, which support neurons in various ways. The human brain contains around 100 billion neurons and, by most estimates, somewhere between 10 to 50 times as many glial cells. All these cells are packed into a three-pound organ about the size of both your fists stuck together. Different Types of Neurons (click to enlarge). A model neuron. Before exploring the brain’s cellular diversity, let’s look at a model neuron. Neurons classified by structure. Scientists have classified neurons into four main groups based on differences in shape. Neurons classified by function. Researchers also categorize neurons by function. Do these basic classes account for all types of neurons?
Nanowire A nanowire is a nanostructure, with the diameter of the order of a nanometer (10−9 meters). It can also be defined as the ratio of the length to width being greater than 20. Alternatively, nanowires can be defined as structures that have a thickness or diameter constrained to tens of nanometers or less and an unconstrained length. At these scales, quantum mechanical effects are important — which coined the term "quantum wires". The nanowires could be used, in the near future, to link tiny components into extremely small circuits. Overview Typical nanowires exhibit aspect ratios (length-to-width ratio) of 1000 or more. Peculiar features of this quantum confinement exhibited by certain nanowires manifest themselves in discrete values of the electrical conductance. Examples of nanowires include inorganic molecular nanowires (Mo6S9-xIx, Li2Mo6Se6), which can have a diameter of 0.9 nm and be hundreds of micrometers long. Synthesis of nanowires Suspension VLS Growth
UCSB scientists discover how the brain encodes memories at a cellular level (Santa Barbara, Calif.) –– Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have made a major discovery in how the brain encodes memories. The finding, published in the December 24 issue of the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to aid memory. The team of scientists is the first to uncover a central process in encoding memories that occurs at the level of the synapse, where neurons connect with each other. "When we learn new things, when we store memories, there are a number of things that have to happen," said senior author Kenneth S. "One of the most important processes is that the synapses –– which cement those memories into place –– have to be strengthened," said Kosik. This is a neuron. (Photo Credit: Sourav Banerjee) Part of strengthening a synapse involves making new proteins. The production of new proteins can only occur when the RNA that will make the required proteins is turned on. When the signal comes in, the wrapping protein degrades or gets fragmented.
Diffusion MRI Diffusion MRI (or dMRI) is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method which came into existence in the mid-1980s. It allows the mapping of the diffusion process of molecules, mainly water, in biological tissues, in vivo and non-invasively. Molecular diffusion in tissues is not free, but reflects interactions with many obstacles, such as macromolecules, fibers, membranes, etc. Water molecule diffusion patterns can therefore reveal microscopic details about tissue architecture, either normal or in a diseased state. The first diffusion MRI images of the normal and diseased brain were made public in 1985. Since then, diffusion MRI, also referred to as diffusion tensor imaging or DTI (see section below) has been extraordinarily successful. In diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), the intensity of each image element (voxel) reflects the best estimate of the rate of water diffusion at that location. Diffusion Given the concentration and flux where D is the diffusion coefficient.
Neuroscience Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. Traditionally, neuroscience has been seen as a branch of biology. However, it is currently an interdisciplinary science that collaborates with other fields such as chemistry, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics, medicine and allied disciplines, philosophy, physics, and psychology. It also exerts influence on other fields, such as neuroeducation and neurolaw. The term neurobiology is usually used interchangeably with the term neuroscience, although the former refers specifically to the biology of the nervous system, whereas the latter refers to the entire science of the nervous system. Because of the increasing number of scientists who study the nervous system, several prominent neuroscience organizations have been formed to provide a forum to all neuroscientists and educators. History The study of the nervous system dates back to ancient Egypt. Modern neuroscience Human nervous system
Making Sense of the World, Several Senses at a Time Our five senses–sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell–seem to operate independently, as five distinct modes of perceiving the world. In reality, however, they collaborate closely to enable the mind to better understand its surroundings. We can become aware of this collaboration under special circumstances. In some cases, a sense may covertly influence the one we think is dominant. When visual information clashes with that from sound, sensory crosstalk can cause what we see to alter what we hear. Our senses must also regularly meet and greet in the brain to provide accurate impressions of the world. Seeing What You Hear We can usually differentiate the sights we see and the sounds we hear. Beep Baseball Blind baseball seems almost an oxymoron. Calling What You See Bats and whales, among other animals, emit sounds into their surroundings—not to communicate with other bats and whales—but to “see” what is around them. Do You Have Synesthesia?
Landscape Diversified and partly man-shaped landscape in northern Mozambique. As it might be the case for this landscape, some have a visual appeal (being beautiful or picturesque). Landscape comprises the visible features of an area of land, including the physical elements of landforms such as (ice-capped) mountains, hills, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, ponds and the sea, living elements of land cover including indigenous vegetation, human elements including different forms of land use, buildings and structures, and transitory elements such as lighting and weather conditions. Combining both their physical origins and the cultural overlay of human presence, often created over millennia, landscapes reflect the living synthesis of people and place vital to local and national identity. Landscape may be further reviewed under the following specific categories: landscape art, cultural landscape, landscape ecology, landscape planning, landscape assessment and landscape design. Etymology
The Learning Brain Gets Bigger--Then Smaller With age and enough experience, we all become connoisseurs of a sort. After years of hearing a favorite song, you might notice a subtle effect that’s lost on greener ears. Perhaps you’re a keen judge of character after a long stint working in sales. Or maybe you’re one of the supremely practiced few who tastes his money’s worth in a wine. Whatever your hard-learned skill is, your ability to hear, see, feel, or taste with more nuance than a less practiced friend is written in your brain. One classical line of work has tackled these questions by mapping out changes in brain organization following intense and prolonged sensory experience. But don’t adopt that slogan quite yet. If you were to look at the side of someone’s brain, focusing on the thin sliver of auditory cortex, it would seem fairly uniform, with only a few blood vessels to provide some bearing. And yet, some aspects of this theory invited skepticism. So what does change? Still, there’s a big question lurking here.
Electroencephalography Simultaneous video and EEG recording of two guitarists improvising. Electroencephalography (EEG) is the recording of electrical activity along the scalp. EEG measures voltage fluctuations resulting from ionic current flows within the neurons of the brain. In clinical contexts, EEG refers to the recording of the brain's spontaneous electrical activity over a short period of time, usually 20–40 minutes, as recorded from multiple electrodes placed on the scalp. Diagnostic applications generally focus on the spectral content of EEG, that is, the type of neural oscillations that can be observed in EEG signals. EEG is most often used to diagnose epilepsy, which causes obvious abnormalities in EEG readings. It is also used to diagnose sleep disorders, coma, encephalopathies, and brain death. History Hans Berger In 1934, Fisher and Lowenback first demonstrated epileptiform spikes. In 1947, The American EEG Society was founded and the first International EEG congress was held.