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Brain Function and Transmission of Information

Jay has been afraid of dogs since he was bitten as a child. When he sees a dog, it sets off an intense reaction that involves both the nervous and endocrine systems. This is called the "fight or flight" reaction because it prepares the person to fight off the danger or to run away. Using information from textbook modules 4, 5, and 6, fill in the names of the structures involved in this sequence.

Jay sees a dog and the visual signal is transmitted by neurons using (a)____ ___ signals inside the neurons and using chemicals called (b)__neurotransmitters__ between neurons. The signal arrives at and is processed in the (c)________ lobe of the brain's cerebral cortex. A signal is also sent to a bean-sized central brain structure known as the (d)_____________ which responds to strong emotions. Another brain structure, the hypothalamus, sends a signal to an endocrine gland called the (e)__________ that releases a hormone that in turn stimulates other endocrine glands. At the same time, the hypothalamus activates a branch of the peripheral nervous system known as the (f)___________ that increases heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. Jay reacts by running away. To accomplish this, a signal is sent from the (g)________ lobe of the cerebral cortex through the (h)_______ branch of the peripheral nervous system to Jay's leg muscles. Once Jay is safely away from the dog, his brain signals all systems to return to normal through the (i)_______ branch of the peripheral nervous system. Jay thinks about how lucky he was and plans what he will do next using the (j) _______ lobe of his cerebral cortex.

Solution Preview

According to Cardoso, "Two types of phenomena are involved in processing the nerve impulse: electrical and chemical. Electrical events propagate a signal within a neuron, and chemical processes transmit the signal from one neuron to another or to a muscle cell. The chemical process of interaction between neurons and between neurons and effector cells occur at the end of the axon, in a structure called synapse. Touching very close against the dendrite of another cell (but without material continuity between both cells), the axon releases chemical substances called neurotransmitters, which attach themselves to chemical receptors in the membrane of the following neuron and promote excitatory or inhibitory changes in its membrane." Therefore, when a person sees an image it is transmitted by neurons using electrochemical impulse signals.
In addition, an article by About.com ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the functions of the brain, neurons and how information is transmitted for an individual to react to external stimuli. The text contains 452 words and references.