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40 Cards in this Set

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Explain the mechanisms of habituation
decreased number of quanta released
decreased strength of synaptic connection
decreased number of axonal branches (long-term habituation)
Explain the mechanism of sensitization
interneuron releases serotonin (or other neuromodulator) onto sensory neuron, sensory neuron becomes more excitable through g-protein coupled action, leads to more glutamate released
What is the role of CA1 pyramidal neurons in long-term potentiation? (mechanisms)
NMDA channels (that open with high frequency train) allow Ca to enter cell, which causes persistent enhancement of synaptic transmission;
structural changes to presynaptic neuron make transmission more efficient
What is the relationship between LTP and spatial learning?
both are mediated by NMDA-dep. processes
What are the mechanisms by which CA1 neuron activity is increased with conditioning?
reduction in hyperpolarizing Ca current makes neurons more excitable;
increased number of synaptic boutons on CA1 dendrites
What is declarative memory?
explicit memory of one's own experiences, object recognition
What is procedural memory?
Skilled movements, priming, habituation, simple associative learning
Explain the pathway of hippocampal based memory from neocortex and back
preprocessed info in neocortex - entorhinal/parahippocampal cortices - hippocampus (dentate gryus - CA3 - CA1) - subiculum (part of cortex) - entorhinal/parahippocampal cortex - neocortex
What is the role of the medial septum in hippocampal memory?
releases ACh and GABA on hippocampus
triggers theta rhythm in hippocampus (involved in exploration and plasticity)
What are the two projections sites of the subiculum?
entorhinal/parahippocampal cortices (basis of permanent memory consolidation)
forebrain structures via fimbria/fornix
What key about memory do we learn from HM?
Different types of memory uses different mechanisms, different anatomy
hippocampus important for short-term memory, unnecessary for mirror drawing and incomplete figure tasks
What key about memory do we learn from RB?
loss of CA1 neurons leads to deficits that are very similar to HM's, who lost hippocampi and amygdalas
What does the left hippocampus specialize in? Right hippocampus?
Left hippocampus: verbal memory
Right hippocampus: visual memory
Why are the CA1 neurons so important for spatial learning tasks?
CA1 neurons demonstrate "spatial fields" that fire when the organisms is at a specific location in space
What do the London taxi drivers show?
posterior hippocampus grows with more taxi driving (spatial learning)
Describe the hippocampal system anatomy (of the limbic system)
hippocampus connects to mammillary bodies and anterior thalamus via fornix; anterior thalamus connects to cingulate/parahippocampal cortex; mamillary bodies connect to anterior thalamus and septal area --> brainstem and spinal cord
Describe the amygdaloid system anatomy (of the limbic system)
Amygdala connects to dorsomedial thalamus and septal area/hypothalamus via stria terminalis --> brain stem and spinal cord; dorsomedial thalamus projects up to prefrontal cortex and anterior temporal cortex; amygdala also projects to other nuclei associated with autonomic activity
What does the septum do?
"meeting place of the limbic system"
connects preoptic area and hypothalamus, source of ACh and GABA, triggers theta rhythm in hippocampus
What are the two major groups within the amygdala, and what projects to them?
Cortical medial group: olfactory bulbs, septal region, hypothalamus
Basolateral group: visceral and taste afferents, sensory inputs from insular and temporal cortex
What is a possible mechanism for how sensation and memory acquire emotional tone?
Basolateral group of the amygdala projects back onto higher order sensory cortices
What structures make up the basis of fear conditioning?
Amygdala for emotional response
Hippocampus for declarative information
What is the result of unilateral (or bilateral) amygdalar lesion?
deficit in fear conditioning
Explain the subset of older individuals that performs as well or better than younger subjects in cognitive tasks
"survival of the fittest" generates long-living, healthy-brain group of old subjects
What are the 3 key observations in standard mental decline during aging
slower reaction times
loss of attention and working memory (decreased ability to gate irrelevant info)
poor learning and memory ability
Describe the findings of restricted-calorie diets in mice
extended lifetimes, presumably due to decreased buildup of free radicals, leading to less mitochondrial damage
What is the effect of exercise on the hippocampus?
exercise boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), increases cognitive function
Explain the physiology of deficits seen in aging neurons (2 major things)
decreased response ACh, leading to less synaptic input
"calcium toxicity" after prolonged stimulation
Explain the beta-amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease
APP proteins (help neuron survive and grow) cut inappropriately - creates beta-amyloid fibrils - fibrils aggregate into plaques - destabilizes Ca homeostasis and neurons become vulnerable to glutamate-mediated toxicity
What are the causes of Alzheimer's disease?
Majority of cases due to environmental causes; genetic causes can lead to Alzheimer's as early as 30-40 y/o
What are some key neurophysical changes that occur in Alzheimer's?
impairment of memory
learning deficits
flat affect
What are some possible treatments for Alzheimer's?
Increased education
anti-beta-amyloid vaccination
drugs to prevent APP cleavage
cholinesterase inhibitors - current treatment
What are the 3 primary areas of the prefrontal cortex?
lateral prefrontal cortex
ventromedial prefrontal cortex
anterior cingulate
What is the general function of the prefrontal cortex? (2 things)
temporal organization of behavior
cognitive controller of movement
What is working memory?
Short term memory is actively engaged in influencing cognitive processes; integration of perception and stored knowledge
What is the key to working memory tasks like the delayed response task or the wisconsin card sorting task?
subject must remember piece of info for an amount of time with no association cues
2 models for the function of lateral prefrontal cortex
temporary holding site for task-relevant long-term stored representations
visuo-spatial sketchpad (R) - central executive working memory - phonological loop (L)
What part of the prefrontal cortex is associated with temporal tag process and source memory?
lateral prefrontal cortex
What happens when you get damage to the prefrontal lobes (not ventromedial in particular)?
Inability to exclude irrelevant information or ignore present stimuli (utilization and imitative behavior)
What is Damasio's somatic marker hypothesis, and where is the machinery housed?
integration of affective aspects into decision-making
ventromedial prefrontal cortex
What is the role of the anterior cingulate cortex?
supervisory attentional system/executive control system