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The focus of this module is to understand the nervous system and the mechanisms that bring about intelligent behaviour in humans and animals. This is important if we are to create an artificial system in robots that mimics the neurobiological system in living things.
The Human Nervous System:
The Central Nervous System includes the Brain and the Spinal Cord.
The Peripheral Nervous System includes the Cranial Nerves and the Spinal Nerves.
The Human Brain:
Frontal Lobe
Parietal Lobe
Occipital Lobe
Temporal Lobe
The Brain’s Hidden Elements:
The Brain Stem: Regulation of cardiac and respiratory function, consciousness and the sleep cycle.
The Thalamus: Relays motor and sensory signals to the cerebral cortex.
The Hypothalamus: Keeps the body in homeostasis condition.
The Basal Ganglia: Voluntary motor movement, procedural learning, habit learning, eye movements, cognition and emotion.
The Hippocampus: Learning and Memory.
The Cingulate Cortex: Learning and Memory. Social evaluation and increased level of consciousness.
Nerve Cells: Cells within the nervous system that transmit information to other nerve cells, muscle, or gland cells.
A neuron consists of a cell body, dendrites, and an axon.
The cell body contains the nucleus and cytoplasm. The axon extends from the cell body and often gives rise to many smaller branches before ending at nerve terminals.
Dendrites extend from the neuron cell body and receive messages from other neurons. Synapses are the contact points where one neuron communicates with another. The dendrites are covered with synapses formed by the ends of axons from other neurons.
There are Unipolar, Bipolar, Pseudo-Unipolar and Multipolar Neurons.