Behavioral Neuroscience. An Introduction by Carl W. Cotman and James L McGaugh (Auth.)

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By Carl W. Cotman and James L McGaugh (Auth.)

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The changes in energy, or stimuli, that produce them affect the skin and tissues immediately underneath. Certain sensations, however, arise more deeply: deep pain, pressure, vibration, sense of position or movement of body parts, judgments of weight, shape and form of objects. Internal sensations, arising from the viscera, are the hardest to put into words and often difficult to locate precisely. They are almost always unpleasant, and seldom can be ignored: fullness of bladder, emptiness (or overfullness) of stomach, distention or stretching of the bowel, abdominal or pelvic cramps, the frighteningly familiar (but fortunately forgettable) feeling of nausea.

We can obtain a preview of several examples of multipolar neurons in Figs. 2-5 and 2-9. Neurons can have many shapes. A neuron is extremely versatile in the way it deploys and uses its parts. Any part can perform most any communicative function if special circumstances make it advantageous to the nervous system. Some neurons, for example, have a long axon with the cell body along its course (Fig. 2-5, inset) or slightly offset to one side (Fig. 2-12). These neurons are designed to bring sensory information to the CNS, and their elongated bipolar structure ideally serves this purpose.

In its roof, the superior and inferior colliculi (small hills) analyze sights and sounds and elaborate reflexes and responses to them. In its floor, motor neurons control eye movements and constrict the pupils. Deeper still, the reticular formation that forms its core exerts excitatory and inhibitory effects upon the forebrain and the hindbrain—the pons, medulla oblongata and cerebellum. The midbrain and hindbrain are often referred to collectively as the brain stem. F. The Dissected Brain—The Inside View We need to probe to discover the other major areas of the brain and the interrelationships between parts.

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