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surekshya

map in the brain

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am doing an project on the neural map in the brain. i am not sure wot to include in my topic. do i start off writing something about nervous system then move to the brains and the nerves. and by the neural map wot does it relaly mean. does it mean the way all the nerves work . i did a bit of research but wasnt able to find much on the topics. ayone with any knowledge about the topic please help meee....

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There are two ways you could address this question depending on what exactly was asked.

 

The first way to answer this question would be a discussion of the fact that different parts of the brain do different things. You could talk about a map of the brain based on which parts of the brain do what jobs. For instance, the very back of the brain, the occipital lobe, is where input from the eyes is processed. The sense of touch takes place in the parietal lobe…you could then draw a “map” of the brain where you assign a color to a function (say blue for vision) and color the portion of the brain responsible for a function in the corresponding color. Check out Brain Facts from the Society for Neuroscience (the link is below) for good information on the functional specialization of the brain.

 

The second way you could answer this question would be to talk about the map in the brain of the body and space. The map of the body is the best worked out so I would start here. In the portion of the brain that detects touch to the skin (primary somatosensory cortex) there is a very good neural “map” of the body. This is called the homunculus (little man). Basically, very small portions of the brain have been shown to receive sensory information from very specific parts of the body. Here is a link to a few resources that do a fairly good job of explaining this.

 

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/flash/hom.html (this entire site is very useful for basic information on the brain. The main page is at http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/introb.html )

 

Check out Brain Facts from the Society for Neuroscience ( http://web.sfn.org/content/Publications/BrainFacts/index.html ) This book is a good primer on the brain.

 

If you want more advanced information look for a basic textbook like “The Human Brain: An Introduction to its Functional Anatomy” . This is one of the books commonly used in college neuroscience classes and it is very good.

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thax man. did help me a lottt.

had to write an essay about the neural map in the brain their form and function

 

 

one more thing ... how many maps are there in total in th brain? i did find three of 'em retinotopic and auditory space tonotopic and the homunculus. do each sensory organs have a different map.

thax again .. the webpage and info were of great help

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As far as I know each sensory system has its own map of one sort or another (except smell and taste, there is no real map for these senses).

 

But things get much more interesting in areas of the where these maps begin to interact. A lot of work has been done on a structure called the Tectum (also known as the corpora quadrigemina in some older text books). In the tectum maps of visual and auditory space are directly on top of one another and are synchronized. That is point A in visual space is represented by a small patch of tectal space that also represents point A in auditory space. Most of this work has been done in barn owls because of their very strong abilities to localize sounds in visual space (I think they call this cross-modal processing).

 

I don’t know if you are a university student, but if you are or are near a university you should check out a copy of Principles of Neural Science by E. Kandel and J. Schwartz for more of the technical info on this kind of stuff.

 

If you are really interested in neuroscience as a subject for college or graduate school I highly recommend you read “The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat” By O. Sacks and “Time Love Memory” by J. Weiner. Both of these were instrumental in convincing me to study neuroscience. They are also great reads for anyone interested in how the brain works.

 

I hope you get a good grade on your paper

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