The human brain and pain

fMRI by nats on flickr

fMRI by nats on flickr

This next section, E5, is all about the human brain, brain function, fMRI, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, pupil reflex, brain death, and the perception of pain.  Phew!  That’s a lot of concepts. 

We’ll again use click4biology as a good resource, and this presentation from Mr Taylor in Bandung to help us get through it all.  Here are the key questions we need to answer:

  • What are the major parts of the human brain, and what are their functions?
  • How do animal experiments, lesions and fMRI scanning used in identifying which part of the brain is involved with specific functions?
  • How are heart rate, movements of the iris, and blood flow to the gut controlled by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems?
  • What is the pupil reflex and how is it used to determine brain death?
  • How is pain perceived and how to endorphins help to alleviate it?

This is also a very useful set of notes, courtesy of Mr Hobbins. Topic E5 The Brain

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