Archive for January, 2012

The human brain

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

my brains - let me show you them by Liz Henry on flickr

Here is a useful presentation we will use in class.

  1. Label a diagram of the brain.  Annotate the diagram to include functions of the parts.
  2. Explain how animal experiments, lesions and FMRI scanning can be used to identify the brain part involved in specific functions.
  3. Explain sympathetic and parasympathetic control of heart rate, movement of the iris and blood flow to the gut.
  4. Explain the pupil reflex and discuss the concept of brain death and the use of the pupil reflex in testing for this.
  5. Outline how pain is perceived and how endorphins can act as painkillers.

Practice drawing!

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

In preparation for the upcoming exams it is time to review an important skill – drawing, labelling and annotating diagrams.  Check out this presentation from Mr Taylor and practice, practice, practice!

The questions and answers to the last review quiz on Topic 2 can be found on the portal here: \\Server17\stures$\High School\Science\Science Subjects\Biology\IB BIOLOGY.

Neurotransmitters and synapses

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

This is part of Option E4.  Here is an excellent resource from Mr Taylor that we’ll use.

We should aim to understand that some nervous pathways are excitatory and some are inhibitory, and how these interact at synapses.

We should also be able to explain how psychoactive drugs affect the brain and personality, and give examples of excitatory and inhibitory drugs.

We need to explain the effects of THC and cocaine on the brain and discuss the causes of addiction.

We’ll use this awesome resource from the University of Utah as well – Mouse Party!

This video is good review of the nervous system work from Semester 1, plus, towards the end, clear explanations of inhibitory and excitatory messages.


Option E – Neurobiology and behaviour

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Mr Gray Eyes by Tim in sanhazzay on flickr

Here is the syllabus guide for this topic. Option E – syllabus guide

We’ll be using notes and resources from click4biology.  Also these two presentations from Mr Taylor.  E1 and E2.

The first section is all about stimulus and response, so we’ll recap a bit of the nervous system, particularly the stuff on reflex arcs.  We’ll then move on to explain how animal responses can be affected by natural selection.  You need to investigate two examples of this.  You can use the blackcap bird (Sylvia atricapilla) as one, and any other of your choosing.

Moving on to perception of stimuli, we’ll study both the eye and the ear.  You need to be able to label a diagram like this one: Eye diagram We’ll then do a dissection so you can identify the parts properly.

You will also have to:

  • annotate a diagram of the retina to show cell types and direction of light movement
  • compare rods and cones
  • explain the processing of visual stimuli (edge enhancement and contralateral processing)

We’ll then move on to the ear, and you will need to be able to label a diagram and explain how sound is perceived.