PSYCH 549 Physiological Psychology

PSYCH 549 Physiological Psychology

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PSYCH 549 Physiological Psychology

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PSYCH 549 Physiological Psychology

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Course Code: PSYCH549
University: University Of Washington is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: United States


Homework 2: Brain Anatomy and Function
Assignment: Below are 2 lists. One is a list of brain structures, the other a list of common activities. Choose 3 activities, and for each activity, choose 3 brain structures (or systems) for a total of 9 structures. and explain how they might be involved in that activity. Be sure to justify your responses with information from class or from the text. This is a paper; so write it in essay format. Your paper should be 2-3 pages, double-spaced.

Watching a horror movie

Giving a speech

Asking a question in class

Being caught speeding

Driving a car

Talking on the phone

Preparing your lunch


Reading your textbook

Going to a concert

Playing your favorite sport

Writing an essay

Brain structures:


Occipital lobe

Basal forebrain

Parasympathtic NS

Broca’s area

Parietal lobe


Raphe System

Corpus callosum

Reticular Formation

Frontal lobe

Sympathetic nervous system


Temporal lobe




Wernicke’s area


Brain structures
The brain is the major organ that panels the major functions of the human body. It is responsible for controlling the memory, thoughts, movement of the legs and arms, speech, and function of other organs present within the human body. The central nervous system (CNS) forms an essential component of the nervous system and comprises of the brain and spinal cord (Messé, Arnaud et al.). The essay will link three brain activities with specific structures.
Reading your textbook- The reading brain can be compared to the real-time collective effort of a masterpiece orchestra, with different parts of the brain employed together, like segments of instruments, to exploit the aptitude to decipher the written script placed in front of the person. The three main brain structures that are involved in reading a textbook are the temporal lobe, the frontal lobe, and the parietal lobe. The temporal lobe has the capability of creating a phonological awareness in the person reading the book and also assists in decoding or discriminating sounds (Dimond). The frontal lobe has the role of handling production of speech, grammatical usage, reading fluency and comprehension. This facilitates the understanding complex and simple grammar of the book language. The supramarginal and angular gyrus present in the parietal lobe act as “reading integrators” and function in the form of a conductor, connecting the different regions of the brain, with the aim of executing the accomplishment of reading.
Watching a horror movie- The three primary areas of the brain that are involved in watching a horror movie are the amygdala, hypothalamus, and the thalamus. The role of the amygdala in fear is more central. It is accountable for sensing and responding to intimidations that originate during a horror movie watch and contribute to development of feelings of fear. The amygdala activities that are driven by detection of threat modify the information processing in varied areas of the brain (Maren et al.). There lies a distinguishable neural circuitry in relation to defensive retorts to fear conditioning, which is related to predators, painful stimuli, and dominant conspecifics, all of which are governed by the hypothalamus. Upon receiving sensory stimuli from the amygdala, the thalamus sends the signals to different regions of the brain that lead to adrenaline and stress hormone (cortisol) release, which in turn activate the reaction to the movie.
Giving a speech- The three prime areas that oversee the process of speech are the Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area and the angular gyrus. Broca’s area present in the left hemisphere, helps in speech production and enunciation. It governs the articulation of ideas and use of accurate words in spoken language. The Wernicke’s area present in the posterior superior temporal lobe is connected to the Broca’s area through a neural pathway and helps in processing and comprehension of the spoken language (Penfield, Wilder and Lamar Roberts). The angular gyrus relates numerous auditory, sensory, and visual language-related information.
To conclude, the brain obtains information via five senses namely, smell, taste, touch, sight, and hearing. The messages are assembled in a method that helps human beings to carry out different activities, and store relevant information in the memory.
Dimond, Stuart J. Neuropsychology: A textbook of systems and psychological functions of the human brain. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2013.
Maren, Stephen, K. Luan Phan, and Israel Liberzon. “The contextual brain: implications for fear conditioning, extinction and psychopathology.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 14.6 (2013): 417.
Messé, Arnaud, et al. “Relating structure and function in the human brain: relative contributions of anatomy, stationary dynamics, and non-stationarities.” PLoS computational biology 10.3 (2014): e1003530.
Penfield, Wilder, and Lamar Roberts. Speech and brain mechanisms. Vol. 62. Princeton University Press, 2014.

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