Subject:
Psychology
Material Type:
Module
Provider:
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
Tags:
Brain, Brain Function, Brain Structure, Endocrine System, Nervous System, Neuron, Neurotransmitter, oss0152
License:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Text/HTML

Education Standards (1)

The Brain and Nervous System - Course Map and Recommended Resources

Overview

How to Use this Guide

This guide provides information and resources on teaching human development across the life span in an Introduction to Psychology course. All resources are Open Access and can be downloaded or added to a Course Management System (LMS) via the hyperlinks.

Introduction

This section introduces students to biological mechanisms that underlie behavior.  Specifically, students will be introduced to the structures and functions of the nervous system, and how the nervous system interacts with the endocrine system.

  • Biology of Behavior is a core topic in the APA’s recommendations for Strengthening General Psychology, and is also a core topic in the Ohio TAG learning objectives. This topic is required for all Introduction to Psychology courses in Ohio as part of Pillar 1: Biological. Recall that the TAG requirements call for a second topic to be included from this pillar, which can be either Sensation or Consciousness or, time permitting in your course, both.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the divisions of the nervous system
    1. Describe the central nervous system
    2. Describe the peripheral nervous system
    3. Describe autonomic nervous system and somatic nervous system
    4. Distinguish between the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system
  2. Understand the anatomy of a neuron
  3. Explain how neurons communicate
    1. Distinguish between action potential and resting potential  
    2. Define neurotransmitters
  4. Identify methods to study brain structure and function
  5. Understand brain plasticity
  6. Identify the major structures of the brain and their functions
    1. Describe the hindbrain
    2. Describe the midbrain
    3. Describe the forebrain
    4. Describe the limbic system
    5. Distinguish between Broca’s Area and Wernicke’s Area
    6. Distinguish between the 4 lobes: frontal, occipital, parietal, temporal
    7. Distinguish between the right and left hemispheres
    8. Distinguish between somatosensory cortex and motor cortex
  7. Understand the structure of the endocrine system, and how hormones affect behavior.

Cross Cutting Themes

Ethics

  1. Discuss what has been learned about the brain from treatment needs of individuals whose corpus callosum was severed due to severe epilepsy.
  2. Discuss what a researcher might do if, in the course of conducting brain scans for a research project, they identify possible medical issues, such as signs of multiple sclerosis.

Application

  1. Discuss how some of the gender differences in brain structure might impact brain function (cognition, affect, behavior) in each gender .
  2. Discuss the ways in which the brain of a person diagnosed with schizophrenia is different than the brain of a person without schizophrenia.
  3. Discuss what has been learned about the brain from treatment needs of individuals whose corpus callosum was severed due to severe epilepsy.
  4. Discuss how our knowledge of brain plasticity can help explain rehabilitation following a stroke or other brain injury.

Variations in Human Functioning

  1. Discuss the ways in which the brain of a person diagnosed with schizophrenia is different than the brain of a person without schizophrenia.
  2. Discuss what has been learned about the brain from treatment needs of individuals whose corpus callosum was severed due to severe epilepsy.
  3. Discuss how our knowledge of brain plasticity can help explain rehabilitation following a stroke or other brain injury.

Cultural and Social Diversity

  1. Discuss some of the gender differences/similarities in brain structure/function.
  2. Discuss the ways in which the brain of a person diagnosed with schizophrenia is different than the brain of a person without schizophrenia.
  3. Discuss what has been learned about the brain from treatment needs of individuals whose corpus callosum was severed due to severe epilepsy.
  4. Discuss how our knowledge of brain plasticity can help explain rehabilitation following a stroke or other brain injury.

Recommended Resources

Cells of the Nervous System

This is the section of the OpenStax textbook that describes the anatomy of neurons, neural communication, and neurotransmitters.

Parts of the Nervous System

This is the section of the OpenStax textbook that introduces the parts of the nervous system and explains the branches of the peripheral nervous system.

The Brain and Spinal Cord

This is the section of the OpenStax textbook that describes the structures/ functions of brain areas, and provides a limited overview of brain imaging techniques.

The Endocrine System

This is the section of the OpenStax textbook that explains the structures/ functions of the endocrine system.

The Brain

This is the module of the NOBA website that provides an introductory overview of the brain, including some basic neuroanatomy, and brief descriptions of the neuroscience methods used to study it.

Hormones and Behavior

This is the module of the NOBA website that introduces students to the topic of hormones and behavior.

The Nervous System

This is the module of the NOBA website that explains the components of the nervous system and methods used to study the nervous system. It also includes three videos that introduce students to basic brain anatomy and neuronal function.  

Brains, Bodies & Behavior

This is the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing open text chapter on “Brains, Bodies, and Behavior”.  

Supplemental Resources

This is Your Brain (Video)

This is a lecture provided by Open Yale courses, given by Dr. Paul Bloom.  This lecture introduces students to two broad theories of how the mind relates to the body: Dualism and Materialism.  This lecture reviews arguments explaining why materialism has become the predominant theory of mind in psychology. This discussion is followed by a basic overview of the neurophysiology of the brain.  A link to the Powerpoint slides used during the lecture is also available.

The Chemical Mind (Video)

This is a Crash Course video on neurons, neurotransmitters, and hormones.   

Meet Your Master: Getting to Know Your Brain (Video)

This is a Crash Couse video on the brain.

Brain Components (Video)

This is a short MedLine Plus video that shows the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain stem.

Neuroscience: Personality Pedagogy

Personality Pedagogy provides a list of hyperlinked articles, activities, and multimedia.

The Human Brain: Annenberg Learner

Annenberg Learner provides an interactive brain activity in which students explore the human brain, and learn about its main areas and their functions in regulating everyday life.

Right Brain vs. Left Brain (Video)

Scientific American Frontiers: Left Brain vs Right Brain is a video about a man who underwent surgery to sever his corpus callosum and the unique paradigms that researchers used to assess his abilities.  Provides students with a real-life look at not only left vs right brain abilities in action, but experimental design as well.

Hidden Motives (Video)

Scientific American Frontiers: Hidden Motives is a video that shows an implicit association test.   

How Does fMRI Brain Scanning Work and The Limits of fMRI Brain Scanning (Videos)

These two videos show how fMRI brain scanning works and what the limitations of fMRI are.

The Amygdala and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (Video)

In this short video, Daniel Pine explains that the amygdala is involved in learning to respond to a fearful experience fear-learning. There is evidence that the same response can lead to PTSD.

How Your Brain Tells You Where You Are (Video)

This TED talk explains the neural mechanisms that map the space around us, and how they link to memory and imagination.

The Brain as Explained by John Cleese (Video)

This video featuring John Cleese is a fun way to introduce neuroanatomy.

Class Activities

Top Ten Myths About the Brain

Consider a pre-test at the beginning of this unit to assess students' starting points and inform your approach on some of the most common myths about the brain.

The Soccer Mom: A Case Study on the Nervous System

The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science – a library of engaging case studies to introduce and reinforce many concepts in Psychology. This case study tells the story of a patient experiencing MS. 

A Botched Botox Party in the Hamptons

This case study provides more information about how Botox can cause unintended consequences. This is also relevant to ethics and whether patients who receive it are always fully informed of potential side effects.

Teaching Neuroscience

Many ideas and resources are available in this free ebook from STP -M. Birkett (Ed.). Teaching Neuroscience: Practical activities for an engaged classroom. Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology web site:

Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion

The Centers for Disease Control has extensive resources relevant to concussions and the impact on the brain.

Basic Genetics

This site has extensive resources and videos that instructors could show in class, post online, or assign out-of-class to help students with some of the basics on behavioral genetics (there are also many helpful resources for other neuroscience topics)