Brain Dissection!

I am so proud of y’all! I cannot believe what a GREAT job each of you did with today’s dissection! I couldn’t believe how well it went. Everyone was able to find olfactory bulbs, medulla, the Pons, the thalamus & hypothalamus, hippocampi, & the amygdala! Amazing! We even had a great example of dura matter, pig hair, & a bit of bone. No one threw up — only slightly disappointing, but Mr. Sharp wasn’t there enough to make it likely that he would’ve been vomited on. You know what I always say, why waste a good vomit? Vomit on someone. And we I got pranked by Shinie & Mr. Sharp. A perfect dissection lab.

My only regret is that I didn’t have a camera to photograph it all.

Thanks again.

Week 3 (31 Oct – 4 Nov): Sensation & Perception 1

Sensation & perception is one of the most fascinating topics in psychology, both for the beginning student & for the professional psychologist, because it addresses one of the most fundamental issues of life: how does information from the world get into the brain & then processed to make meaningful information. When you think about it, the brain does not perceive or sense anything. It only receives electro-chemical messages from the sense organs. Everything we experience in the world comes from this process.

  1. Over the next few days, we will cover some very hard concepts:
  2. How sensation becomes meaningful
  3. How sensation is filter to be manageable
  4. How each of the senses work (eye, ear, nose, tongue, skin, & balance) — Yes that is six!

As far as something interesting to blog about, I think that the vestibular sense or balance is it. Most of us believe that the sixth sense is ESP (extra-sensory perception), but it is not. It is our sense of balance. Our balance gives us information about the world just as much as our eyes give us information about shapes, color, & texture; ears, sound; nose, scent; tongue, taste; or skin, temperature, touch, or pain. Without a sense of balance, our lives would be greatly impaired just as they are if we loose any of our other senses.

Think about it. If you could not balance, you could not walk, sit up right, or even lie down. You would constantly feel dizzy and have the sensation of falling. Someone like me that gets motion sickness easily would be constantly nauseated. It is little wonder that people who loose their sense of balance have the highest suicide rate of any group that looses a sense.

That’s right, people (a) can loose their sense of balance & (b) it is so disturbing and difficult to compensate for that these people commit suicide at a much higher rate than those who are blind, deaf, cannot smell, cannot taste, cannot feel pain, cannot feel sensation, or cannot sense temperature. And, some how we are completely unaware of our sense of balance.

Just to whet your appetite, and hopefully, get you to return to this blog, I will blog about a case study of someone who lost her sense of balance & was successfully treated for it! Check back soon for that exciting & interesting update!

Pig Brain Dissection 2

Howdy y’all!

I have two documents that I want you to have access to online:

  1. The Pre-Dissection Worksheet: This worksheet was put together using pictures of pig brain dissections from years past. It gives you a good idea of what you’ll find on Friday. It also will help you find and label the various structures that we will be finding.
  2. The Pig Brain Dissection Guide: You will use this guide on Friday as you dissect the pig brain. I ask you to make sketches of what you see & check boxes of what you find. It will help you stay on track, do things in order, and remember what you saw and found. Unfortunately, it will get some pig brain and blood on it.

Week 2 (24 – 28 Oct): Dissection Preparation

Howdy y’all!

Notice some of the changes I’ve posted here:

  1. Links to each of your blogs. This was done from the “Appearance” menu using the widget, “links.” I had to create (a) a link category (from the “Links” menu), (b) enter each link, and (c) check off the link category to get it to show up. Just drag and drop the widget into the area of the page you want it.
  2. Links to dissection guides. You’ll notice that these are all for sheep brains. That is the standard brain dissection, but we cannot get them as cheaply as we can pig brains. So, our brain will be slightly different. Remember, also, that our brains are not prepped for dissection. They have not been preserved in formaldehyde. Ours are fresh and have been prepped by a butcher for sale for consumption.
  3. Some of the dissection links are to worksheets in a variety of formats (pdf & ppt). In addition, I have this worksheet here: Sheep Dissection Guide as a word document. Each of the guides & worksheets cover a lot of the same ground. Look over them all and choose one or two to read in detail. Base your choice on what your comfortable with in terms of difficulty, pictures, etc.