The Brain and Behavior in Singing


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The Brain and Behavior Describe a specific behavior that you engage in fairly regularly, and discuss how this behavior is controlled by the different lobes of your cerebral cortex, as well as the more primitive parts of your brain. Which hemisphere or half of the brain do you believe was most heavily involved in the processing of this behavior within your brain, and why? Finally, which neurotransmitters do you believe were most active in your brain during the completion of this behavior, and why? Here’s a sample Discussion response to help you get a sense of what you need to do here: The behavior that I am going to describe in detail is reading. This action involves the use of a key part of your brain called the cerebral cortex. This is the outer layer of the brain, and as you read, the different lobes or sections of the cerebral cortex are activated. Specifically, being able to see the words uses your vision, and focusing in on the specific features of the letters allows you to differentiate one letter from another. This is controlled by the occipital lobe of your brain – the visual cortex is located here. Both hemispheres, or halves, of the brain are involved when you use your eyes to read. In addition, the frontal lobe is involved in interpreting and understanding the meaning of the words, sentences, and paragraphs which you read. Further, the left hemisphere of your temporal lobe is believed to be primarily involved in making the sounds that are made when you read silently, even if you do not say a word. Other parts of the brain that are involved in reading include the cerebellum (this part of the brain controls the movement of your eyes) and the reticular activating system (this controls your ability to focus and pay attention). With regard to some of the neurotransmitters involved in reading, glutamate would be one that is critical to this activity. Since it is one of the main excitatory neurotransmitters, glutamate is necessary for learning and memory – two functions necessary for reading to be effective. In addition, epinephrine is another neurotransmitter (it is also a hormone) that is needed for reading to occur. Epinephrine regulates attention, mental focus, and arousal. All of these are critical to the successful reader. This is just a brief overview of what goes on within the brain when you read. Simply amazing isn’t it?

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