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Study Notes

Biopsychology: The CNS – Brain and Spinal Cord

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

The CNS consists of the brain and the spinal cord. The brain provides conscious awareness and is involved in all psychological processes. The brain consists of many regions, which are responsible for different functions.

For example, the brain consists of four main lobes:

  • frontal lobe
  • parietal lobe
  • temporal lobe
  • occipital lobe

The occipital lobe processes visual information; the temporal lobe processes auditory information; the parietal lobe integrates information from the different senses and therefore plays an important role in spatial navigation; the frontal lobe is associated with higher-order functions, including planning, abstract reasoning and logic.

The brain stem connects the brain and spinal cord and controls involuntary processes, including our heartbeat, breathing and consciousness.

The role of the spinal cord is to transfer messages to and from the brain, and the rest of the body. The spinal cord is also responsible for simple reflex actions that do not involve the brain, for example jumping out of your chair if you sit on a drawing pin.

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