Anatomy Students Dissect Human Brains
University of Mt. St. Joseph donated the 11 human brains
In the summer months, Mr. Doug Miller works as an Anatomy instructor at Mount St. Joseph University. Due to Mr. Miller's great relationship with the University and his passion for instructing young minds, Mount Sr. Joseph graciously donated human brains to the Deer Park Jr./Sr. High School. These brains were removed and studied by the University students this past summer. There are a total of 11 brains for the anatomy students to study. These are whole, intact human brains.
Since the fall, Mr. Miller has been hard at work developing plans for how the brains will be studied in his Anatomy course. He describes his plans below:
In our study of the cerebrum, we'll be looking for the areas that control vision, speech, sense of touch, voluntary movements, taste, etc. In addition, we'll look at the areas of the cerebrum that control the sensations of pain and temperature. We'll talk about and study the pre-frontal cortex which controls abstract intellectual functioning and allows one to "think ahead."
We'll also look at the cerebellum which controls balance and coordination. We'll look at the brain stem and talk about its vital importance in things like breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate. We'll also be able to see the stump of the spinal cord and its attachment to the brain stem.
We're going to study the arterial blood supply to the brain and learn the names of the individual arteries. We'll be learning about the all-important "circle of Willis." We will talk about how these arteries relate to things like strokes and aneurysms.
We will look at how the 12 pairs of cranial nerves attach to the brain, as well as talk about their functions.
Students will most likely be able to cut 2 or 3 of them in sagittal section to see some of the components of the limbic system. I think that it would be really cool for the students to see the part of the brain where learning takes place, as well as the part of the brain linked to long-term memory storage (and Alzheimer's disease).
On behalf of Mr. Miller's anatomy class, the Deer Park Community City School District sincerely thanks Mount St. Joseph University and the UC College of Medicine's Body Donation Program for the donation of these brains, which provides our students with this invaluable experience!
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