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PSYC 100
Daniel Levitin

Gage UNPLEASANTNESS IN VERMOUTH Damasio Phineas Gage a construction foreman hit by an iron rodIron rod enters from left cheek pierces the base of the skull traverses the front of the brain and exits through the top of the headGage is pronounced cured in less than two monthsButGage is no longer GageBrain includes personal and social dimensions of reasoning Some part of the value system remains but is unconnected to reallife situations Intact attention perception memory language intelligence Dissociation Two camps of thoughtoIf brain produces the mind it does it as a whole and not as collection of parts with special functionsoBrain has specialized parts that generate separate mind functionsoBrain an aggregate of many organs each having a specific physiological faculty eg Benevolence and VeneranceoDamasio What determines the contribution of a given brain unit to the operation of the system to which it belongs is not just the structure of the unit but also its place in the system Can Gage be held responsible for his behavior PENFIELD AND ROBERTSConsciousnessoWilliam James constant flow constant changeoIn the awareness there is a succession of perceptions of the presentPsychical Responses to Stimulation and Discharge oCerebral cortex has folds Only about 35 on the surface oNeurons and ganglion cells are responsive to electrical stimulation as well as chemical stimulationdrugs oBehavioral functioning of a brain area is revealed due to conductivity Sensory or motor areashommunculusoPenfield and Roberts first used this electrical stimulation technique to examine the temporal lobe as treatment for epilepsyoThe goal of the electrical exploration of the temporal lobe was to find the epileptic locus and surgically remove it Stimulation of the epileptogenic focus induces a partial seizure oHughlings Jackson was the first to observe that patients undergoing electrical brain stimulation experienced a state of reminiscence or doubledissociations which he calles dreamy states oDouble dissociations a state where the patients relive past experiences but are still aware of their present conditionsoThere are two types of physical responses that are obtained from electrical stimulation and each can be mapped to a specific brain region Interpretative Dj vu phenomenon false memoriesFalse interpretations called illusions Stereotyped Symptoms judgments of familiarity strangeness distance intensity loneliness fearThe subject becomes aware of the present and reinterprets itExperientalCharacterized by flashbacks that have strong visual and auditory components Not still pictures Consciousness is revisitedDoubleconsciousness patients relive past streams while being aware of the presentThey occur in an all or none pattern dont go backward are not mixed with other experiences and stop as suddenly as they started upon removal of the stimulation The same experience can be elicited by restimulating the same area Lower threshold though Both of these types of responses argue for the existence of a permanent recording of the stream of consciousness which must be preserved in a specialized mechanism that allows for later recall These responses are specific to the temporal lobe A PHYSIOLOGICAL THEORY by D O HEBBQuestion How come intelligence is intact despite surgical removal of a major portion of the brain Learning vs PerceptionTheory of cell assemblies attempts to bring together anatomical physiological and behavioral data to understand the integrative function of the whole brain PROBLEM OF PERCEPTIONoAs opposed to learning not dependent on excitation of a particular set of neuronsoLearning is a changed pattern of conduction in the brain that results from experience and makes a change of response potentialoIf the pattern of conduction persists it is memory Hence learning is a localized effect oNot true for perception eg different angles of familiar objects
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