PSYC 212 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Statistical Model, Functional Neuroimaging, Deep Brain Stimulation

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20 Jul 2016
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What is the brain, and how does it work?
-What is the most special meal you can cook?
Learned to associate different aspects of the meal together.
For meals- we have the idea of an entrée, desert etc.
We need a part of the brain that can associate things.
The labels help you identify different components of the dish, but not why it
is special, it helps us talk about it.
We can come up with labels that are somewhat universal to label and
identify brains of different species- label diff. parts of the brain and infer a
lot of function about a new monkeys brain.
Labelling approach- not really just labelling, finding commonalities and
finding terms for it- helps us identify different aspects of diff. species-
retrieve from the diff. species things about our own brains, infer info from it.
Number one reason for animal research in neuroscience- because we cannot
get into peoples heads and do manipulations like we can for animals.
Fundamental assumption that we can translate from animal models to
humans.
Primates are heavily used- think that monkeys are very close to us, helps us
understand how our brain does things.
Can we identify anatomical differences and similarities, between human and
non-human animal brains? Can we map the evolutionary process with this?
Its may not possible to map the entire evolutionary history because many of
our close ancestors are dead.
We may be able to determine commonalities by determining comparable
features between different brains.
Ex. Arangatangs are similar to us but they do not talk and have some of the
features we have.
The only primates that are left are those we can get a long with, the others
were all killed off- competition to us.
Islands- monkeys were imported their, they had no natural predators and
they reproduced.- these monkeys are very annoying, which is why other
primates that were too close to us were killed- those that could verbalize
actions and informations.
Whatever we learn from a monkey, a massive cavity of translation into
human neuroscience.
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Once we start describing brains and a common brain and start labelling
different bits of the brain, we can see how these areas change across
different species.
Hedge-hogs and rottens at the bottom- once you get to primate species, the
analagoy or homology to humans starts increasing- the relative size starts to
be comparable.
Human brain is heavily folded- more than other species, so it does not look
like it is as big- but if you saw the medial view you see iti s large.
One huge adbantage of anatomical lavels- compare changes of areas across
species- we can then make inferences how one area changes in relation to
another.
Areas remained fairly consistent across species- general rule- the similar the
cordical area, the more general it is across species.
Comparing brains:
Need a reference system- that’s the main purpose for naming lobes, gyri,
sulci.
Literally- people looked at a bunch of brains, rather than labelling according
to function, they decided to name it according to location.- becomes much
easier to communicate about the lavels.
More precise.
At first, there was a single homogenous organ:
By 16th century, nothing really special about the brain’s anatomy- just a
convoluted mess.
-Later on, better attention to detail later- but nothing anatomically real
about it.
Not achieved earlier on because of the taboo of opening up the skull of a
dead person.
Once you got all the labels you still lack knowledge on function.
First approach to brain function- Phrenology: What your skull says about
you- feeling bumps on the skull and deciding what it meant in terms of
slabiminity and hope.
One of the first ideas on how to describe a persons composure or
personality, by feeling their skull- features and ascribing them to a persons
way of interacting with people.
Brocas area and the birth of cortical localization
Broca was a French neurosurgeon that had a patient who could write and
understand but not express himself and post-mortem he looked at the head
and found a lesion in the first part of the frontal lobe- got called brocas area.
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Credited as the first story that launched the notion that the cortex had
specialized function- cortical specialization- one area of the brain does one
thing- popular idea at the time.
Lesion studies- studies where a part of the brain is missing- lesion patients
make up most of neurological studies- looking for clients that had very clean
lesions, missing small parts.
Find tasks that were clear for them.
Logic of lesion studies:
Patient with injury to a specific area. Afterwards, your patint exhibits an
impairment. What does it mean??????????
Without the area, the brain cannot carry out the process.- this is what it
actually means.
Most people aim to say that the brain area was responsible for the process-
they want to be able to say what the brain area does- this is the goal- this is
really why people do it.
All we can logically say is that without the area, the brain cannot perform
the process.
Immediately after any kind of injury, the brain is very unstable, many
compensatory mechanisms competing.
A colleague is claiming to have established a function-anatomy association
and you think she or he is wrong. What evidence would you try to find to
prove them wrong?
That injury to other brain areas would have the same effect- most common
approach.
As a general rule- every bit of the brain is involved in almost every function.
Generally speaking, people would try to find patients with lesions in other
areas with the same deficit.
You hate the concept of cortical specialization and want to prove
“specializers” wrong. How would you do it??????
Show that the same impairment can arise from injury to multiple areas.
Show that impairment is just a function of the amount of brain loss, not a
specific area.
As you cut out more and more of the brain, you have more and more
impairments.
How would you prove “specializers” wrong?
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