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Visualization Methods.docx

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PSYC 3325
John Usher

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Visualization Methods: ● brain exhibits plasticity – structural change resulting from experience:  new synapses form, old ones disappear, dentrites grow and shrink and oxons of neurons become myelinated ● physiopsychs can trace effects of physical maturation and plasticity by using techniques that mark or stain neruons chemically  can part percentage of neurons, making their dentrites prominent so that they an estimate the growth of dentrites and infer possible changes in number of synapses  other stains could highlight axonal growth, showing how axons grow to connect with specific areas of brain  also used to examine large portions of brain – when human patient dies from brain injury can use dye to locate injury ● until recently most useful technique of brain imaging was CT Scanner (compurized tomography)– device that uses special X-ray machine and computer to produce images of brain that appear as slices taken parallel to top of skull  scanner sends narrow beam of X-ray through patient's head and is then moved around head while computer calculates amount of radiation passing through it at various points along each angle  results in 2D slice of head parallel to skull ■ can determine approximate location of brain injury ● 2 other recent developments: ● positron emission tomography (PET) - relies on radioactive substance which is incorporated into brain tissue metabolically, where it emits an antimatter particle (positron)  positron travels 2 cm through brain before it collides with matter particle causing emmission of photon which can be measured and used to construct brain image ● magnetic reasonance imaging (MRI) – produced by plaing individual in strong magnetic field  causes molecules within its influence to become aligned with lines of magnetic force  radio signal is then gener
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