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Psychology 3325 Lecture Notes - Visual Cortex, Auditory Cortex, Fingerspelling

Course Code
Psychology 3325
John Usher

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Isolation Aphasia: A Case of Global Unawareness
Geschwind, Quandfasel and Segarra described case of woman who had suffered sever brain
damage from inhaling CO from faulty water heater
damage spared primary auditory cortex, speech areas of brain and connections between
damage destroyed large parts of visual association cortex and isolated speech mechnisms
from other parts of brain
isolation aphasia language disturbance that includes inability to comprehend speech or
to produce meaningful speech without affecting ability to repeat speech and to learn new
sequences of words; caused by brain damage that isolates brain's speech mechanisms
from other parts of brain
woman's speech mechanisms could receive auditory input and could control muscles used
for speech, but received no information from other senses or from neural circuits that
contain memories concerning past experiences and meaning of words
woman made few movements except with her eyes which were able to follow moving
objects gave no evidence of recognizing objects or people
didn't spontaneously say anything, answer questions, or give signs that she understood
what other people said to her
could repeat words that were spoken to her and she could finish poems she knew and
learned new poems and songs
case suggests that consciousness is not simply activity of brain's speech mechanisms it is
activity prompted by information received from other parts of brain concerning memories or
events presently occuring in environment
Visual Agnosia: Lack of Awareness of Visual Perceptions
visual agnosia inability of person who is not blind to recognize identity of an object
visually; caused by brain damage to visual association cortex
can have difficulty visually recognizing objects or pictures of objects but can made hand
movements that appear to be related to oject and by paying attention to those movements
can identify object
visual system worked well enough to initiate appropriate non-verbal behaviour, though
not appropriate words
patient lost ability to read but was taught to use finger spelling to read couldn't say what
letter was but could make particular hand movement when he saw it; learned ASL finger-
spelling alphabet and could read slowly by making hand movements for each letter and
feeling words his hands spelled out
supports conclusion that consciousness is synonymous with person's ability toi talk about his
or her perceptions and memories disruption of normal interchange between visual
perceptual system and verbal system prevented patient from being directly aware of his own
visual perceptions
The Split-Brain Syndrome
split-brain operation surgical procedure that severs corpus callosum, thus abolishing direct
connections between cortex of two cerebral hemispheres
Sperry and Gazzaniga studied split-brain patients
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