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PSYCH261 Lecture Notes - Radiography, Microtome, Human Behaviour

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Deltcho Valtchanov

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Research Methods
Chapter 5
Converging Methodologies
*Animal Neurophysiology
*Single cell recording
*Have to fins specific neurons and insert electrodes in them
* Using histology – the animal brain is removed and sliced and observed in a
*Human Neuroimaging
*Structural and Functional mapping
*Reversible lesions (TMS)
*Human Behaviour
*Reaction time and accuracy
*Eye tracking, reaction times were measured
*Systems Neuroscience
*Bridging the gap between cellular and cognitive neuroscience
*Analysis at the level of Neural Networks
*Goal is to replicate individual neurons
Animal Neurophysiology
*Experimental Ablation
*Removal/destruction of a portion of the brain (a.k.a. – lesion study).
*Radio Frequency Lesion
*An alternating current of a very high frequency capable of destroying neural
tissue (creates heat).
*Excitotoxic Lesion (ASK DURING REVIEW)
*A brain lesion produced by intracerebral injection of an excitatory amino acid
(e.g., kainic acid).
*Sham Lesion
*A placebo procedure that duplicates all the steps of producing a lesion
except actually damaging the brain.
To control for the entire effect of the experimental lesion on the animal (repeats
the lesion without actually inflicting the lesion it self)
*Necessary control to determine that affects are not due to surgery alone
*The Stereotaxic Atlas
*Maps of a particular species’ brain with co-ordinates for stereotaxic surgery.
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*The Stereotaxic Apparatus
*A device that permits a surgeon to position an electrode or cannula into a
specific part of the brain.
Psychosurgery in humans
Stereotaxic helmets used for surgery on Parkinson’s patients
*Histology – determining the accuracy of lesions
*Fixation and Sectioning
*Fixative – chemical such as formalin to prepare and preserve tissue.
*Perfusion – animal’s blood replaced by a fluid (e.g., saline solution) or fixative;
done by asian egyptians to mummify
*Microtome – extremely thin slices of tissue.
*Histology – determining the accuracy of lesions
*Nissl stain (Methylene Blue) – stains actual stains/ stains cell bodies,
specifically taken up by Nissl substance consisting of RNA, DNA and other
proteins in nucleus and cytoplasm.
*Golgi stain – stains individual neurons
Imaging microstuctures
*Transmission and scanning electron microscopes
Animal Neurophysiology
*Neuronal Tracing
*Tracing Efferent Axons
*Anterograde Labeling – histological method labels axons and terminal buttons
of neurons whose cell bodies are located in a particular region.
*Immunocytochemical – histological method using radioactive antibodies or
antibodies bound with a dye molecule to indicate the presence of particular
proteins of peptides.
*Tracing Afferent Axons (IMPORTANT)
*Retrograde Labeling – histological method labels cell bodies that give rise to
the terminal buttons that form synapses with cells in a particular region.
Labeling of the signal being pass from the neuron of interest to the post
synaptic neuron (away from the neuron of interest)
*Pseudorabies Virus – weakened form of pig herpes virus used foR retrograde
transneuronal tracing – labels a series of neurons interconnected
synaptically. One signal comes into the neuron you are interested
Animal Neurophysiology
*Recordings with Microelectrodes
*Microelectrodes – very fine electrode, generally used to
record activity of individual neurons.
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