Lecture #2 - September 7/10, 2012
• Cognitive psychology is the study of the processes of the brain.
• Biological psychology is the study of the biology of the mind.
○ Is this model possible in the brain given studies, history etc.
• Long ago it was thought the heart gave way to the mind.
○ Heart is at the core of the body.
○ Reasonable to hypothesis that the heart was the main control of the body.
• Galen learned a lot about the brain with relation to the mind by being a surgeon
○ Found injuries to the front of the head, affected physical actions
○ Injuries in the back affected sensory (hearing, seeing)
• Descartes famous for contribution to early neuroscience
○ Rationalized about the function of the brain
○ Went away from experiments and hypothesis
○ Thought there was a connection: foot to spine to brain
○ Faster to go: foot to spine back to foot
○ Brain can put the brakes on a reflex
○ Dualism: brain and the mind are different things
Descartes believed there was some relationship
Thought brain and mind interacted at the pineal gland
Actually only important with sleep functions
• Thought #1: each part of the brain is the same (undifferentiated mass)
○ True in some species, damaging one part of the brain is not necessarily important for learning
• Thought #2: localization of function, different parts of the brain serve different functions
○ Reasoning to make decisions etc.
○ Different parts serve highly, or moderate specializations
○ Franz Gall thought that different parts of the brain were sized specific to strength (phrenology)
Mapped different parts of the brain with correspondence to different specializations
• Penfield interested in mapping the brain and its functions
• Studied seizures, if they did not respond to medication, had the part of their brain that caused seizures removed.
○ Open skull brain surgery was an opportunity to study the brain
○ Penfield inserted a small electrical current through the brain, therefore he activated brain cells
○ Stimulated the back part of the brain and found people saw things that weren't there
○ Activated different feelings, memories and body parts through these electric currents
○ Most famous for finding the part of the brain that deals with movement and touch
• Neuron jobs is to send information from one cell to the next