PSYB65H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Frontal Lobe, Lobotomy, Intelligence Quotient

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18 Nov 2012
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Lecture 10
Frontal Lobe Damage
- posterior portion deals w primary motor strip, most anterior portion deals w higher order cog function, planning and
socially appropriate behaviour
- in Alz disease frontal lobe is one of the areas hit the hardest
Frontal lobotomy history:
- Gall talked about phrenology areas drawn onto the skull
=> prefrontal area thought to be responsible for intellectual function (looking at humans and other primates)
=> ppl w big foreheads thought to be smarter
- in 1930s Jacobson decided to test this theory in monkeys trained a group and tested in higher order learning using
cog/intelligence tests
=> frontal lobotomies (removal of prefrontal areas) done
- found a loss of delayed response capabilities following surgery => couldn’t perform if there was a delay bw seeing a
solution to a problem and being able to form the solution
- in the Wisconsin General Testing Apparatus (WGTA) monkeys couldn’t respond to picking out the treat out of a cup if
there was a delay bw cup presentation and allowing the monkey to pick
- become incapable of using a tool to reach a banana, bc if delay to go over and grab the tool the monkey forgets why it
was going for it in the first place
=> thought there was a general loss of short term memory
- if animal was left in the dark or given a sedative, eg barbiturate, animal can solve the problem
=> problem not in memory but in the distraction or emotionality
- animals also had problems in alternation learning to alternate responses; can’t switch behaviour when its not
appropriate
- observed 1 specific monkey would got frustrated and upset/temper when being tested
=> after lobotomy the monkey was very calm, and willing to participate in the tests
- Moniz suggested using this procedure on Sch patients to calm them down => started performing the surgery in psychotic
patients
=> used a leukotome to cut the prefrontal portion off, also went through the eye sockets w needles
- reported on initial 20 patients all survived the surgery, 7 had recovered, 7 had improved
- continued to perform the surgeries until 1944 was shot by one of his frontal lobotomy patients and paralyzed
- Freeman and Watts brought the surgery to NA, and performed on 3500 patients
- in US alone 40 000 operations of frontal lobotomy
- scar tissue bc large slice through the brain => results in epilepsy and seizures
=> 18% developed seizures within a 10 year period; in 1950s surgery began to decline, bc drugs were developed to treat
sch and depression
=> less need for the dramatic frontal lobotomy alternatives
Frontal lobe syndrome:
- normal IQ test scores no effect on intelligence
- problems in changing behaviour/alternation when its inappropriate tested by Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST)
=> symbols of the cards that can be sorted by different categories, patients asked to sort by one category then made to
change the strategy for category of sorting
=> patients unable to change strategies, keep trying to sort w the old strategy
- dissociation bw verbal and motor behaviours can explain the proper instructions verbally but there’s a motor
dissociation to what they should actually do
=> start to mimic the behaviour of the examiner rather than following the proper instructions
- problems w inhibition of inappropriate behaviour, can’t follow the rules in games etc
- can tell what the rules are, know the behaviours are inappropriate but cannot inhibit the behaviour
=> aim of reaching a goal if rules conflict w getting them where they want to go, they just break them
- personality changes => live in immediate present, lack foresight and ability to plan for the future, lack initiative, very
unreliable, cant hold a job
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