Lecture 1 : "Psychology has a long past, but only a short history"
Hermann Ebbinghaus Psychology has a long past but only a short history.
the written record for the understanding of ourselves as individuals, as a society is limited
first written records 8000 to 10000 years ago ( Blip on a radar as a species)
we've been looking at eachother, asking us fundamental philosophical questions ( who am I ?, where did I come from?)
because our nervous system developed the capability to do so
humans adapted a capacity ( parallel to environment they've adapted to) to ask these questions
The History of Neuropsychology
• Trephination (still done today
an evasive process necessary
for long time survival)
Trephining: Cutting a circular hole in the skull on the side of the head
opposite the site of an injury as a means of therapeutic intervention to
relieve pressure from a swelling brain.
It was thought that the brain interpreted signals and that the mind was a
separate entity entirely.
understand ourselves in terms of biological basis of behaviour
Neolithic Trephination: young girl who lived within 3500 BC ( before
common era) with massive hole in her head → this girl survived because of
the evidence of callus tissue forming around the ridge of that hole
some show the healing formation → survival
some dont show the healing formation → death
MultipleTrephination: Multiple operations in skulls, try to understand
why number of people were experiencing epileptic seizure
Reasons for procedure: Medical or Magical?
why are we letting skulls heal again → must be due to medical or Lecture 1 : "Psychology has a long past, but only a short history"
• Modern Neurosurgery (used continuously depending
on severity of conditions)
Craniotomy: replace bone flap
Cranectomy: remove brain flap
same basic procedure exposing brain
Depressed skull fracture : hit yourself with a hammer and
push bone into cavity of skull → you want to push the skull
back out, so drill hole right beside the bone to relieve
depression and also to push the bone back out
ICP (intracranial pressure monitoring): after someone sustains dramatic brain injury there is swelling in
the brain → relieve pressure physically : open up part of skull, let brain expand
Subdural Hemtoma: The bleeding fills the brain area very rapidly, compressing brain tissue. This often results in
brain injury and may lead to death.
Epidural Hematoma: Rupture of a blood vessel, usually an artery, which then bleeds into the space between the
"dura mater" and the skull. The affected vessels are often torn by skull fractures.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS). Neurosurgery in which electrodes are implanted in the brain; used in the
treatment of Parkinson patients to facilitate normal movement.
• Biological Basis of Human Experience/ Behaviour (two themes that were born out of western civilization)
Cephalocentric: brain hypothesis > experience and what allows behaviour to manifest is within the brain itself
Alcmaeon of Croton, Hippocrates, Plato
Alcmaeon: located mental processes in the brain and so subscribed to the brain hypothesis
Hippocrates and Galen: proposed the “brain hypothesis” or “cephalocentric hypothesis” where the
brain is responsible for thought and sensation.
Cardiocentric: experience and what allows behaviour to manifest is within the heart
Empedocles of Acragas, Aristotole
Empedocles: located mental processes in the heart and so subscribed to what Lecture 1 : "Psychology has a long past, but only a short history"
could be called the cardiac hypothesis, heart was the source of behaviour.
This hypothesis still has an effect on pop culture today, like how humans associate love with the heart and
not the brain.
Aristotle: also came to the conclusion that the heart was the centre involved with through and sensation
because it is warm and active and that since heat rises, the brain was the blood cooling centre.
• Western Civilization
It offered us philosophy ( how to think about logic, inductive reasoning) and natural sciences
• Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman Thinkers
Theories that people have put forth is whatever they were exposed to at that point of time (based on their experiences).
Nature and Locus of mind. Advances in mathematics and philosophy.
• Early Greek Medicine
before 500 BCE → medical issues were dealt by secret society of templar priests
through rituals you were healed
also, during that time ALCMAEON OF CROTON : in Greece, ancient physician who looked at human body and
looked at diseases using objective dissection of animals
established a medical school to get rid of these templar positions
holistic phenomenon if someone's sick there is some sort of imbalance → environments too stressful, diet
isn't great ( how you fit in the universe)
• Hippocrates (460377 BCE)
Hippocratic Oath → first do no harm (not hurt but help)
founder of modern medicine
advocate for brain hypothesis (cephalocentric) → brain was seed of behaviour and experience
he based this on his own experience → people being hit in the head, physical injuries and realized if you hit someone
in the head their behaviour gets knocked out Lecture 1 : "Psychology has a long past, but only a short history"
he understood brain was contralaterally organized ( right side
of brain if injured will affect left side of the body)
Epilepsy (The sacred Disease): where he states that the brain is
the most powerful organ and all other senses act in accordance to that
a nongenetic disorder involving spontaneous, unpredictable, and
recurring seizures that may be accompanied by convulsions. This
occurs when the neurons in the brain start firing all at once all over brain hypothesis
the place instead of just doing their own thing on their own time. disappears for a very long
Aristotle (384 322 BCE) Philosopher
understanding of Tabula rasa → we all start off as blank
first person to ever understand the concept of mind
mind was a nonmaterial (not biological) entity →
essence that can't be captured by any sense that we own; it is
responsible for human thought, perception, emotion
nonmaterial psyche was responsible for human thoughts,
perceptions, and emoti