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Lecture 7

Lecture 7

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY100H1
Professor
Michael Inzlicht

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Lecture 7October 1
Neural Plasticity
The brain changes continuously.
Our brains connections are refined and retuned with every experience of
our lives.
Only recently have we begun to appreciate our brains incredible
plasticity.
Plasticity is amazing, but the limits are unknown.
Certainly, age is a factor: e.g., young children with severe epilepsy 
radical hemispherectomy mostly normal functioning!
E.g., if you cut off a finger, that part of the sensory cortex will start to
receive signals from the fingers enhanced sensitivity in other areas
E.g., if blind sensory cortex corresponding to the Braille-reading finger
expands; sense of touch starts to get processed by the visual cortex.
Then if you knock out the visual cortex temporarily (i.e., through
magnetic stimulation) that person will make language errors
Plasticity is not infinite, even in babies.
E.g., suffer damage to facial recognition areas of both temporal lobes 
never recognize faces normally.
The Split Brain
The 2 hemispheres of the brain are actually 2 mini-brains connected by a
bundle of fibers, the corpus collosum.
In 1930s to 1950s, cutting the C.C became all the rage, to help ppl with
epileptic seizures and other disorders.
Amazingly, these ppl seemed pretty normal but clever psychologists
discovered ways of communicating separately with the now-independent
hemispheres.
Split-brain experiments: put a person in front of a screen. When asked to
point to the item that was seen, the left hand (RH) pointed to the image
seen by the right hemisphere.
A patient can have emotional reactions to stimuli without being able to
verbalize what he/she saw.
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Description
Lecture 7 October 1 Neural Plasticity The brain changes continuously. Our brains connections are refined and retuned with every experience of our lives. Only recently have we begun to appreciate our brains incredible plasticity. Plasticity is amazing, but the limits are unknown. Certainly, age is a factor: e.g., young children with severe epilepsy radical hemispherectomy mostly normal functioning! E.g., if you cut off a finger, that part of the sensory cortex will start to receive signals from the finge rs enhanced sensitivity in other areas E.g., if blind sensory cortex corresponding to the Braille-reading finger expands; sense of touch starts to get processed by the visual cortex. Then if you knock out the visual cortex temporarily (i.e., through magnetic stimulation) that person will make language errors
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