Psychology Lecture #4
Date: Jan 2 , 2013
The mind is what the brain does?
The fact that our experience of the world relies intimately on the brain is shown in the
bizarre perceptual experiences of patients with certain kinds of neurological damage or
The Split Brain
The two hemispheres of he brain are actually two minibrains connected by a bundle of
fibers, the corpus callosum.
for several decades until the 1960’s, it was not uncommon to cut the corpus callosum to
attempt to help people with epilepsy.
89 regions of the brains *** know4test** (subcortical regions)
Being of two minds…
Left hemisphere: logic, linear thinking, language
Right hemisphere: emotion, spatial processing, music
Split brain studies*
left eye= right brain and vice versa.
Localization of function: specific places in the brain that are critical for carrying out
Strength in an area is related to the amount of brain matter that that area is made out of.
*Example in textbook.
Where are YOU?
It is the physical and sociocultural environments surrounding you, which continually
create and reinforce patterns in your brain.
AND within the brain, YOU arise b/c of the interconnectedness of many functioning
E.g.: guessing shapes, or spatial locations of shapes on a screen, or movement direction
of dots on a screen.
e.g.: 53 yr. old physician with no functional visual cortices ▯recognizing face
expressions. He’s able to recognized facial expressions despite his disability to see
because of his “agmibdilla”** check spelling.
before the accident he was the most efficient and capable foreman.
Even though he seemed to fully recover from his injuries his personality changed entirely, he turned into a jerk. Ex: Tempter tantrums, profanity, lost his job, etc.
The Prefrontal Cortex—The center of Rationality?
Center of rationality and center of integrated emotional system.
Considerable agreement in the literature of functional frontal lobe dissociation.
Dorsal= Cognitive functions
maintaining and shifting attention
inhibition of response
control of behavior
processing emotions and reward
social inhibition (impulse control)
Primary reinforces (food, sex, social affiliation)
If we damage emotion processing areas…
Difficulty initiating tasks
Difficulty terminating tasks/perseveration
Inability to regulate behavior according to internal goals (srd)
Emotion and cognition
Emotion influences everyday “rational” decision making (Antonio Damasio)
Emotion and cognition are not separate
Emotional evaluation guides reasoning carbon tax vs carbon offset
“Gut feelings” Somatic Marker Hypothesis
sensory information activates the VPFC (Ventrical prefrontal cortex) which processes
causes autonomic arousal
creates nonconscious bias that serves to facilitate cognitive (conscious) evaluation of
Bechara et al. (1997)
OFC is important for emotional responding
Are emotional responses necessary for appropriate decision making?
Gambling task that simulates reallife decisionmaking.
Chose advantageously before they realized which strategy was best.
Developed anticipatory SCR even before they figured out the strategy.
VMPFC Patient Results:
Chose disadvantageous even when they knew correct strategy.
Never developed anticipatory SCR (even when they did realize the choices were risky)
Study suggested that nonconscious biases guide behavior before conscious knowledge.
Without biases, overt knowledge is not sufficient to ensure advantageous … *** cut
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” or, ability