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Lecture 1

Psychology 46-256 Lecture 1: Lecture Notes on Research Method

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Research Methods  Human Research o Neuroimaging  taking a picture of the brain o Neural Manipulation  mechanical relationship between the brain and the spine (turning on and off of an area to see differences)  Animal Research o Imaging o Manipulation Stereotaxic Surgery  Used to position experimental devices within the brain  Stereotaxic atlas  provides coordinates for locating structures within the brain  Bergman  a point on the top of the skull often used as a reference point  Stereotaxic instrument  used to hold head steady and guide the device to be inserted Electrical Stimulation  Lesioning can be used to remove, damage, or inactivate a structure  Electrical stimulation may be used to "activate" a structure  Stimulation of a structure may have an effect opposite to that seen when the structure is lesioned Invasive Electrophysiological Recording Methods  Intracellular unit recording  membrane potential of a neuron  Extracellular unit recording  firing of a neuron  Multiple-unit recording  firing of many neurons  Invasive EEG recording Intracellular unit recording Extracellular unit recording Multiple-unit recording Pharmacological Research  Routes of drug administration  Selective chemical lesions  Measuring chemical activity in the brain  Locating neurotransmitters and receptors Drug Administration  Fed to the stomach  Injected  described by injection sight: o Stomach (intragastric) o Peritoneal cavity (intraperitoneal, IP) o Large muscle (intramuscular, IM) o Tissue under the skin (subcutaneous, sc) o Large surface vein (intravenous, IV)  Cannula  used to administer drug directly to brain Selective Chemical Lesions  Neural poisons (neurotoxins) selectively target specific nervous system components  Kainic or ibotenic acid  destroy cell bodies  6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)  destroys noradrenergic and dopaminergic neurons Measuring Chemical Activity  2-Deoxyglucose (2-DG) technique o Inject animal with radioactive 2-DG and allow it to engage in behaviour of interest o Use autoradiography to see where radioactivity accumulates in brain slices  Cerebral dialysis  measures extracellular concentration of specific chemicals in live animals Locating Neurotransmitters and Receptors  Dye or radioactive labels used to visualize the protein of interest  Immunocytochemistry  based on the binding of labelled protein (specific antibodies) o Immune response  antibodies created that bind and remove/destroy antigens
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