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Midterm

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 211
Professor
Yogita Chudasama
Semester
Winter

Description
 They believed the heart was the seat of thought and emotions, because it beat harder when we were feeling emotions.  Hippocrates concluded that the role should be assigned to the brain. o Aristotle disagreed, saying the brain acted to calm the passions of the heart. o Galen discounted this, saying that if it were so, then nerve endings would go to the heart, not the mind.  René Descartes, said that animals (including humans) are machines, and once set on this earth behave without any divine intervention.  He defined the term reflex: An automatic, stereotyped movement that is produced as a direct result of a stimulus.  He said that energy coming from an outside source would be reflected back through the nervous system to the muscles, which would contract (we of course have a different explanation for this now.)  Descartes was a dualist, but he was the first to hypothesize a link between the brain and the mind: o The mind controls movement, while the body provided information to the mind, via the brain. o This interaction was said to take place in the pineal body, a small organ at the top of the brain stem. o He noted that the brain contained fluid-filled VENTRICLES, and when the mind wanted to move, it tilted the pineal body like a joystick, causing fluid to flow from the brain to the appropriate set of nerves.  Descartes used a model of moving bronze statues, which work in much the same way, to come to his conclusion. Model: A mathematical or physical analogy for a physiological process; for example, computers have been used as models for various functions of the brain.  It did not take long for this model to be tested experimentally, and to prove that Descartes was wrong.  Galvani discovered that electrical impulses toward a nerve cause the muscle to which it is attached to move, regardless of activity in the brain. Therefore, the ability of a nerve to send a message to the muscles is a characteristic of the tissue itself.  Johannes Müller: o A prominent nineteenth-century physiologist, who applied experimental techniques. o Doctrine of specific nerve energies: Müller‘s conclusion that because all nerve fibers carry the same type of message, sensory information must be specified by the particular nerve fibers that are active. o Example, we receive optical information from auditory nerves, and auditory information from auditory nerves. o Explanation: although the information sent is the same, the different nerves go to different parts of the brain, and are thus interpreted differently.  Pierre Flourens: o Removed various parts of animals‘ brains and observed their behavior; o Brain ablation: The research method in which the function of a part of the brain is inferred by observing the behaviors and animal can no longer perform after that part is damaged. o Flourens claimed to have discovered regions of the brain that control heart rate and breathing, purposeful movements, and visual and auditory reflexes.  Paul Broca: o Applied the brian ablation technique to humans, by observing the behavior of those whose brains had been damaged by strokes. o Observations of those who could no longer speak, led him to conclude that there was an area in the left side of the brain performing functions necessary for speech.  Gustav Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig: o Applied a current to a dog‘s brain and observed the effects. o Stimulation of specific parts of the brain led to contractions of specific muscles on the opposite side of the body. This region is now called the PRIMARY MOTOR CORTEX.  Hermann von Helmholtz: o Provided many great discoveries, including theories of color vision. o He opposed Muller in that he believed all physiological phenomena can be subject to experimental investigation (they are all mechanistic).
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