PSYC 211 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Auditory Cortex, Primary Motor Cortex, Postcentral Gyrus
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CHAPTER 1 : INTRODUCTION LECTURE 1
All moving objects were assumed to have spirits that acused them to move.
As our ancestors became more sophisticated and learned more about nature, they
abandoned this approach (called ANIMISM) in favor of physical explanations for
inanimate moving objects, but they still used spirits to explain human behavior
1) Mind body question
Dualism is a belief in the dual nature of reality, mind and body are separate.
The body is made of ordinary matter but the mind is not
Monism is a belief that everything in the universe consists of matter of
energy and the mind is a phenomenon produced by the workings of the
2) Understanding human consciousness : a physiological approach
Consciousness refers to simple wakefulness. We humans are aware of our
thoughts, perceptions, memories and feelings. We are aware of our own
Blindsight is the ability of a person who cannot see objects in his blind field
to accurately reach for them while remaining unconscious of perceiving
them. It is caused by a damage to the ‘’mammalian’ visual system of the brain
This ‘’mammalian’’ system is the one responsible for our ability to perceive
the world around us. The ‘’primitive’’visual system is devoted to controlling
eye movements and brining our attention to sudden movements that occur
off to the side of our field of vision.
People can use the primitive visual system to guide hand movements toward
an object even though they cannot see what they’re reaching for. So visual
information can control behavior without producing a conscious sensation.
Only the mammalian visual system has direct connections with parts of brain
responsible for consciousness.
4) Split brains
Surgical intervention used for people with severe epilepsy (nerve cells in
one side of the brain become uncontrollably overactive and the over
activity is transmitted to the other side of the brain.
Split brain operation: cutting the corpus callosum reduces the frequency
of epileptic seizures
Only one hemisphere controls speech (left). The right hemisphere of an
epileptic person with split brain appears able to understand instructions
reasonably well but is totally incapable of producing speech
Example : patients may find themselves putting down a book held in left
hand even if they have been reading it with great interest. This conflict
occurs because the right hemisphere which controls the left han cannot
read and therefore finds holding the book boring.
The olfactory system is an exception to the general rule of sensory
information crosses from one side of the body to the opposite side of
brain. Example : When a person sniffs a flower through left nostril, the left
brain receives information of the odor. If the odor enters only the right
nostril of a split brained patient, he will say that he smells nothing.
5) Unilateral neglect
A syndrome in which people ignore objects located toward their left
and left sides of objects; damage to right parietal lobe
Example : Patients are asked to describe the Piazza Del Duomo, the
patients duly named the buildings but only those on the west, to their
right. The investigators then asked them to imagine themselves at the
south end of the piazza and they naed the buildings on the east (to their
6) Perception of self
Rubber hand illusion : Normal subjects were positioned with their left
hand hidden out of sight. They saw a lifelike rubber left hand in front of
them. The experimenters stroked both the subject’s hidden left hand
and visible rubber hand with a small paintbrush. If the subject’s hidden
left hand and the visible rubber hand are stroked synchroniously in the
same direction, the subject will come to experience the artificial hand
as his own. If the hands are stroked asynchronously or in different
directions, this illusion will not occur. MRI scanner recorded increased
activity in parietal lobe (importance in feelings of body ownership)
Experimenters threatened the rubber hand by making a stabbing
movement to ward it with a needle. Brain scans showed anterior
cingulate cortex, which is normally activated when a person anticipates
pain, and also in a region (supplementary area) that is normal activated
when a person feels the urge to move his arm.
7) The Goals of research
Generalization : A type of scientific explanation, a general
conclusion based on many observations of similar phenomena
.(Example : Psychologists would explain a pathologically strong fear of
dogs as an example of a particular form of leaning called Classical
conditioning. The person was frightened earlier in life by a dog. An
unpleasant stimulus was paired with the sight of the animal and the
subsequent sight of dogs evoked the earliest response : fear)
Reduction : A type of scientific explanation; a phenomenon is
described in temrs of the more elementary processes that underlie
it. (example : explaining movement of a muscle in terms of the
changes in the membranes of muscles cells)
8) Biological roots of behavioral neuroscience
The Ancient Greeks considered the heart to be the seat of thought and
emotions =>>> Hippocrates concluded that this role should be
assigned to the brain
Aristotle : the brain serves to cool the passion of the heart
Galen : dissected and studied the brains of cattle, sheep, pigs, etc.
o provide a good starting point in the modern history of behavioral
o Animals were mechanical devices, their behavior controlled by
environmental stimuli. His view of the human body => A
o Discovered the reflexes. He was a dualist, was the first to suggest
a link exists between human mind and the brain.
o He believed that the mind controls the movements while the
body supplied the mind with information about what was
happening in the environment. This interaction took place in the
pineal body. (on top of brainstem beneath cerebral hemisp.)
o He noted that the brain contained hollow chambers (ventricles)
and filled with fluid under pressure. When the mind decided to
perform an action, it tilted the pineal body in a direction, causing
flid to flow from the brain into the appropriate set of nerves. This
flow of fluid caused the same muscles to inflate and move. => the
moving statues in the grottoes of the Royal Gardens served in
theorizing about how the body worked.
Luigi Galvani : electrical stimulation of a frog’s nerve caused
contraction of the muscle to which it was attached. (he proved
Descartes wrong => the brain did not inflate muscles by directing
pressurized fluid through nerve)
Johannes Muller: experimentally removed and isolated animals’
organs, testing their responses to various chemicals, and altering
the environment to see how organs responded. His most important
contribution is his doctrine of specific nerve energies =>
although all nerves carry the same message, we perceive it of
different nerves in different ways, just like messages carried by optic
nerves produce sensation of visual images while auditory nerves
produce sensation of sounds.
Pierre Flourens: removed various parts of animals’ brains and
observed their behavior. By seeing what an animal could no longer
do, he could infer the function of the missing portion. (experimental
Paul Broca: observed the behavior of people whose rains had been
damaged by strokes. His observations led him to conclude that a
portion of cerebral cortex on the front part of left side of the brain
performs functions necessary for speech.
All moving objects were assumed to have spirits that acused them to move. As our ancestors became more sophisticated and learned more about nature, they abandoned this approach (called animism) in favor of physical explanations for inanimate moving objects, but they still used spirits to explain human behavior: mind body question. Dualism is a belief in the dual nature of reality, mind and body are separate. The body is made of ordinary matter but the mind is not. Monism is a belief that everything in the universe consists of matter of energy and the mind is a phenomenon produced by the workings of the nervous system: understanding human consciousness : a physiological approach. We humans are aware of our thoughts, perceptions, memories and feelings. We are aware of our own existence: blindsight. Blindsight is the ability of a person who cannot see objects in his blind field to accurately reach for them while remaining unconscious of perceiving them.