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Chapter 1-6

PSYC 211 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1-6: Parahippocampal Gyrus, Ethylamine, Idazoxan

Course Code
PSYC 211
Yogita Chudasama

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PSYC 211 Chapter 1 1/20/2013 8:07:00 PM
Chapter 1 Introduction* (Lecture 1)
*these notes are what is not added to the lecture slides
Understanding Human Consciousness: A Physiological Approach
Consciousness simple wakefulness
o Can be altered by changes in the structure or chemistry of the
brain (physiological function)
Verbal communication makes cooperation possible
o Establish customs, laws of behavior
damage to particular part of brain
our behavior can be guided by sensory information of which we are
completely unaware
o common belief that perceptions must enter consciousness to
affect our behavior = WRONG.
More primitive system (fish and frogs) evolved first (eye
movements and attention to sudden movements), more complex,
second (that mammals have)
o Mr. J was blind but could still grab things
Only mammalian system was damaged
Only mammalian visual system has direct
connections with the parts of the brain
responsible for consciousness
Blindsight the ability of a person who cannot see objects in his
or her blind field to accurately reach for them while remaining
unconscious of perceiving them, caused by damage to
―mammalian‖ visual system in brain
Split Brains
Corpus collosum largest commissure of the brain,
interconnecting the areas of the neocortex on each side of the brain
Split-brain operation brain surgery that is occasionally
performed to treat a form of epilepsy; the surgeon cute the corpus
collosum, which connects the 2 hemispheres of the brain
o Reduced frequency of epileptic seizures
Cerebral hemispheres the 2 symmetrical halves of the brain;
constitute the major part of the brain

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o Receive sensory info from opposite sides of the body
o Send info between each other (after split-brain, they operate
We become conscious of something only if information about it is
able to reach the parts of our brain responsible for verbal
communication (left hemisphere)
Unilateral Neglect
Unilateral neglect a syndrome in which people ignore objects
located toward their left and the left sides of objects located
anywhere; most often caused by damage to the right parietal lobe
2 major symptoms:
o neglect of the left halves of things in the environment
o neglect of the left half of one’s own body
Perception of Self
Rubber hand illusion
o If the subject’s hidden hand and the visible rubber hand are
stroked synchronously in the same direction, the subject will
come to experience the artificial hand as his or her own
Premotor cortex was activated
o If the hands are stroked asynchronously or in different
directions, the illusion will not occur
Premotor cortex was not activated
o (experimenter stroked the real hidden hand and the rubber
hand with a small brush)
o people felt ownership to the rubber hand, when it was about
to be stabbed in another experiment, the anterior cingulate
cortex (anticipate pain) was activated
The Nature of Behavioral Neuroscience
Ultimate function of the nervous system is behavior
The Goals of Research
Scientific explanation takes 2 forms:
o Generalization a general conclusion based on many
observations of similar phenomena
o Reduction a phenomenon is described in terms of the
more elementary processes that underlie it
Biological Roots of Behavioral Neuroscience

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Descartes see slides.
Luigi Galvani
o Experiments leading to an understanding of the nature of the
message transmitted by nerves between the brain and the
sensory organs and the muscles
Johannes Müller
o Experimenting!!
Removing or isolating animal organs, testing their
responses to various chemicals and altering the
environment to see how the organs responded
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
Perceive the message of different nerves differently
(messages occur in different channels)
o Experimental ablation the research method in which the
function of a part of the brain is inferred by observing the
behaviors an animal can no longer perform after that part is
Broca performed this and found Broca’s area
(responsible for speech production)
o Hermann von Helmholtz
Devised math formula of the law of conservation of
energy, invented ophthalmoscope (to examine retina)
First person to attempt to measure speed of conduction
through nerves
Similar to wires
Natural Selection and Evolution
*see slides
Ethical Issues in Research With Animals
Need to use animals for scientific research
o Prevent future human disease
o People shit on it more than eating animals or getting fur from
them, or even owning pets (animal rights)
Stupid because research is most important
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