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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 from Cognition (4th edition).docx

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McGill University
PSYC 213
Jelena Ristic

Chapter 2Cognitive Neuroscience goal is to discover brain mechanisms that give rise to human mental functions such as language memory and attention cog neuroscientists must assume that the mind is composed of specific partsmodules the sections of brain each is responsible for particular cog operation The brain as the Organ of the Mind Franz Joseph Gall and JG Spurzheim 1750s1830sPhrenologystudy of shape size and protrusions of cranium in an attempt to discover relation of parts of brain to mental activitiesabilitiesTheir arguments 3 basic principlesThe brain is the sole organ of the mindBasic character and intellectual traits are innately determinedSince there are differences in character and individual traits among individuals and differences in various intellectual capacities wI single individual there must exist differentially developed areas in brain responsible for these differences Where there is variation in function there must be variation in the controlling structuresBelieved that the more highly developed the function is the larger it would bethe larger the function the more it would manifest itself as a protrusion on the skull One could define persons strengthsweaknesses by examining shape of skull Underlying hypothesis that specific functions are localized in specific parts of brain Not everyone agrees w hypothesis since it takes a strict onetoone correspondence bw specific functions and parts of brain Shepherd Ivory Franzexpert in ablation destruction of parts of cortex of an animal and observation of results Concluded that mental processes are not due to independent activities of individual parts of brain but to activities of brain as a whole Advised against phrenology With Karl Lashley studied effects of ablation of frontal lobes of rats Made small holes in animals skull and determine by later histology microscopic analysis of tissue structure where the lesion occurred thus determining effect of lesions on retention of a simple learned maze habit Concluded that as long as sufficient tissue remained after operation the location of tissue was irrelevant Karl LashleyLesioned cortex of rats in different areas and different degreesConcluded that performance in simple mazes was not affected by brain damagebut it declined as difficulty of task increased andor amount of brain damage increased Mechanisms for habits are not closely grouped wi small areasNeither learning nor memory is dependent on properties of individual cells instead they are functions of the total mass of tissue
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