PSYC 213 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Inferior Frontal Gyrus, Carl Wernicke, Necker Cube

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25 Apr 2012
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Chapter 2
Cognitive neuroscience
Marriage of cognitive psychology and neuroscience
Goal= discover the brain mechanisms that give rise to human mental functions
Important to assume the fact that the mind is composed of specific parts
Modules: The sections of the brain, each of which is responsible for particular cognitive operations
The brain as the organ of the mind
Gall and Spruzheim: first to attempt to discover which parts of the brain are specialized for which cognitive
processes,
Their chart no longer taken seriously, their underlying premises still deserve consideration: specific
functions can be localized in specific parts of the brain
They used a speculative method
they believed that if a function is ↑ developed, then it must be larger
larger function= protrusion in the skull
Phrenology: study of the shape/size/protrusions of the cranium in an attempt to discover the relation of parts of the
brain to various mental activities and abilities.
Localization of function: the attempt to discover correspondences between specific cognitive functions and specific
parts of the brain, based on the assumption that there is a strict one-to-one correspondence between specific functions
and specific parts of the brain.
Histology: Microscopic analysis of tissue structure.
Franz: expert in the technique of ablation
Cortex of an animal destroyed, results were observed
The effects of ablation should depend on what part of the brain was removed
Conclusion: mental processes are not due to the independent activities of individual parts of the brain,
but to the activities of the brain as a whole.
Franz and Lashley: studied the effects of ablation of the frontal lobe in rats
Make small hole in the rat brain
Determine where the lesion occurred by histology
Then make lesions to other parts of the brain
if there were reflex paths transversing the cortex, then surgery would destroy them
no evidence that special connections developed in the brain
++ attempts to formulate an answer to the brain/mind relation
Important to distinguish between consciousness (narrower concept) and mind (broader concept).
Interactionism: Mind and brain are separate substances that interact with/influence each other.
Epiphenomenalism: Mind is a superfluous by-product of bodily functioning.
Parallelism: Mind and brain are two aspects of the same reality and flow in parallel.
Isomorphism: Mental events and neural events share the same structure.
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