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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - Cognitive neuroscience.docx

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PSYC 213
Signy Sheldon

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.  Necker cube important example because an external stimulus is constant, but the internal subjective experience varies.  Produced by a prolonged inspection of a figure according to Köhler. His hypothesis was discredited. Methods in Cognitive neuroscience Animal models +  indirect route to study brain mechanisms (human brain = inaccessible to invasive approaches)  Lesions are carefully controlled, lesions can be reversible  allows relationship between different parts of the brain to be specified -  full understanding of an animal’s brain may not lead to full understanding of the human brain (mouse≠monkey≠human)  Homunculus structures are difficult to identify across species Behavioural studies +  Tell us much about the structure and function of the human brain  Combine knowledge of sensory systems with precise stimulus presentation and response recording -  Cannot draw specific link between behaviour and underlying brain mechanisms e.g. eye movement studies Study of brain injuries  Provide a kind of substitute for experiments that provide evidence for the localization of 1 or + functions  link symptoms displayed to parts of the brain that are damaged  seldom neat & tidy= difficult to yield definitive evidence  Paul Broca: classic study of the consequences of brain damage  speech production severely impaired (know what to say but unable to do so)  Damage to posterior part of the left inferior frontal gyrus Broca’s aphasia: A deficit in the ability to produce speech as a result of damage to broca’s area Broca’s area: area of the brain’s left hemisphere that is responsible for how words are spoken  Karl Wernicke: speech production is intact, but comprehension is severely impaired  incoherent speech  Damage to posterior part of the left superior temporal gyrus Wernicke’s aphasia: A deficit in the ability to comprehend speech as a result of damage to Wernicke’s area Wernicke’s area: area of the brain’s left hemisphere that is responsible for processing the meaning of words  Broca and Wernicke made important contributions to the problem of localization of function  Their discoveries cannot be interpreted in any straightforward way  Broca’s area is not completely responsible for speech production and Wernicke ’s area is not completely respons
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