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Cognitive Psychology CH 2.docx

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PSYC 2650
Anneke Olthof

Cognitive Psychology: Chapter 2 - each part of the brain has its own specialized function, o our behaviour’s, thoughts and feelings almost invariably depend on the coordinated action of many brain regions Capgras Syndrome: an initial Example - this disorder is rare but seems to be one of the accompaniments to Alzheimer’s syndrome but can result from various injuries to the brain - able to recognize people in their world (husband, son blh blah) but believes they are all actors and she has been kidnapped - sometimes leads to murdering the “imposter - this happens because facial recognition involves two separate systems of the brain ( one cognitive- knowing what someone looks like, one emotional- I get a warm feeling around you) - in capgras syndrome the emotional processing is disrupted leading to recognition but no emotional attachment “you look like m father but no sense of familiarity is there…” Neural basis for Capgras syndrome -Neuroimaging techniques (evidence)- taking high quality three dimensional pictures of living brains without disturbing the brains owners - PET scans- tells the structure of the brain and abnormalities in brain tissue o Damage in the temporal lobe (right side of the head)- disrupts amygdala which serves as an emotional evaluator to detect danger and detecting safety - fMRI tests- run for checking prefrontal cortex- assess brain activity o in schizo patients, brain activity decreases during hallucinations and therefore one losses grip on reality o Damage in frontal lobe prefrontal cortex – less able to keep track of what is real and what is not What do we learn from capgras syndrome? - the damage to the amygdala causes no familiarity. The damage to the prefrontal cortex illustrates why when people with the syndrome experience unfamiliarity why they create crazy hypotheses - amygdala o Supports familiarity feeling o Helping people remember emotional events o Decision making Principle Structures of the Brain - brain weighs 3-4 pounds - contains trillion nerve cells - 10 million billion connections - left side of the brain damage: language skills Hindbrain, midbrain, forebrain - hindbrain- directly atop the spinal cord and includes structures crucial for controlling key functions - rhythm of heartbeat and breathing are controlled in hindbrain - maintains body’s overall tone (posture, balance, regulates alertness) o Cerebellum- largest area of the hindbrain o in the past: thought it was for bodily movements and balance o Now: also plays other roles, damage can cause problems in spatial reasoning, discriminating sounds, integrating input from various sensory system - Midbrain- coordinates movements including the eye o Circuits that relay auditory information from ears to areas where info is processed and interpreted o Help regulate experience of pain - Forebrain- largest region o Cortex- is what is visible in more pictures  Thin covering on surface of brain, only 3mm thick  Constitutes 80% of the human brain  Very large sheet of tissue that can stretch over 2 sq ft  The crumpling of the tissue creates the wrinkles in brain called convolutions  Deepest groove is the longitudinal fissure from the front of the brain to the back separating the left cerebral hemisphere from the right  Other fissures divide the cortex in each hemisphere into four lobes  Frontal lobes- form the front of the brain right behind forehead  Central fissure divides frontal lobes on each side of brain from parietal lobes – the brains top-most part  Lateral fissure marks the bottom edge of the frontal lobes and below this is are the temporal lobes  Occipital lobes located at the back of brain connected to the parietal and temporal lobes Subcortical Structures - subcortical parts are hidden underneath the cortex o Thalamus- acts as a relay station for all sensory info going to the cortex o Hypothalamus- underneath the thalamus and controls motivated behaviour’s like eating, drinking, and sexual activity - Limbic system- surrounds the thalamus and hypothalamus o Amygdala and hippocampus- located under the cortex and is essential for learning, memory and emotional processing  the patient H.M. developed amnesia after surgeons removed these structures (showing their role in forming new memories) o subcortical structures and the cortex come in pairs (there is a left side of the hippocampus and a right side version. This is true for everything) o these pairs have different functions but work in accordance with each other o this is made possible by commissures – thick bundles of fibers that carry info back and forth between the two hemispheres o Corpus Callosum- the largest commissure Neuroimaging techniques - lesion- a specific area of damage o on the hippocampus produces memory problems o on the occipital cortex produces problem in vision o brain lesion consequences depend on which hemisphere is damaged neuroimaging - computerized axial tomography- (CT scans) and Positron emission tomography (PET scans) o CT scans use xrays to study brains anatomy (tells us structure) o PET scans provide precise assessment of how blood is flowing through each region of the brain (tells us activity level) RECENTLY: - Started using 2 new techniques o Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)- relies on the magnetic properties of atoms that make up brain tissue o Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) – measures oxygen content in the blood flowing through each region of the brain  Provides precise picture of the brains movement by movement activities - CT and MRI scans are stable and don’t usually change unless brain structure is changing (tumor) - fMRI and PET change depending on what task a person is performing Neuroimaging: an example - Tong study o Participants looked at pictures of faces while brains were scanned o Data showed high level of activation in fusiform face area (FFA) , an area highly responsive to faces specifically o Participants looked at pictures of houses while brains were scanned o Data showed high level of activity in parahippocampal place area (PPA) o Different areas of brain are specialized for specific types of visual targets o Participants had one eye look at a house and one look at a face  Created binocular rivalry- visual system cant handle both stimuli at once  The visual system flip-flops between the stimuli so that for a while the person is aware only of the face and then for a while only on the house  Researchers relied on the BOLD signal (blood oxygenation level dependent) to measure how much oxygen the bloods hemoglobin is carrying in each part of the brain Correlation vs causation - Localization of function- asking questions about what jobs and work do certain parts of the brain conduct - Neuroimaging only tells us w
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