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Chapter 2

PSYC 2650 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Capgras Delusion, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Ct Scan

Course Code
PSYC 2650

of 6
Chapter 2
The Neural Basis For Cognition
Capgras Syndrome: An Initial Example
The capgras syndrome is when a person is able to recognize the people in her
world (her husband) but she believes the real person has been kidnapped
and the person in front of her is an imposter
o One person killed their husband thinking it was the imposter
This is due to the place in the brain used to detect faces
The Neural Basis for Capgras Syndrome
Neuroimaging techniques have been developed in the last few decades and
allow researchers to take high-quality, 3-D images of living brains without
disturbing the person
In the case of capgras syndrome the amygdala which is important for triggers
of safety and danger is damaged, showing why they do not feel safe
They also have damage in the prefrontal cortex which is active when a
person is planning or doing a careful analysis
o This is diminished and the person sometimes doesn't know the
difference between internal events and external
What do we Learn From Capgras Syndrome?
The amygdala and prefrontal cortex are both at fault
o Don't recognize faces or feel safe
The Study of the Brain
The brain is 3-4 pounds and is about the size of a melon
o There are 10 million billion connections in the brain
Damage to different parts of the brain result in different outcomes
Hindbrain, Midbrain, Forebrain
The hindbrain sits on top of the spinal cord and includes control for life
o Hear beats, rhythm of breathing, posture, balance, and brains level of
o The cerebellum is the largest part of the hindbrain
Involves movement, balance, spatial reasoning, sounds, and
input from various sensory systems
The midbrain plays an important part in movement
o Eye movement, takes auditory information to be processed in
different areas, and other areas help regulate the experience of pain
The forebrain is the largest part of the brain although the cortex is the only
outer part showing
o The cortex is a thin covering on the outer surface on the forebrain
3mm thick, covers 80% of the brain
The cortex has convolutions or wrinkles in it and if flattened
can cover 2 feet
o Some of the valleys in the wrinkles are deep grooves that divide the
brain in different sections
The deepest groove is the longitudinal fissure that runs from
the front of the brain to the back
Separates the left cerebral hemisphere from the right
Other fissures divide the brain into loves
The frontal lobes right behind the forehead
The central fissures divide the frontal lobes from the parietal
lobes (the brains topmost part)
The lateral fissure marks the bottom edge of the frontal lobes
and below it is the temporal lobes
The occipital lobes is at the back of the brain connected to the
parietal and temporal lobes
Subcortical Structures
Underneath the cortex in the middle of the brain are the subcortical parts of
the forebrain, this includes the
o Thalamus which relays all sensory information that goes to the cortex
o Hypothalamus underneath the thalamus controls motivated
Eating, drinking, ECT…
Around the thalamus and hypothalamus is the limbic system
o The amygdala and hippocampus are located under the cortex in the
temporal lobe
Essential for learning and memory
Amygdala is also responsible for emotional processing
There are most of the same structure for the left side of the brain and the
right side
o Left and right occipital cortex for example
However it does not mean they have the same function
The connection between the left and right brain is possible by commissures =
o Thick bundles of fibers that carry information back and forth
The largest is the corpus callosum
There are several other structures that allow the brain
to work together
Due to medical reasons people cut the corpus callosum to limit left and right
brain connection
o Showed us the language is in the left side and a number of tasks such
as spatial judgment is on the right
The hemispheres don't work alone, but work together to create a single
mental self
Data From Neuropsychology
Neuropsychology is studying the different parts of the brain and their
o Cognitive psychology learns about the parts of the brain due to
injuries that have happened and they study it
A lesion is a specific area of the brain that has been damaged
o The hippocampus if problematic has problems with memory but not
o The hippocampus has problems with language
Different areas of the brain preform different functions
Data from Neuroimaging
For many years scientists used computerized axial tomography (CT Scans) t
study the brains structure and Positron Emission Tomography to study its
o CT scans are x rays and PET put glucose in your body and follows it to
the areas of your brain
Now we have Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fMRI to show great
detailed picture of the brain and to show activity through oxygenated blood
Data From Electrical Recording
Neurons are activated through neurotransmitters (signals)
This is the connection between brain cells
o This happens through an electrical pulse in the neuron
Electroencephalography is a tool used by scientists hat measure the electrical
pulse of the neurons in the brain to see the activity t is undergoing
This can be used to measure the brains activity before during
and after an event
Called event-related potential
The Power of Combining Techniques
All of these techniques of strengths and weaknesses
o Some tell us where the activity took place but are not precise