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Chapter 2

Chaper 2.docx

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PSYC 2650
Roderick Barron

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Chapter 2: The Neural Basis for Cognition Page 29­52 64­70 Capgras Syndrome ∗ Rare disorder, one of the accompaniments Alzheimer’s syndrome (sometimes observed elderly). ∗ Generally this disorder can result from various injuries to the brain. ∗ Someone with this disorder is fully able to recognize the people in their world but she is utterly convinced that these people are not who they appear to be. That the people they are seeing are imposters and their loved ones have been kidnapped (or worse). The Neural Basis for Capgras Syndrome ∗ One line of evidence comes from neuroimaging techniques. These scans suggest a link between capgras syndrome and abnormalities in several brain areas, indicating that our account of the syndrome will need several elements. ∗ One site of damage in capgras patients is in the temporal lobe particularly PE right side of the head. This damage in capgras probably disrupts circuits involving that amygdala, an almond shape structure-in the intact brain- seems T +  to serve as an ’emotional evaluator’, helping an organism to detect stimuli M RI associated with threat of danger. People with capgras won’t experience the warm sense of feeling good (positive stimuli). ∗ Patients with capgras syndrome also have brain abnormalities in the frontal love, specifically in the right prefrontal cortex (f MRI- moment-by-moment activity levels). ∗ Studies make it clear that prefrontal cortex is especially active when a person is engaged in tasks that require planning, or careful analysis. This area is less active while dreaming. With damage in the frontal lobe, capgras patients may be less able to keep track of what is real and what is not. As a result, weird beliefs can emerge unchecked, including delusions that you or I would find utterly bizarre. What do we learn from Capgras Syndrome? ∗ Some of the evidence comes from the psychology labs and confirms that suggestion that recognition of all stimuli (not just faces) does involve two separate mechanisms – one that hinges on factual knowledge, and that’s more ‘emotional’ and tied to the warm sense of familiarity. ∗ Our understanding depends on a combination of evidence drawn from cognitive psychology and from cognitive neuroscience. ∗ Amygdala: ° Plays a crucial role in supporting the feeling of familiarity Chapter 2: The Neural Basis for Cognition Page 29­52 64­70 ° Plays a central part in helping people remember the emotional events ° Plays a role in decision making The Study of the Brain ∗ Human brain weighs between 3 and 4 pounds; it’s roughly the size of a small melon. ∗ Estimated to contain a trillion nerve cells each, which is connected to 10,000 for a total of roughly 10 million billion connectors. ∗ Contains a huge number of glial cells (some believe glia outnumber the nerve cells by roughly 10 to 1, so roughly 10 trillion of these). Hindbrain, Midbrain, Forebrain  – three main structures Hindbrain ∗ Sits directly atop the spinal cord and includes several structures crucial for controlling key life functions (heartbeat). ∗ Also plays an essential role in maintaining the body’s overall tone; specifically, the body’s posture and balance, and helps control the brain’s level of alertness. ∗ The largest area of the hindbrain is the cerebellum. Investigators believed this structures main role was the coordination of bodily movements and balance, however it also plays a diverse set of other roles, and damage to this organ can cause problems in spatial reasoning, in discriminating sounds, and in integrating the input received from various sensory systems. Midbrain ∗ Plays an important role in coordinating your movement (including the skilled and precise movements of your eyes as you explore visual world). ∗ Are circuits that relay auditory information from the ears to the areas in the forebrain where this information is processed and interpreted. ∗ Help to regulate the experience of pain. Forebrain ∗ Most interesting brain region ∗ Cortex refers to an organs outer surface, and many organs each have their own cortex. Chapter 2: The Neural Basis for Cognition Page 29­52 64­70 ∗ The cortex is a thin covering on the outer surface of the forebrain; on average 3 mm thick. There is a great deal of cortical tissue; by estimates the cortex constitutes 80% of the human brain. ∗ Cerebral cortex, thin as it is, consists of a very large sheet of tissue; if stretched out flat, it would cover more than 2 square feet (it is crumpled up and jammed into a limited space) {wrinkles or convolutions}. ∗ Longitudinal Fissure-deepest groove, running from the front of the brain to the back, which separates the left cerebral hemisphere from the right. ∗ Other fissures divide the cortex in each hemisphere into four lobes and these are named after bones that cover them. Frontal lobes from the front of the brain (behind forehead). The central fissure divides the frontal lobes on each side of the brain from the parietal lobes, the brain’s topmost part. The bottom edge of the frontal lobes is marked by the lateral fissure, and below it are the temporal lobes. Finally, at the very back of the brain, connected to the parietal and temporal lobes, are the occipital lobes. Subcortical Structures ∗ Underneath the cortex, are the subcortical parts of the forebrain ∗ Thalamus: acts as relay station for nearly all the sensory information going to the cortex ∗ Hypothalamus: directly under the thalamus, a structure that plays a crucial role in controlling motivated behaviours such as eating, drinking, and sexual activity. ∗ Surrounding the thalamus and hypothalamus is another set of interconnected structures that together form the limbic system. Included here is the amygdala and close by is the hippocampus, both located underneath the cortex in the temporal lobe. These structures are essential for learning and memory. ∗ People ordinarily show more complete, longer-lasting memories for emotional events, compared to similar but emotionally flat events. Lateralization ∗ Visually all parts of the brain come in pairs ∗ There are differences in function between the left-side and right-side structures ∗ The integration between the two halves of the brain work together by the commissures: thick bundles of fibres that carry information back and forth between hemispheres. ∗ The largest commissures is the corpus callosum Chapter 2: The Neural Basis for Cognition Page 29­52 64­70 Data from Neuropsychology ∗ Neuropsychology: the study of the brain’s structures and how they relate to brain function ∗ Clinical Neuropsychology: seeks to understand the functioning of intact, undamaged brains by careful scrutiny of cases involving brain damage ∗ A lesion in the hippocampus produces memory problems but not language disorders, a lesion in the occipital cortex produces problems in vision but spares the other sensory modalities ∗ The consequences of brain lesions depend on which hemisphere is damaged: Damage to the left side of frontal lobe i.e. is likely to produce a disruption of language use; damage on the right side doesn’t. Data from Neuroimaging ∗ Allows us to take precise 3-D pictures of the brain ∗ Researchers used computerized axial tomography (CT scans) to study the brains structure and positron emission tomography (PET Scans) to study the brains activity ∗ CT Scans rely on x-rays and thus-in essence-provide a 3-D X-ray picture of the brain ∗ PET Scans, start by introducing a tracer substance such as glucose into the body; the molecules of this tracer have been tagged with low dose of radio activity and the scan keeps track of this radioactivity, allowing us to tell which tissues are using more of the glucose and which are using less. ∗ Both types of scan, the primary data are collected by a bank of detectors surrounding the head; s computer compares the signals received by each of the detectors and uses this information to pinpoint the source of each signal ∗ Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) relies on the mag
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