The Neural basis for cognition
• Capgras syndrome: This disorder is rare on its own, but it seems to be one of the
accompaniments to Alzheimer’s syndrome and so is sometimes observed among the elderly
and more directly, the disorder can result from various injuries to the brain
• someone with this syndrome is fully able to recognize the people in her world, but she is
utterly convinced that these people are not who they appear to be.
• insist that there are slight differences between the impostor and the person he has
replaced and nobody else notices so this can lead to suspicions
• some have attempted to kill the impostor in an attempt to end the charade and relocate the
• some researchers assume the fact that facial recognition involves 2 separate systems in
the brain, one of which leads to a cognitive appraisal (“i know what my father looks like,
and I can perceive that you closely resemble him”) and emotional appraisal (“you look
familiar to me and also trigger a warm response in me”)
• in capgras syndrome: the emotional processing is disrupted, leading to the intellectual
identification without the familiarity response. “you resemble my father but trigger no
sense of familiarity, so you must be some else.”
Neural basis for capgras syndrome
• neuroimaging techniques: 3 dimensional pictures of living brains
• PET scans, MRI scans
• with capgras
• in temporal lobe, disrupting damage in amygdala , almond shaped structure (in
the intact brain serves as an emotional evaluator and show positive stimuli)
• With a damaged amygdala, they won’t experience the warm sense of feeling
good when looking at loved ones faces.
• fMRI (for schizo, reveals diminished activity in the frontal loves whenever these patiences
• frontal lobe, prefrontal cortex , active when a person is engaged in a tasks that
require planning, or careful analysis (less active when someone is dreaming)
• absence of careful analysis of the dream material. which in turn helps us
understand why dreams are often illogical or bizarre
• for capgras, patients may be less able to keep track of what is real and what is
not, what is sensible and what is not so weird beliefs can appear, unchecked.
What do we learn from capgras syndrome?
• Amygdala plays a crucial role in supporting the feeling of familiarity
• parts of the brain must work together for simple achievements
The study of the brain
hindbrain: sits directly atop the spinal cord and includes several structures crucial for
controlling key life functions.
• rhythm of heartbeat and breathing are regulated
• maintains body’s overall tone, especially body posture and balance and it helps control the
brain’s level of alertness.
• largest area of the hindbrain is the cerebellum which is suggested that it can coordinate body
movements, balance and 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
midbrain: plays an important part in coordinating movements, including skilled, precise
movements of your eyes as you explore the visual world
• it also has circuits that relay auditory information from the ears to the areas in the forebrain
where this information is processed and interpreted
• may help regulate pain
• for cognitive psyc, most interesting part of the brain
• cortex: outer surface layer of forebrain (hides from view midbrain and most of hindbrain)
• tin covering on the outer surface of the forebrain
• cerebral cortex (every organ has a cortex or outer layer)
• constitutes 80% of the human brain
• the cortex is a big sheet so it crumples being fit into a small head. The wrinkles are called
convolutions, and they cover the brain’s outer surface.
• there are valleys between the wrinkles, some of these are deep grooves that divide the
brain into sections
• longitudinal fissures: 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 Hampshire into four loves and these are
named after the bones the cover them. (skull)
• central fissure: divides the frontal lobes on each side of the brain from the parietal
• frontal lobes: from the front of the brain-right behind the forehead
• lateral fissure: the bottom edge of the frontal lobes is marked by lateral fissure
and below it are the temporal lobes
• parietal lobes: the brain’s topmost part
• occipital lobes: Back of the brain, connected to the parietal and temporal lobes
• subcortical parts of the forebrain
• thalamus: acts as a relay station for nearly all the sensory information going to the cortex.
• hypothalamus: located under the thalamus; a structure that plays a crucial role in controlling
motivated behaviors such as eating, drinking and sexual activity.
• Surrounding these is another set of interconnected structures that together form the limbic
system: amygdala, hippocampus.
• both located underneath the cortex in the temporal lobe
• they are essential for learning and memory
• emotional events show greater activation in the amygdala, and are remembered better
• There is a left side and a right said of all parts of the brain (they come in pairs)
• they work together, but both do different things.
• they are integrated because of commisures, thick bundles of fibers that cary information back
and forth between the two hemispheres. • the largest commissure is the corpus callosum (ensure the two brain halves work
• problems with these commissures= split brain patient (limited interaction)
• all activities depend on the whole of our brain, not just one side (ex. to be creative, or
Data from Neuropsychology
• neuropsychology:the study of the brain’s structures and how they relate to brain functions
• clinical neuropsychology: seeks to understand the functioning of intact, undamaged brains
by careful scrutiny of cases involving brain damage
• a lesion ( a specific area of damage) in the hippocampus produces memory problems but
not language disorders, frontal lobe would cause a problem with language
• a lesion in the occipital would create problems of vision, they depend on the hemisphere of
Data from neuroimaging
• 3 dimensional picture of brain
• computerized axial tomography (ct scan): to study the brain’s structure by using x-rays
• positron emission tomog