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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Notes

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PSYC 2650

Cognitive Psyc – Chapter 2 - functioning of the brain as a whole is dependent on interconnected systems - damage anywhere in the brain will result in specific symptoms Capgras syndrome: person is able to recognize the people in their world (ex. Husband, parents, etc.) but is convinced that they are not who they appear to be - thinks they are impostures - thinks their real husband, child, etc. has been kidnapped or worse - PET scans have link Capgras syndrome to multiple brain areas - One site of damage is the temporal lobe on the right side of the head – this involves disrupting the circuits involving the amygdala (the “emotional evaluator, helps detect safety or danger) - Also damage in the prefrontal cortex Neuroimaging techniques: allows researchers to take high-quality, three-dimensional “pictures” of living brains, without in anyway disturbing the brain of the owner PET (positron emission tomography) scans: tell about the structure of the brain, including abnormalities in the brain tissues - provides a precise measurement assessment of how blood is flowing through each region of the brain - therefore also looks at functioning fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging): tracks moment to moment activity levels in different sites of the living brain - allows you to see which parts of the brain are activated during different activities - measures oxygen content in blood flowing through different regions of the brain - oxygen content can determine the level of neural activity in that region MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): tells about the structure of the brain - relies on magnetic tissues of atoms that make up brain tissue - yields very detail pictures of the brain CT (computerized axial tomography) scan: uses x-rays to study the brain’s anatomy - CT and PET scans can be used together to pinpoint signals in the brain - CT provides a map of brain - PET tells us about activity levels and which areas of the brain are active and inactive at different times - results of CT and MRI are fairly stable – only changes if brain structure changes (due to injury, etc.) - results of PET and fMRI are highly variable – results depend on what task the person is performing - two things contribute to face recognition – factual knowledge and an emotional part that is tied to a warm sense of familiarity Principle Structures of the Brain - human brain weighs between 3 and 4 pounds - 10 million billion connections Hindbrain: sits directly atop the spinal cord and includes several structures crucial for controlling key life functions - rhythms of heartbeat, breathing - maintains body’s overall tone, maintains posture and balance - regulates brain’s level of alertness¸ Cerebellum: plays role in coordination of body movements and balance - damage to this area can cause problems in spatial reasoning, in discriminating sounds, and in integrating the input received from various sensory systems Midbrain: plays important part in coordinating our movements, including skilled, precise movements of our eyes - also contains circuits that relay auditory info from the ears to the areas in the forebrain - also helps to regulate experience of pain Forebrain: largest region of the brain - cortex: outer layer of the brain (only 3 mm thick), makes up 80% of the brain, curled up tissue (called convolutions) - longitudinal tissue: deepest groove in the brain, runs from front of brain to the back and separating the left cerebral hemisphere from the right - frontal lobes: forms front of brain -parietal lobes: top of brain - occipital lobes: back of brain Thalamus: brain region that acts as a relay station for nearly all the sensory information going to the cortex Hypothalamus: structure below the thalamus, crucial role in the control of motivated behaviours such as eating, drinking, and sexual activity Limbic System: interconnected structures surrounding the thalamus and the hypothalamus - contains the amygadala and hippocampus, both essential for learning, memory and for emotional processing Commissures: thick bundles of fibres that carry information back and forth between the two hemispheres - largest commissure is the corpus collosum Lesion: specific area of damage Fusiform Face Area (FFA): an area that seems highly responsive to faces and much less responsive the other visual stimuli Parahippocampal Place Area (PPA): a brain sight that seems to respond actively whenever pictures of places are in view Binocular rivalry: the visual system is unable to handle both stimuli at once, or to fuse the stimuli into a single complex perception - results in a flip flop between stimuli BOLD signal: blood oxygenation level dependent - measures how much oxygen the blood’s haemoglobin is carrying in each part of the brain Localization of Function: figuring out which region provides which function Trancranial magnetic stimulation: technique that creates a series of strong magnetic pulses at a specific location on the scalp, causing a temporary disruption in the small brain region directly underneath this scalp area Primary Projection Areas: departure points for signals leaving the forebrain and controlling muscle movements - arrival points: primary sensory projection area Contralateral Control: stimulation in specific part of brain produces specific movements Ex: a current applied to a certain spot results in the movement of your left leg Association Cortex: performs the task of associating simple ideas and sensations in order to form more complex thoughts and behaviours Apraxias: disturbances in the initiation or organization of voluntary action Agnosias: disruptions in a person’s ability to identify familiar objects - usually only affects one modality, so a person who can not recognize an object by looking at it may be able to recognize it by touching it Neglect syndrome: the individual seems to ignore half of the world - usually takes place in the parietal lobe - ex: patient with this syndrome will only shave half of their face, eat only half of what is on their plate Aphasia: damage t
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