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PSYCH 261 - Week 5 Textbook Notes (Modules 4.3 & 5.1)

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Daniel Smilek

PSYCH 261Physiological PsychologyModule 43 Research MethodsMost methods fall into the following categoriesExamine the effects of brain damageExamine the effects of stimulating a brain areaRecord brain activity during behaviourCorrelate brain anatomy with behaviourEffects of Brain DamagePaul Broca discovered that a patient who had lost the ability to speak had damaged his left frontal cortex o Known as Brocas areaBrain damage may result in an inability to recognize faces or perceive motion spatial neglect changes in emotional response memory impairments etcHumans with brain damage rarely have damage confined to just one area and rarely have the exact same damage o As a result localized damage is produced in laboratory animals for research purposesAblation removal of a brain area with a surgical knife o For structures below the brain surface lesions or damage are made by researchersStereotaxic instruments are devices for precise placement of electrodes in the brain o Used to damage a structure in the interior of the brain o A stereotaxic atlas or map of the brain is generated and an electrode is aimed at the desired position of the brain o Animal anesthetized hole drilled in skull electrode inserted electrical current damages areaTo ensure that the deficit wasnt caused by the anesthesia or drilling process a sham lesion is produced in a control group o Procedure is exactly the same aside from passing of electrical currentGeneknockout approach biochemical methods direct mutation to a particular gene that is important for particular cells transmitters receptorsTranscranial magnetic stimulation application of intense magnetic field to a portion of the scalp o Temporarily inactivates neurons allowing individuals to study a subjects behaviour when its brain is in active and inactive statesEffects of Brain StimulationElectrodes are often used to stimulate brain areas in laboratory animalsOptogenetics turns on activity in targeted neurons by a device that shines a laser light within the brainWith humans magnetic field is often applied to the scalp to stimulate the brain areas below itMany experiences depend on a pattern of activity across many brain areas rather than an increase of activity in one o As a result artificial stimulation produces artificial responses Recording Brain ActivityConfirm the connection between behaviour and brain activity by demonstrating that the activity of that area increases during particular behavioural displayElectroencephalograph EEG records electrical activity of brain through electrodes attached to scalp
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