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PSYC 312
Andrea Perrino

Chapter 3 Physiological influences on Psychology Psych 312 Research on Brain Functions: Mapping From the Outside Franz Joseph Gall ( 1758 - 1828) :  German Physician  Dissected the brains of deceased animals and humans.  Confirmed existence of white and gray matter  Nerve fibers connecting each side of the brain to the opposite side of the spinal cord o The fibers connecting both halves of the brain  Shape and size of the brain o Animals with larger brain  more intelligence o Shape of brain:  Cranioscopy:  now known as phrenology ( doctrine of mental phenomena)  shape of the skill reveal a person’s intellectual and emotional characteristics o ruined his reputation o conscientiousness, benevolence or self esteem  strong  bulge or protrusion on the surface of the skill  weak  indentation in the skull  mapped location of 35 human attributes  Johann Spurzheim and George Combe: o Student of Gall and Scottish phrenologist ( in order) o Popularized the movement o Europe and USA  lectures and talks  Orson and Lorenzon Fowler: o Well educated son of a farmer o Developed a business based on Spurzheim and Combe’s paper. o Profitable o American Phrenological Journal  their magazine o Used technique to select employees o Reason for popularity : applied to practical problems  Charles Lavery and Frank White: o Established the Psycograph company of Minneapolis o Developed a machine to read the bumps  Machine gave a score on 32 mental attributes  Pierre Flourens: o Criticized Gal o Used the method of Extirpation: Systematically destroyed parts of the brain. o Shape no effect on intelligence  Brain tissue to soft to make any bulges  Areas designed by Gall for specific mental function was an error.  Gal’s influence : o Reinforced the growing believe among scientists that through the application of extirpation, clinical and electrical stimulation methods  localize specific brain functions o Lesson to be learned  popularity of a movement doesn’t mean its correct. Research On The Nervous System:  Considerable search on the structure of nervous system and the nature of neural activity o Previous research : Descarte’s nerve tube theory and Hartley’s Theory of Vibration  Luigi Galvani ( 1737 – 1798): o Nerve impulses were electrical  Giovanni Aldini:  His nephew  Effectiveness of electrical stimulation for obtaining spasmodic movement from muscles  using severed heads of two criminal  th o Theory accepted in the middle of 19 century  Nervous system function like a switching station, shunting the impulses onto either sensory or motor nerve fibers  Santiago Ramón y Cajal: (1852 – 1934): o Direction of travel for nerve impulses in the brain and spinal cord o A professor of anatomy at the medical school of university of Zaragoza o Received the Helmholts Medal from the Royal Academy of Sciences in Berlin o Won the Nobel Prize o Had difficulty communicating his findings  Barriers faced by scientist who worked outside of mainstream culture  Researchers investigating the anatomical structure of the nervous system found that nerve fibers were composed of separate structures (neurons) that somehow were connected at specific points ( synapses) o Consistent with a mechanistic image of human functioning o Believed that nervous system like the mind is made up of atomistic structures, bits of matter that combined to produce a more complex product The Mechanistic Spirit: th  Dominant in 19 century physiology  More pronounced in Germany o a group of scientist ( mostly Muller’s students) founded the Berlin Physical Society o committed to a single proposition:  all phenomena could be accounted for by the principles of physics.  Connect physiology with physics.  Swore a solemn oath, signing it ( according to legend, with their own blood)  Declaration : only forces active within an organism are the common physico-chemical ones.  Apply experimental method to the mind itself: o British Empiricist : sensation was the only source of knowledge o The astronomer Bassel : impact on observation of individual differences in sensation and perception o Physiologist: defining structures and functions of senses o Experimental psychology was ready to begin. The Beginnings Of Experimental Psychology:  4 German scientist Why Germany:  German science a more fertile breeding ground for the new psychology.  The German approach to science : o Temperament well suited for biology, zoology and physiology o France and England favored deductive, mathematical approach vs. German that adapted an inductive approach o Biology accepted slowly in England and France due to the fact that its hard to generalize. o Germany on the other hand welcome biology with its faith in taxonomic description and classification. o Germany define science broadly  phonetics, linguistics, history , archaeology, esthetics, long and even literary criticism. o England and France  chemistry and physics  things that can be approached quantitatively. o England and France  skeptical of applying science to the complex human mind o Germany  not constrained  The Reform Movement in German University: o Early 19 thcentury o Educational reform:  Teachers can teach whatever they want and research whatever they want  Students can take whatever course they preferred  This freedom also extended to the consideration of new areas of scientific inquiry, such as psychology.  The teachers could direct students in experimental research in well quipped laboratories.  Germany provided greater opportunities to learn and practice new scientific techniques.  Great economic conditions  Every district had a well financed university with highly paid faculty and state of art laboratory equipment.  England  only oxford and Cambridge.  USA no universities devoted to research until 1876 when Johns Hopkins founded the university in Baltimore, Maryland. Hermann Von Helmholtz (1821-1894):  Prolific researcher in physics and physiology rd  Psychology ranked 3 among his contributions  But his research instrumental to beginning of the new psychology.  Mechanistic and deterministic approach ( human sense organs function like machines )  Like to make technical analogies ( comparing transmission of nerve impulses to operation of a telegraph)  Helmholtz’s Life: o Delicate health  tutored at home. o No tuition cause he agreed to become army surgeons after graduation.  Served for 7 years  At the same time worked on his research o Paper on indestructibility of energy, he mathematically formulated the law of the conservation of energy. o Professor in germany o Research on physiological optics, he invented ophthalmoscope, a device used to examine the retina of the eye  Made diagnosis and treatment of reti
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