PSYA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Antonio Damasio, Pineal Gland
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❖ Psychology: Evolution of a Science
➢ Psychology is the study of mind and behavior.
➢ Mind refers to the private inner experience of perceptions, thoughts, memories,
➢ Behaviour refers to observation actions made by ourselves or others
➢ What are the bases of perceptions, thoughts, memories and feelings or our
subjective sense of self?
■ All of our subjective experience arise from the electrical and chemical
activities from our brain
■ Functional magnetic resonance imaging allows scientists to scan a brain
to determine which parts are active when a person reads a word, sees a
face, learns a new skill or remembers a personal experience.
■ Extensive practice at a skill changes the brain
➢ How does the mind usually allow us to function effectively in the world?
■ Language allows us to organize our thoughts and communicate them to
others, which allows us to form social groups and cooperate.
■ Memory allows us to not solve the same problems over again every time
we encounter them
■ Emotions allows us to react quickly to events that have life or death
significance, and they enable us to form strong social bonds
■ People who have deficiencies in these categories have a tough time at
■ Antonio Damasio described a life of Elliot who had a tumor in his brain
and had it removed. He started making irrational wrong decisions and lost
everything. Neurologists did tests and his memory and language were as
strong as ever, but he wasn't about to form emotions; unable to feel sorry
when his wives left him; didn't regret pouring money into savings
➢ Why does the mind occasionally function so ineffectively in the world?
■ Brain is like a machine
■ All machines break down
■ People often rely on habits and execute them without thinking
● Lady bought a stamp from the machine and said “thank you”
instead of “How are you?” because when something/someone
gives you something, you say thanks
➢ Psychology’s Ancestors: The Greater Philosophers
■ Nativism refers to the philosophical view that certain kinds of knowledge
are inborn or innate.
■ Philosophical empiricism refers to the view that all knowledge is acquired
➢ From the brain to the mind: The french connections
■ Mind influences the body through a tiny structure near the bottom of the
brain called the pineal gland
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