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Chapter 3

PSYB65H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Paradigm Shift, Scientific Method, Telepathy

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Ted Petit

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Chapter 3 Techniques in Neuropsychology
MODULE: Study of Damaged Nervous System
The Scientific Mind
- brain and beh can be investigated in at a variety of complexities and time
scales which depend primarily on the question that is being investigated
- some questions > minutiae of their properties others by their nature
- scientific method > objective and replication or confirmation of results
- standardized tests and measurements
- empirical method, replication [so initial results did not occur by chance
and generalizable]
- best term to describe the scientific method > control,
o refers to the ability to manipulate something of interest and
determine its effects
o the ability to exclude unwanted variable [confounding variables]
o appropriate comparison sample so deviations can be observed
- hypothesis directs the research [statement that can be rejected]
o eliminates vague question
o avoids questions that cannot be disproved
- independent [manipulated] and dependent variables [response beh]
- much of research in neuropsychology is quasi-experimental > ethically and
practically we cannot manipulate the independent variable directly
- may be few of the kinds of people we want to see, man confounding var
- cannot rely on single experiment for conclusions
- we rely on convering operations > a common conclusion is reached by
examining a # of studies that approach the question in a variety of diff
perspectives [if consensus > confident we have learned an imp feature]
Nonhuman Animal Models
- 1930-65, dominated by the study of white lab rats
- assumption that there are minimal basic diff btwn most mammals
- nonhuman studies > allowed to control all of the aspects of the life cycle
o greater objectivity and precision that is not in human experiments
- now know imp diff among species which also tells us something
- reduces variability that is attributable to extraneous variables
- allows for random selection
- can isolate causal conclusions
- examination of discrete lesions >insight into relationship brain and beh
- Tinberg > imprinting and that of Diamond effects on enriched enviro
- teratogenic/beh effects of alcohol was first done in nonhuman animals
- limitations > focus on one facet of the organism and ignore the others
o delayed nonmatching to sample task > after observing reqrd paired
with stimulus A, then one is required to pick a novel stimulus to
receive the reward
o ethological validity> do animals exhibit this beh in natural setting
o tasks may be so novel > do not provide info on real world func

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o not easily generalizable to other species [human too complicated at
time may be better to examine simpler systems]
- nonhuman animal experimentation has provided critical info regarding how,
why, and where psychological phenomena such as learning occur within the
nervous system
- mammalian systems are remarkably conserved > great degree of overlap
among basic properties of the nervous system
- thus, at the most basic level of life, DNA, there is remarkable conservation of
systems across species and the understanding of how one species solves a prob
posed b the enviro may lead to understanding other solutions to the same prob
- learning principles generalize to other species > humans included
- cogn not generalize to humans
- semantic categorization > pigeons, rats, chimps, gorillas, parrots
o suggest > unlikely that lang is developed in a ontogenic and
phylogenic isolation form other cogn abilities
- limitations > important diff btwn mammalian species [complexity of NS]
o some questions are quite difficult to in humans not to mention
nonhuman animals > consciousness
Cognitive Testing
- Mini-mental state exam > how well people answer a series of question
o designed to examine cogn func > lang, orientation ot location,
attention, orientations to time
- ppl w/ injury first beh test in emergency room
- neurological not as detailed as neuropsychological > but give gross
appreciation to the degree to which the NS is involved in a injury
- this is a generalization but only trying to see the degree basic neurological
func have been affeed
- neuropsychological testing is a detailed examination of higher cognitive
o personal interview > medical history, probs/concerns
o series of tests > standardized cogn tests [given in same way to
everyone and always score din the same manner]
o test of general cogn > specific cogn func
- used to help in diagnosis, intervention and rehabilitation
- limitations > if not given/scored standardized manner > meaningless
- some test have issues in generalizablity
MODULE: Brain Imaging
- current neuroimaging techniques have technical and methodological
limitations [no ultimate investigative tool]
- the type of tool used must suit the problem to be sovled
- common problem > everyones brain is different
o might demostrate similar patterns of activiation but the boundaries of
functional brain areas are not exactly the same location for everyone
average? or each separately?
Structural imaging
- image of the structure of the brain > before lots of tests
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