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Chapter 1

PSYB65H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Local Anesthetic, Sepharad, Golgi'S Method


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB65H3
Professor
Ted Petit
Chapter
1

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Chapter 1
What is Neuropsychology
Broadly defined psychology is the study of behaviour- specifically its an attempt to
describe, explain and predict behaviour- and in some cases psych is also the study of
how to change behaviour
Neuropsychology- is a speciality within the larger field of psychology- is also the
study of behaviour- is the study of the relation between behaviour and the activity of
the brain
an individuals behaviour is at least in part the result of the activity in the brain
There are two types of neuropsychologists
Clinical Neuropsychology- is the branch of neuropsychology concerned with
psychological assessment, management and rehabilitation of neurological disease
and injury
Experimental neuropsychology- focuses on how patterns of behavioural
impairments can be explained in terms of disruptions to the damaged neural
components- is also referred to as cognitive neuropsychology or more commonly
as cognitive neuroscience
Heart, Mind and Brain: The Early History of Neuropsychology
The assumption that the brain plays a central role in behaviour is not particularly
contentious today- but human thoughts and behaviours werent always attributed to
the brain
Empedocles was a philosopher who believed that the heart was the source of human
behaviour- a position that became known as the cardiac or cardio centric hypothesis
Aristotle came to the same conclusion, although for different reasons
Concluded that the heart was the source of thought and sensation
Brain does not cool blood, in fact blood helps to cool the brain, and the heart is not
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the source of human behaviour
The brain is responsible for these functions a view that is referred to as the
cephalocentric hypothesis or the brain hypothesis
Importantly, the individual survived these operations its unknown what the
ancient surgeon was trying to achieve with the trephination- was designed to cure
something
The Mind-Body Problem
Descartes presented a reflective theory of the control of behaviour in which he
descried the flow of animals spirits through valvules within nervous tissue
filaments- this theory accounted for reflecive behaviours by describing how external
stimuli would move the skin in turn moving the filaments, releasign the animal
spirits and innervating the muscles- this theory couldnt account for voluntary
behaviour
Most structures in the brain a re paired- there are often two very similar copies of a
structure, one on the left and one on the right side of the brain
Not the case witht he pineal gland- composed of a single structure alogn the
midline of the brain
Is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid- clear fluid that supports and cleanses
the brain
Descartes proposed that the mind and body are seperate but interacting entities , a
position that is referred to as dualism- however dualists must then explain how the
mind and body can interact if at al
Opposng position called monism- posits that the mind and body are unitary
Both positions assume that the brain is at the very least involved in behaviour
and though
THE RECENT HISTORY OF NEUROPSYCHOLOGY
Although the field of neuropsychology is rather young, neuropsychology draws from a
number of very established disciplines, including anthropology, biology, physiology
and neurology
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Cataloging the Effects of Lesions
Legallois was a French physiologist who discovered that lesioning (destroying tissue
in) the medulla resulted in the immediate cessation of breathing
Discovery of the respiratory center within the medulla was the first widely accepted
function to be localized within the brain
The dorsal roots (nerve that leave the spinal cord on the back of the spinal cord) had
sensory functions whereas the ventral roots (the nerves that leave the spinal cord on
the front) were responsible for motor functions- even at the level of the spinal cord,
function was segregated
Gall who was a respected anatomist and physician stated that there were twenty-
seven distinct cognitive abilities (which he called faculties) that could be localized on
the cortex of the human brain- these included such poorly defined cognitive abilities
as love of friends, wisdom, acquisitiveness and destructiveness
Gall also suggested that cognitive skills such as mathematical ability, memory
for words and spoken language were mediated by separate areas of the brain
Believed that the cortex behaved like muscles- the increased size of an area was
associated with increased function
Measurements of the skull and pronouncements on personality became known as
phrenology- which was exceptionally popular in the early nineteenth century
Flourens believed that phrenology was at best subjective and that all the analyses
were performed post hob- if a person was supposed to be a musical genius than a
phrenologist would look for a large bump on the skull and pronounce that this was
the music center
Observed that sometimes following lesions, functions may be restored- believed
that once one function recovered all functions had recovered which he used as
support for the concept of cortical equipotentiality
Ferrier- suggested that the results of the lesion experiments were consistent with
the localization of sensory and motor functions within discrete portions of the cortex
Broca suggested that Tan had lost the capacity for speech but retained the ability to
understand language- originally was referred to aphemia- it later came to be known
as aphasia or Brocas aphasia- lesion in the left frontal lobe- incapable of producing
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