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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Introduction to Neurpsychology.doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ted Petit

Chapter 1: Introduction to Neuropsychology Module 1.1 – Introduction to Neuropsychology What is Neuropsychology? • Psychology is study of behaviour. Psychology is an attempt to describe, explain and predict behaviour. Psychology is also study of how to change behaviour. • Neuropsychology is speciality w/in larger field of psychology. Neuropsychology is study of relation between behaviour and activity of the brain. • Two types of Neuropsychology: Clinical Neuropsychology and experimental psychology • Clinical Neuropsychology is the branch of Neuropsychology concerned w/ psychological assessment, management, and rehabilitation of neurological disease and injury. • Experimental Neuropsychology focuses on how human behaviour arises brain activity including explaining how patterns of behavioural impairments be explained in terms of disruptions to damaged neural components. Also referred to as cognitive Neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. Heart, Mind, and Brain: The Early History of Neuropsychology • Important study history of any discipline because provides important insights into development of science and because gives us information about what is left to discover. • Studying history of Neuropsychology also important because illustrates many instances w/in discipline which researchers were wrong about nature of brain- behaviour relationships. • Many unexpected features of nervous system, often many of most firmly held views known to be false. • Human thoughts and behaviours were not always attributed to brain. • Empedocles believed heart was source of human behaviour, position that became known as cardiac or cardiocentric hypothesis. • Argued by Hippocrates and Galen, brain is responsible for these functions, view that is referred as cephalocentric hypothesis or brain hypothesis. • Symbols of cardiac hypothesis perspective still common throughout our culture. • Ancient skulls been surgically excised or cut open, presumably for therapeutic value. • Ancient people appreciated importance of brain in behaviour and perhaps some disease states. The Mind-Body Problem • Rene Descartes presented “reflexive” theory of control of behaviour which he described flow of “animal spirits” through “valvules” w/in nervous tissue filaments. Theory accounted reflexive behaviours by describing how external stimuli would move skin, in turn moving filaments, releasing animal spirits and innervating muscles. Theory accounted for some involuntary behaviors but could not account for voluntary behaviour. • Descartes believed voluntary behaviours depended on interface of mechanistic body with rational, decision-making soul. Location identified for this interaction was pineal gland. Chose the pineal gland on basis of its unitary nature. • Pineal gland surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid – clear fluid that supports and cleanses the brain. • Descartes believed cavities of cerebrospinal fluid were reservoirs for animal spirits necessary. Voluntary action produced small movements of pineal gland, resulting in release of animal spirits throughout the body and producing movement of body. • Descartes relied heavily on hydraulics. • Current analogies of brain function resemble current technologies. • When living organism placed in identical situation multiple times, its behaviour in the situations often variable. • Complex biological systems are considerably less predictable. • Descartes proposed mind and body are separate but interacting entities, a position referred to as dualism. • Monism positions that mind and body are unitary. Module 1.2 – The Recent History of Neuropsychology The Recent History of Neuropsychology • Neuropsychology draws from number of established disciplines, including anthropology, biology, physiology and neurology. Cataloging the Effects of Lesions • Legallois who discovered that lesioning (destroying tissue in) the medulla resulted the immediate cessation of breathing. The discovery of respiratory center w/in medulla was first widely accepted function localized w/in the brain. • Bell and Magendie observed the dorsal roots (nerves that leave spinal cord on back of spinal cord) had sensory functions, whereas ventral roots ( nerves that leave spinal cord on front) responsible motor functions. • Franz Joseph Gall and colleague Johann Spurzheim suggested cortex functionally localized. Gall stated there were twenty-seven distinct genitive abilities (faculties) that could be localized on cortex of human brain. Gall also suggested that cognitive skills mediated by separate areas of brain. Gall believed cortex behaved like muscles in that increased size of an area associated w/ increased function. • Increased size of cortical area result in deformation of skull, or bump, which could empirically measured using technique called cranioscopy. Measurements of skull and pronouncements on personality known as phrenology. • Strongest critics of phrenology Marie-Jean-Pierre-Flourens. Flouren’s performed numerous studies w/ nonhuman animals using lesioning techniques to study corresponding effects on behaviour. Some of his contributions were observations that cerebellum responsible for coordinated movement and medulla performed vital functions for organism. • Flourens observed sometimes following lesions, functions maybe restored. Flourens believed once one function recovered, all functions had recovered. Flourens proposed cortex functioned as whole and was no functional specialization w/in cortex (position known as equipotentiality). • Goltz performed experiments involving removal of cortex in dogs and cats and observed only size of lesion, not location of lesion, affected behaviour of nonhuman animals. Therefore, concluding cortex could not be specialized for specific cognitive functions. • David Ferrier suggest that behavioural observations of decorticate dogs and monkey inconsistent w/ position of cortical equipotentiality. Ferrir suggested results of lesions consistent w/ localization of sensory and motor functions w/in discrete portion of cortex. • Gutsav Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig demonstrated frontal cortex of dog essential for production of normal movement. • First higher cognitive function fully localized was language. Paul Broca first gain widespread acceptance for role of frontal cortex in production of speech. Broca circumscribed lesion of left frontal lobe resulted individual incapable of productive speech but retained ability understand language. Broca referred to this phenomenon as aphemia, later became to be known as aphasia or Broca’s aphasia. • Two components of speech not studied by Broca were emotional tone of speech (prosody) and loss of comprehension of language associated w/ preservation of speech. • Hughlings-Jacksons observation that speech complex process that involves linguistic ability as well as complex motor skills. He also suggested there could be dissociations between semantic content of language (meaning) and emotional tone. • Wernicke suggested there was an auditory centers in temporal lobes when damaged result individual who produce speech but not capable of using words correctly and be unable understand speech of others. This type of aphasia called Wernicke’s aphasia. Also suggested total or global aphasia (complete inability to understand or produce language) result from lesions of both Wernicke’s and Broca’s areas. Focus on the Neuron • Working unit of brain is neuron. Anatomical Studies • Three main hurdles that had overcome to study cellular consitituents of brain: size of cells, texture of brain, and lack of pigmentation in much of brain. • Some type of magnification must be used to observe neurons. • Theordore Schwann proposed all living tissue composed of units called cells and other researches began to study neurons. • To study neurons
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