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Chapter 3

PSYB65 - chapter 3.docx

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Chapter 3: Techniques in Neuropsychology Study of the Damaged Nervous System The Scientific Method - The scientific method has its roots in the principles of objectivity (empirical method) and replication or confirmation of results - Control: refers to the ability to manipulate something of interest to determine the effects. This also includes excluding unwanted variables from the study (confounding variables). Having an appropriate comparison sample is also needed. - Hypothesis: a statement that can be rejected - Independent variable: variable manipulated to determine how the behaviour is affected - Dependant variable: the response or behaviour that the experimenter measures - Converging operations: a common conclusion is reached by examining a number of studies that approach the question from a variety of different perspectives Nonhuman Animal Model - From 1930 to 1965, much of psychology was dominated by the study of the white laboratory rat - It was thought that the study of nonhuman animals would provide important information about important psychological constructs, such as learning, memory, and emotionality. - Nonhuman animals raised in controlled conditions reduces the variability that is attributable to extraneous factors, and this degree of homogeneity allows the experimenter to randomly assort the subjects into various treatment groups - There is a great degree of overlap among the basic properties of the nervous system, including chemical and electrical means of information transfer, metabolism, and even, in a very general sense, the layout of the nervous system Cognitive Testing - Often, a neurological exam includes an exam known as the Mini-Mental State Exam or the Modified Mini-Mental State Exam - Behavioural testing: standard testing/scoring procedures, and identifies specific cognitive impairments Brain Imaging - Functional Neuroimaging provides the researcher with in vivo (live) pictures of the brain areas that are most active during a cognitive task Structural Imaging - X-rays: high density areas (such as those containing bones) absorb more X-rays, and provide a 2-D representation of density. High levels of X-rays can destroy tissue due to the radiation involved. Chapter 3: Techniques in Neur
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