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Chapter 1

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Ted Petit

PSYB65 - Chapter 1 What is Neuropsychology? Psychology – the study of behaviour Neuropsychology – the of behaviour and the activity of the brain → attempts to describe, explain, predict, and change behaviour Clinical neuropsychology – the branch of neuropsychology concerned with psychological assessment, management, and rehabilitation of neurological disease and injury Experimental neuropsychology – this branch focuses on how human behaviour arises from brain activity, which included explain how patterns of behavioural impairments can be explained in terms of disruptions to the damaged neural components → also called cognitive neuropsychology or more commonly cognitive neuroscience Heart, Mind, and Brain: The Early History of Neuropsychology Why study history? → Provides important insights into the development of the science and gives info about what is left to discover. → Shows many instance with the discipline in which researchers were wrong about the nature of the brain-behaviour relationships Empedocles -> Cardiocentric hypothesis – the hypothesis that the heart was the center for cognitive and emotional function (a source of human behaviour) Aristole - > came to the same conclusion but different reasons. He concluded that the heart was the source of thought and sensation. Also he argued that brain served as radiator cooling the blood. Truth: blood cools the brain and heart is not a source of behaviour Hippocrates & Galen -> Cephalocentric/brain hypothesis – the hypothesis that the brain is the centre for behaviour ^incorrect about many of the details (ie. Galen believed the brain’s ventricles and CSF played a role in cognition) and other had to correct them through later investigation Albert Magus and Vesalius Trephination – surgically opening the skull as a means of treatment. Although this form of treatment was practice in ancient times, it still has somewhat of a following today The Mind-Body Problem Rene Descartes proposed a reflexive theory of the control of behaviour, described as animal behaviours through valvules. This applied to involuntary and his works were heavily based on mechanisms like hydraulics. For voluntary it depended on rational, decision making soul. He believed the pineal glad helped with this interaction, he chose it because it was unitary and didn’t come in pairs like everything else. The CSF supports and cleanses the brain was important. Dualism – originally proposed by Descartes, the idea that the mind and body are separate but interacting entities Monism – the idea that the mind and body are the same thing, a position that most neuropsychologists take. → Gilbert Ryle: “no ghost in body” The Recent History of Neuropsychology → draws from other disciplines ie. Biology, anthropology Cataloging the Effects of Lesions Lesioning – the process by which brain tissue is experimentally damaged or removed Lesion in the medulla resulted in the immediate cessation (end) of breathing Phrenology – the pseudo-scientific practice of inferring personality and other traits from bumps on the skull Flourens -> after lesion, some functions can be restored Equipotentiality (law of equipotentiality) - proposal that the cortex functions as a whole, with no functional specialization within the cortex ^wrong conclusion/ somewhat Aphemia -> Broca’s aphasia - The deficit suffered by individuals who, as a result of a left hemisphere frontal lobe lesion, are incapable of productive speech. Broca suggested that the individuals had lost the capacity for speech but retained the ability to understand language. Broca did not study prosody and
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