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PSYB65H3 (479)
Ted Petit (185)
Chapter 1


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Ted Petit

NEUROPSYCHOLOGY Ch: 1 – Intro to Neuropsychology What is Neuropsychology? • Psychology: study of behavior, attempt to describe, explain, and predict behavior: sometimes how to change behavior • Neuropsychology: also study of behavior: attempt to describe, explain, predict and change behavior : study of the relation b/w behavior and the activity of the brain: behavior is caused by an activity of the brain Two main types of neuropsychologists:  Clinical neuropsychology: psychological assessment, disease  Experimental neuropsychology (cognitive neuropsychology): (cognitive neuroscience) : focus is on how human behavior from brain activity Heart, Mind, and the Brain: the early history of neuropsychology • The assumption that the brain plays a central role in behavior is not arguable today • Empedocles was a philosopher : all matter was composed of fire, air, water, and earth: heart was the source of human behavior: cardio centric hypothesis • Aristotle: heart was the source of thought and sensation, brain was for cooling of the blood, the radiator --- WRONG -.-.. blood is the one that cools the brain and the heart is not the source of human behavior • Hippocrates and Galen: view of how brain is responsible is called: Cephalocentric or brain hypothesis : and they were wrong • Galen: brains ventricles and the cerebrospinal fluid within them play a central role in cognition BUT was wrong • An individual can survive the operation when they have been surgically operated on the brain • Early theories of the brain function would say that the brain was different from the mind The Mind-Body Problem: • Rene Descartes: “reflexive theory”: control of behaviour in which he described the flow of “animal spirits” through nervous tissues = EXPLAINING how the external stimuli moves the skin, in turn moves tissues which releases animal spirits which moves the muscles accordingly : this theory for only INVOLUNTARY behaviors such as : hot stove: move hand away • Rene believed that the VOLUNTARY behaviors relied on the mechanistic body with a rational, decision making soul: this interaction was called Pineal gland is in the brain, which is supported by cerebrospinal fluid: which cleanses the brain • SO the VOLUNTARY MOVEMEMENTS : are based on small movements of the pineal gland which releases animal spirits, producing movement • Descartes said: that the mind and the body were separate but were interacting entities: dualism • Opposing to dualism are: monism: says that the mind and body are unitary • Dualism and monism: both say that brain is at very least involved in behavior and thought A recent history of Neuropsychology: Cataloging the Effects of Lesions: • Legallois: discovered lesioning (destroying tissue in the medulla) termination of breathing • Nerves in the spinal cord had different functions : the dorsal roots (back): were responsible for sensory functions, and ventral roots( in the front): responsible for motor functions • Gall: believes that there were 27 distinct cognitive abilities : so if a person is wise then the corresponding part of the brain should also be large (.. turned out to be right, but for the wrong reasons..) • Phrenology: measurements of the skills and pronouncements on personality • Reaction AGAINST Phrenology: Marie-Jean-Pierre Flourens: believed that phrenology was at best subjective and that all that analyses were performed: basically if a person was supposed to be a musical genius then a phrenologist would look for a large bump on the skull and pronounce that this was the music centre : Flourens believed in empirical methods and used lesion studies on the brain, his observations: cerebellum was responsible for coordinated movement and that the medulla performed vital functions for the organism • Flourens also found that sometimes after a lesion, function may be restored : believed that once a function recovered, all function recovered • Equipotentiality: view is that cortex functioned as a whole and that there was no functional specialization (flourens and Goltz believed) • Goltz performed lesion studies on animals and found: only the size of the lesion NOT the location of the lesion affected the behaviour of animals • Ferrier: suggested that the behavioral observations of dogs and monkeys were inconsistent with the position of cortical equipotentiality and the results of the lesion experiments were consistent with localization of sensory and motor functions within discrete portions of the cortex • Fritsch and Hitzig: said the frontal cortex of a dog was important for normal movement • The first higher cognitive function that was successfully localized was language • Paul Broca: said production of speech is in the frontal lobe because a person with left frontal lobe damage: incapable of speech , but still had ability to understand : first this was called: Aphemia then known as Broca’s Aphasia • Two major components of speech that Broca did not study: - were the emotional tone of speech(Prosody) - Loss of comprehension of language associated with the preservation of speech • Jackson: content of emotional tone of speech were separable : his best observation was that speech is a complex process that involves linguistic ability as well as complex motor skills • When he clinically tested ppl who were unable to verbally name objects but swear aloud when they were upset, he suggested that there could be dissociations between the semantic content of language(the meaning) and the emotional tone • Carl Wernicke: he suggested that there were an auditory center (Wernicke’s area) in the temporal lobes , and when damage
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