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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Notes

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Ted Petit

Chapter 1 – Textbook notes Introduction to Neuropsychology ➢ What is Neuropsychology?  Psychology is the study of behaviour  Neuropsychology is the study of the relation between brain activity and the behaviour  2 branches  Clinical Neuropsychology: Concerned with psychological assessment, management, rehabillitation of neurological disease & injury.  Experimental Neuropsychology: Explains how human behaviour arises from brain activity – attributing impairments to brain damage. ➢ Heart, Mind, and Brain: The Early History of Neuropsychology  Early Theories  a) Cardiac/Cardiocentric Hypothesis • Empedocles – “4 elements dude” - philosopher who believed heart was the source of human behaviour • Aristotle – heart is active & warm & therefore a source of thought & sensation; brain is a radiator that cools the blood  b) Brain/Cephalocentric Hypothesis • Hippocrates • Galen • Both were incorrect about specific details but shared a correct view – importance of the brain in behaviour ➢ The Mind-Body Problem  What's the relationship between inner mental life and body?  Rene Descartes  Reflexive behaviours are a result of animal spirits flowing through valvules – This did not account for voluntary behaviour though  He believed that voluntary action is the result of the interaction btwn body and mind in the pineal gland.  Why pineal gland? - Only structure in the brain that's unitary and is also surrounded by CBS (apparently, the reservoire for animal spirits)  Therefore, stimulation produces small movements of pineal gland = release animal spirits = movement of the body • *His theories relied heavily on hydraulics  Current analogies of the brain resemble current technologies  1 problem – computer analogy fails to account for variability in behaviour  Opposing view to mind-body view = monism  Monism = min and body are unitary The Recent History of Neuropsychology ➢ Cataloguing the Effects of Lesions  Legallois  Physiologist who discovered that lesioning (destroying tissue in) the medulla resulted in the cessation of breathing st  So respiratory center within medulla was the 1 to be widely accepted as a localized function in the brain  Bell & Magendie  Studied the nerves that exited the spinal cord  Discovered functional segregation • Dorsal roots – sensory functions • Ventral roots – motor functions  Franz Joseph Gall  Suggested that the cortex was functionally localized  27 distinct cognitive abilities (faculties) that could be localized on the cortex of the human brain  Increased size of an area = increased function in that realm  Measurements of the skull and pronouncements of personality became known as phrenology.  Marie-Jean-Pierre Flourens  French anatomist & firm believer in the empirical method  Criticized phrenology – too subjective and that all the analyses were performed post hoc  Contributions • Observations that the cerebellum was responsible for coordinated movement and that the medulla performed vital functions • Observed that sometimes function can be restored after lesion • Opposed to the localization of cognitive function – emphasized equipontentiality (that cortex functions as a whole and that specific parts do not perform specific functions) • Fritsch & Hitzig later disproved theory of equipontentiality = distinct parts of the cortex carry out distinct functions.  Paul Broca  First to localize a higher cognitive function – language  First to gain widespread acceptance for the role of the frontal cortex in the production of speech.  Left frontal lobe lesion – Broca's aphasia = incapable of productive speech  But didn't look at emotional tone of speech and loss of comprehension.  John Hughlings – Jackson  Observation that speech is a complex process that involves linguistic ability as well as complex motor skills  Could also be dissociations between the semantic content of language  Carl Wernicke  Wernicke's aphasia – temporal lobe damage – incapable of using words correctly & understanding speech ➢ Focus on the Neuron  Anatomical Studies  3 main hurdles had to be overcome to study the brain – size of the cells, texture of the brain, and lack of pigmentation in much of the brain  Neurons are 0.02 millimeter in diameter  Histology • The study of thingly, fixed, & stained tissues – still a very powerful technique to study the brain • Steps • 1) Produce thin slices of brain – (thicker than the neurons themselves) – using microtome. • 2) Harden brain – (not solid) – soak in formald
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