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Ted Petit (185)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Book Notes

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Ted Petit

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Chapter 1 What is Neuropsychology Broadly defined psychology is the study of behaviour- specifically it’s an attempt to describe, explain and predict behaviour- and in some cases psych is also the study of how to change behaviour Neuropsychology- is a speciality within the larger field of psychology- is also the study of behaviour- is the study of the relation between behaviour and the activity of the brain • an individual’s behaviour is at least in part the result of the activity in the brain There are two types of neuropsychologists • Clinical Neuropsychology- is the branch of neuropsychology concerned with psychological assessment, management and rehabilitation of neurological disease and injury • Experimental neuropsychology- focuses on how patterns of behavioural impairments can be explained in terms of disruptions to the damaged neural components- is also referred to as cognitive neuropsychology or more commonly as cognitive neuroscience Heart, Mind and Brain: The Early History of Neuropsychology The assumption that the brain plays a central role in behaviour is not particularly contentious today- but human thoughts and behaviours weren’t always attributed to the brain Empedocles was a philosopher who believed that the heart was the source of human behaviour- a position that became known as the cardiac or cardio centric hypothesis Aristotle came to the same conclusion, although for different reasons • Concluded that the heart was the source of thought and sensation Brain does not cool blood, in fact blood helps to cool the brain, and the heart is not www.notesolution.com the source of human behaviour The brain is responsible for these functions a view that is referred to as the cephalocentric hypothesis or the brain hypothesis Importantly, the individual survived these operations – its unknown what the ancient surgeon was trying to achieve with the trephination- was designed to cure something The Mind-Body Problem Descartes presented a reflective theory of the control of behaviour in which he descried the flow of animals spirits through valvules within nervous tissue filaments- this theory accounted for reflecive behaviours by describing how external stimuli would move the skin in turn moving the filaments, releasign the animal spirits and innervating the muscles- this theory couldn’t account for voluntary behaviour Most structures in the brain a re paired- there are often two very similar copies of a structure, one on the left and one on the right side of the brain • Not the case witht he pineal gland- composed of a single structure alogn the midline of the brain • Is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid- clear fluid that supports and cleanses the brain Descartes proposed that the mind and body are seperate but interacting entities , a position that is referred to as dualism- however dualists must then explain how the mind and body can interact if at al Opposng position called monism- posits that the mind and body are unitary • Both positions assume that the brain is at the very least involved in behaviour and though THE RECENT HISTORY OF NEUROPSYCHOLOGY Although the field of neuropsychology is rather young, neuropsychology draws from a number of very established disciplines, including anthropology, biology, physiology and neurology www.notesolution.com Cataloging the Effects of Lesions Legallois was a French physiologist who discovered that lesioning (destroying tissue in) the medulla resulted in the immediate cessation of breathing Discovery of the respiratory center within the medulla was the first widely accepted function to be localized within the brain The dorsal roots (nerve that leave the spinal cord on the back of the spinal cord) had sensory functions whereas the ventral roots (the nerves that leave the spinal cord on the front) were responsible for motor functions- even at the level of the spinal cord, function was segregated Gall who was a respected anatomist and physician stated that there were twenty- seven distinct cognitive abilities (which he called faculties) that could be localized on the cortex of the human brain- these included such poorly defined cognitive abilities as love of friends, wisdom, acquisitiveness and destructiveness • Gall also suggested that cognitive skills such as mathematical ability, memory for words and spoken language were mediated by separate areas of the brain • Believed that the cortex behaved like muscles- the increased size of an area was associated with increased function • Measurements of the skull and pronouncements on personality became known as phrenology- which was exceptionally popular in the early nineteenth century Flourens believed that phrenology was at best subjective and that all the analyses were performed post hob- if a person was supposed to be a musical genius than a phrenologist would look for a large bump on the skull and pronounce that this was the music center • Observed that sometimes following lesions, functions may be restored- believed that once one function recovered all functions had recovered which he used as support for the concept of cortical equipotentiality Ferrier- suggested that the results of the lesion experiments were consistent with the localization of sensory and motor functions within discrete portions of the cortex Broca suggested that Tan had lost the capacity for speech but retained the ability to understand language- originally was referred to aphemia- it later came to be known as aphasia or Broca’s aphasia- lesion in the left frontal lobe- incapable of producing www.notesolution.com speech Two major components of speech that Broca didn’t study directly were the emotional tone of speech (prosody) and the loss of comprehension of language associated with the preservation of speech Wernicke was a German neurologist who made significant contributions to neuropsychology in a number of areas • In a paper he wrote in 1874 he suggested that there was an auditory center (now known as Wenicke’s area) in the temporal lobe that when damaged would result in an individual who could still produce speech but would be incapable of using words correctly and be unable to understand the speech of others- this is referred to as Wernicke’s aphasia Focus on the Neuron Anatomical Studies Three main hurdles that had to be overcome to study the cellular constituents of the brain- size of the cells, the texture of the brain and the lack of pigmentation in much of the brain To study neurons very thin slices of brain must be made- often not much thicker than the neurons themselves Since the brain has a consistency somewhat like that of a toothpaste it must be hardened before it can be slices Unlike other tissues, thinly slices fixed brain has no obvious color and must be
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