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PSYB65H3 (479)
Ted Petit (185)
Chapter 1

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ted Petit

Chapter 1 – Introduction to Neuropsychology 1.1 Introduction to Neuropsychology - The mythical claim that humans use only %10 of their brain has unknown origins, although there are certain prominent figures such as Einstein whom have no doubt increased the popularity of this myth What is Neuropsychology - Neuropsychology is the study of the relation between behavior and the activity of the brain - There are two main types of neuropsychologists, clinical and experimental. Clinical neuropsychology is concerned with psychological assessment, management and rehabilitation of neurological disease and injury. Experimental neuropsychology, also referred to as cognitive neuropsychology, explains patterns of behavioral impairments Heart, Mind and the Brain; The Early History of Neuropsychology - Human thoughts and behaviours were not 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 Cardiocentric Hypothesis. Aristotle came to the same conclusion but for different reasons. He believed that the heart controlled thought and sensation and that the brain served as a radiator, cooling down the blood that leads to the heart - Although the cardiac hypothesis might seem out of date, the symbols of this perspective are common throughout our culture. Because, for example, the emotion of love is associated with the heart, not the brain - Early theories of brain function did not typically recognize the importance of the brain on higher cognitive functions. Instead, the brain was viewed as a passive interpreter of signals, whereas the mind was often characterized as a separate entity from the brain The Mind-Body Problem - Renee Descartes’ Reflexive Theory presented the belief that the control of behaviour was caused by a person’s animal spirit. This theory accounted for reflexive behaviours by describing how external stimuli would move the skin, although this theory appeared to account for some involuntary behaviours such as withdrawing one’s hand from a hot stimulus, it could not account for voluntary behaviour - Descartes believed voluntary behaviours depended on the interaction of the body and soul. He believed this interaction to occur in the pineal gland because of its unitary nature and that it is covered by cerebrospinal fluid (which he believed to have the animal spirit) - Descartes’ theory relied heavily on what was modern technology at the time; hydraulic mechanical systems. One of the problems with all of these mechanical accounts of mental life is their relative inability to account for variability in behaviour - The account of mind-body interaction provided by Descartes has a much bigger problem than variability. He proposed that the mind and body are separate but interacting entities known as dualism - The opposing position, called monism, posits that the mind and body are unitary; “there is no ghost in the machine” 1.2 The Recent History of Neuropsychology - The 1990s has been declared the decade of the brain Cataloging the Effects of Lesions - Lesioning (destroying tissue) the medulla resulted in immediate cessation of breathing - the discovery of the respiratory center within the medulla was the first widely accepted function to be localized within the brain - Franz Gall suggested that the cortex was functionally localized and stated that there were twenty seven distinct cognitive abilities. He also believed that the increased size of an area means increased function (phrenology) - Flourens believed phrenology was subjective and post hoc, rather he believed in the empirical method which led to his work in lesions. He believed in equipotentiality, which opposed localization of function, instead proposing that the cortex functioned as a whole. - The first higher cognitive function that was successfully localized was language, located in the frontal cortex, lesions to the left frontal lobe leads to Broca’s Aphasia - One major component of speech that Broca did not study directly were the emotional tone of speech (prosody) - there could be dissociations between the semantic content of lang
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