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Canada (161,363)
Psychology (9,685)
PSYB65H3 (479)
Ted Petit (185)
Chapter 3


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Ted Petit

Chapter3: foundations of neuropsy: The scientific method:  Has at its roots in the principles of objectivity of replication or confirmation of results  Empirical method: empirical means observation  Replication: of the results so that they can be confirmed, often by other researchers  One of the goals of neuropsy is to understand how the neurologically intact brain produces behaviour  CONTROL: ability to maintain something of interest to determine the effects o Control also includes the ability to exclude unwanted variables from the study o CONFOUNDING VARIABLES: may affect the outcome of the study, leading the researcher to make false conclusions about the effects observed o Control refers to having an appropriate comparison sample so that deviations from this sample can be observed  the hypothesis drives the research o the hypothesis is formed as a statement that can be rejected  INDEPENDENT VARIABLE: is the one that the researcher manipulates to determine how the behaviour is affected  DEPENDENT VARIABLE: is the response or behaviour that the experimenter measures  CONVERGING OPERATIONS: a common conclusion is reached by examining a number of studies that approach the question from a variety of different perspectives Nonhuman Animal Models:  There are a number of limitation of this type of research: o Many research questions only focus on one facet of the organism and ignore other important factors  DELAYED NONMATCHING to SAMPLE TASK: involves a food reward and a food- deprived nonhuman animal  Some critics suggest that nonhuman animals are not sufficiently behaviourally sophisticated to be useful in understanding the principles of human behaviour  One obvious difference between humans and animals is the complexity of the central nervous system the hippocampus appears to be related to spatial learning in chickadees, humans and rats but its also clear that the hippocampus mediates broader behaviours in humans  Strengths of nonhuman animal research: o Can control extraneous variables o Can perform experiments o Can conclude causality o Can look for mechanism in a similar system o Can model disease processes PSYB65, CHAP3: 1  Limitations of nonhuman animal research: o Some topics may not be suitable o There are striking differences between human and nonhuman nervous systems o Might study one behaviour/brain are in isolation o Might be very artificial o Human brain has functional diversity Cognitive Testing:  People with injury to the nervous system often have their first behavioural test in the emergency room, in the form of a neurological exam MINI-MENTAL STATE EXAM  Both tests look at how well people can answer a series of questions, which are designed to briefly examine cognitive functions(language), orientation to location, attention, orientation to time  Neuropsychological testing is the detailed examination of higher cognitive functions 3.2 Brain imaging:  Functional neuroimaging provides the researcher with in vivo(live) pictures of the brain areas that are most active during an cognitive task Structural imaging:  Structural neuroimaging provides an image of the structure of the brain  It can usually inform clinicians about the precise location of abnormalities  NEURORADIOLOGY: studying the nervous system with imaging  X-rays: o An x-ray primarily describes the nature of the entry wound to the head with little info about anything else o X-rays are limited with their ability to image the structures within the brain  Computed tomography (CT): o CT scanning involves the projection of X-rays from multiple angles followed by the computerized reconstruction of the measures into 3D images o When used for clinical purposes, they help to identify anatomical abnormalities or acquired injuries, provided that these changes are reflected in changes in tissue density  Magnetic resonance imaging(MRI): o Better resolution compared to CT scans o MRI exploits the fact that many elements(ie hydrogen) can be influenced by magnetic fields o Normally hydrogen atoms are not polarized  however, when placed in a strong magnetic field, the atoms become alignedthe north poles on all the atoms point in the same direction. Once they align they atoms can be perturbed in a uniform direction through the application of a radio frequency pulse PSYB65, CHAP3: 2 o MRI measures the RELAXATION TIME that follows the pulse, which is the time take by the atoms to return to their normal random state o The MRI’s receiver coil: measures info about the intensity of the signal, but the spatial information is provided from variations in the gradient field over the imaged area o MRI’s are the representations of hydrogen density o MRI scans are generally considered non-invasive Electrophysiological Methods: o Measure the electrical and/or magnetic currents that are generated by brain activity o Traditional electrophysiological methods were less focused on localizing the source of the activity than on describing the nature of the activity  Electroenchephalogram (EEG) measures of brain activity were recorded as early as 1875. o Richard Caton: recorded changes in electrical potentials from exposed brains of a number of animals o Hans Berger became aware of Caton’s work and did similar experiments with nonhuman animals o Berger discovered alpha waves(10Hz) , named them that because they were the first ones he discovered o Berger developed: Electroencephalography  which results in electroencephalogram(EEG) o To record EEG:small metal disks have to be attached to the scalp and the small changes in electrical potentials are amplified and recorded. A common standardized system for placing electrodes i
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