Module 5 Page 1
Tools of Discovery and Older Brain Structures
Lesion - tissue destruction. A brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of the brain
Today scientists can electronically, chemically, or magnetically stimulate various parts of the
brain to note effect
Electroencephalogram (EEG) - an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep
across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp. Presenting a
stimulus and having a computer filter out brain activity unrelated to the stimulus.
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) - a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive
form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) - a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce
computer generated images of soft tissue. MRI scans show brain anatomy. MRI's have reveled larger
than normal neural area in the left hemisphere of musicians. Have also revealed enlarged ventricles
(fluid filled brain areas).
fMRI (functional MRI) - a technique for revealing blood flow and therefore brain activity by comparing
successful MRI scans.
Brainstem - the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it
enters the skill; the brainstem is responsible for automatic survival functions.
Medulla - the base of the brainstem, controls heartbeat and breathing.
Just above the medulla, Pons helps coordinate movements.
Thalamus - the brains sensory switchboard, locat