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Tools of Discovery in Psychology Notes.docx

5 Pages

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PSY 1071
Joel Sheffield

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Tools of Discovery in Psychology I. Key terms for evaluating tools a. Temporal resolution i. The accuracy with which one can measure when an event occurs b. Spatial resolution i. The accuracy with which one can measure where an event occurs c. Invasiveness i. Whether equipment is located inside or outside the body d. EEG (electroencephalography) i. Thinking and feeling = electrical activity in the brain ii. Non-invasive, measures electrical activity in the brain 1. Placed on the scalp 2. Event-related potentials (EPR) are measured iii.The timing (latency) and amplitude are the most important aspects of these graphs iv. Electrode location ≠ brain location (may have many different sources contributing to it) e. Single-cell recording i. Measures the responsiveness of a single neuron to a given stimulus ii. Very small electrodes are inserted into the brain (invasive) 1. Record the fluctuations in electrical activity that occur in a neuron 2. The number of spikes (action potentials) per second is often used as a measure of activation (good temporal resolution) iii. Reveal stimulus selectivity iv. Impossible to record from a single neuron from the scalp 1. Only used with animals v. Pros 1. Information can be obtained from a single cell’s electrical activity 2. Great spatial and temporal resolution vi. Cons 1. Highly invasive 2. No insight into the activation of the system as a whole 3. Time-consuming and technical f. Electrically stimulating the brain i. Can create virtual lesions, providing important information to guide surgery g. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation i. Electrical stimulation takes the brain off-line ii. Makes the neurons fire, disrupting the activity in the cells iii. Participants feel a “ping” 1. Asked to perform a cognitive task while activation in the stimulated area is disrupted 2. Based on the participants performance, researchers can infer the role of a given region in a task iv. Advantages over real lesions 1. Temporary 2. Localized and controlled “damage” 3. No time for reorganization of function of the brain 4. Can use the same subject in the “lesion” and “control” conditions v. Pros 1. Good temporal resolution 2. Experimenter controlled “lesions” vi. Co
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