BA Meth 2

  • Created by: Livbrown
  • Created on: 27-04-15 09:48
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  • BA Methodology - 2
    • a further method used by the BA is brain scans ]
      • For example MRI scans involve the use of a magnetic field which causes the atoms of the brain to change their alignment when the magnet is on
        • and emit radio signals when the magnet is off
        • the detector reads the signals and uses them to map the structure of the brain.
        • A classic study by MAGUIRE ET AL 2000
          • used MRIS to demonstrate that taxi drivers had large hippocampi than non taxi drivers
          • supporting the view that this area is important with spatial memory
        • in addition PET scans indicate areas of the brain activity through injecting the patient with a slight radio active glucose known as a tracer
    • one strength of brain scans is that they can investigate people 's brains when they are still alive
      • this is an improvement to earlier methods which could only  investigate what the brain looked like post - mortem
      • in addition to this most brain scans provide detailed and clear images of the brain which have good reliability and are highly objective
      • Further more MRI's do not expose the patient to radiation
    • However the main weakness of brain scans is the effect of the scanning process on patients
      • for example PET scans involve injecting the patient
        • a potentially emotionally arousing procedure
          • so findings may be effected by anxiety
      • similarly MRI scans are small and noisy inside and unlike day to day life
      • thus lowering ecological validity
      • In addition to this MRI scans can take a long time and can be uncomfortable for patients
        • where as PET scans are costly and therefore are not easily availible for research


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