Blakemore + Cooper study

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  • Blakemore & Cooper
    • Background
      • Biological Approach
      • Hirsch + spinelli worked at Stamford Uni and were interested in neaurons in the visual cortex of the brain
        • they wanted to build upon this research by usinf multiple cats seeing either verticle or horizontal stripes in each eye
      • It was a lab experiment
        • it was in a contained space
      • independent measures design
    • Aims
      • compare behavioural consequencs of raising kittens seeing only horizontal or vertical lines
      • Investigate the neuropsychological effect on neurons in kittens visual cortex (brain plasicity)
      • SAMPLE = opportunity - cats from birth
    • Procedure
      • for the first two weeks the cats were kept in complete darkness
      • from 2 weeks to 5 months the cats were ina  cylinder with either veritcal ot horizontal lines for 5 hours a day
        • they wore a black collar to block any view of their body
      • After 5 months the kittens were in a normal well lit room with tables and chairs with lines on
        • their behaviour was then observed
      • CONTROLS = exposing each cat to the verticle/horizontal lines for the same amount of time
    • Behavioural results
      • Initial reactions
        • navigate around by touch
        • Frightened when at edge of a surface (no visual placing)
        • no startle reflexes
        • Showed behavioural blindness - raised vertile cant seee horizontal
        • When rod waved in front - cats would act out and play only when held in the same way they could see
      • After 10 hours of exposure to well lit surroudnings
        • most deficits had disappeared
        • showed startled responses
        • visual placing
        • jump with ease from chair
        • some deficits were permanant
          • followed moving objects with clumsy jerky headd
          • tried to touch things on other sides of the room - poor spacial awarness
    • Neurophysiological results
      • no evidence of severe astigmatism
      • Kittens showed strong neural activity when shown matching images to their environment but showed little activity when presented with the images opposite to their environment
        • Physical blindness
      • Aristotempy  (property of being directionally dependent)
    • Conclusions
      • type of data for the behavioural findinf was qualitative as it was filmed
      • type of data for the neurophysiological data was quantitative
      • difference between kittens suggests that neurons can change their preffered orientation according to the stimulation they recieve
        • matching the ability o the brain to respond to the features in its visual input
    • Ethics
      • defended
        • easier to control than human participants
        • less likely to change their behaviour and show demand characteristics
        • can be used if it would be unethical to carry the study out using humans
      • critisised
        • eyesight is damaged as it never went back to normal
        • more beneficial to humans
      • No ethnocentrism
    • Reliability
      • internal reliability
        • Yes - simple procedures clearly described  - very standardised
      • external reliability
        • yes - could show consistant resulty
        • No - different types of cats - diff brains
    • Validity
      • construct
        • high level of control - few exrtaneous variables certain conditions caused findings
      • concurrent
        • behavioual + neirophysiological findings
      • ecological
        • normal for them not for all cats
      • population
        • no - cant generalise not enough cats

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