Biology - Lecture 3 (Neuropsychology)

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  • Lecture 3 - Neuropsychology
    • Neuroimaging
      • The problem of causality – the fact that given sets of activations co-occur with an experimental condition does not mean that they cause it.    
      • Solving the causality problem - in humans, one can examine: brain trauma & tumours, stroke, neurodegeneration, infection of brain tissue, neurosurgery.
      • Broca’s area and speech: impaired speech (aphasia), Tan’s (1861) post-mortem determined he had a lesion in left inferior frontal lobe, what led to deficits in speech.
      • Wada test: Numbing the left hemisphere via sodium amytal injection (localisation of language biased towards this), Wada test studies show limited competence in linguistics in the right hemisphere.
    • Key assumptions (Caramazza)
      • Fractionation: damage to the brain can produce selective deficits.
      • Transparency: damage to the substrate of a specific psychological process, without leading to re-organisation of other processes.
      • Universality: the basis of all psychological testing. Relies on small number of cases or single study cases.
    • Key approaches
      • Blobology: running imaging experiments to see whether a certain task/function is localised and where in the brain.
      • Classical neuropsychological tradition: research concerned primarily with localisation.
      • Cognitive neuropsychology: relies on logic of dissociations, determining cognitive architecture. 


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