localisation of function

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  • localisation and lateralisation
    • localisation of brain function (all both but B & W)
      • motor area: frontal lobe - voluntary movements
      • somatosensoray: parietal lobe -receives sensory info & produces sensations
      • visual: occipital lobe - receives & processes visual info
      • auditory: temporal lobe analysing/ processing acoustic info
      • language
        • broca's: left frontal lobe - language production
          • Tan was able to understand spoken language but unable to produce coherent words (lesion in left frontal lobe) - Broca's aphasia
        • wernicke's: left temporal lobe - language comprehension
          • found patients w/ lesions to Wernicke's area able to speak but unable to comprehend language - Wernicke's aphasia
      • strengths: broca's & Wernicke's case studies;
        • weaknesses: equipotentiality theory (higher mental functions not localised) & functional recovery; biologically reductionist; doesn't account for individual differences i.e. women larger broca's & Wernicke's (beta bias); should investigate how regions communicate w/ each other
    • hemispheric lateralisation
      • split brain research (corpus callosum removed): Sperry & Gazzaniga - describe what you see (processed by L: could describe; by R couldn't), tactile tests (p by L verbally describe/ select similar; by R couldn't describe but L hand could select similar), drawing tasks (p by L R hand pic never as clear as LH pic; p by R vice versa)
        • evaluation: disconnection between hemispheres greater in some patients than others; comparison groups often those w/ no history of epilepsy so not valid; research relates to small sample sizes
      • plasticity/ functional recovery
        • strengths: Maguire et al London taxi drivers larger hippocampus + correlated w/ time as a taxi driver; Taijiri et al stem cells to rats after brain trauma & development of neuron-like cells in trauma area; application to neurorehabilitation which helps improve cognitive functions of ppl suffering from injuries
        • weaknesses: it can deteriorate w/ age so should consider individual differences in likelihood after trauma
        • brain's ability to change/ adapt because of experience by creating new neural pathways/ altering existing ones
        • transfer of functions from damaged area after trauma to undamaged areas by neural unmasking where dormant synapses open connections
    • localisation of function: certain functions have certain locations in the brain
      • case study - Gage iron through his skull ; survived w/ change in personality (supports theory)
    • hemispheric lateralisation: 2 halves of the brain are functionally different i.e. left language & right visual motor tasks (corpus callosum connects 2 halves)


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