Ways of studying the brain: A01

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  • Ways of studying the brain: A01
    • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
      • Detects changes in blood oxygenation
      • These occur due to neural activity in specific brain areas
      • When an area is more active, it consumes more oxygen
      • Blood flow is directed to the active area
      • fMRI's show which parts of the brain are involved in particular mental processes
    • Electroencephalogram
      • Measures electrical activity within the brain
      • It uses a skull cap that has electrodes on it to detect the signals
      • The scan recording represents the brainwave patterns generated by neurons
      • This shows overall brain activity
      • EEG is often used as a diagnostic tool for tumours, epilepsy and sleep disorders
    • Event Related Potentials
      • ERP's are left over from filtered out extraneous brain activity from EEGs
      • This is done using a statistical technique
      • It only leaves the responses that relate to the presentation of a specific simulus
      • They are types of brainwave that are triggered by particular events
      • Research has revealed many ERPs and how they are linked to cognitive processes
    • Post-mortem examinations
      • A technique involving the analysis of a persons brain following their death
      • Areas of the brain are examined to establish the likely cause of a deficit or disorder
      • This may be a disorder the person suffered with through their whole life
      • It may be compared to a 'normal' brain to assess the extent of the difference


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