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Biopsychology Localisation and lateralisation of function
The Human brain (and that of closely related primates) has two cerebral hemispheres
which are symmetrical in shape and are divided into two separate halves joined by
fibres called the corpus callosum.
These are the most recently evolved sections of the brain and are involved in higher
cognitive functions such as vision memory and thought.
Localisation of function means that different
areas of the brain are associated with particular
physical and psychological functions.
The cerebral cortex is divided into four lobes
which have specific functions but also communicate
with each other for more complex psychological
Frontal lobe: motor processing (body movement)
higher thought processes such as abstract reasoning
Parietal lobe: processing of sensations from the skin
and muscles of the body
Temporal lobe: sometimes called the auditory cortex because of its involvement in the
processing of auditory information
Occipital lobe: sometimes called visual cortex because it is involved in processing visual
Supporting localisation of function: Kruper et al 1993
Aim: conducted experiments on rabbits to investigate role of cerebellum on memory
Method: Rabbits were conditioned to blink in response to a certain sound. They were then
given a drug which temporarily stopped the action of the cerebellum
Results: Rabbits failed to blink in response to the stimulus when the drug was active. As the
drug wore off the conditioned response returned
Conclusion The results showed that the cerebellum is involved in simple memory task.
Localisation of aspects of language left hemisphere of brain
Broca's area to the left of the frontal lobe, governs speech production. Damage to Broca's
area causes speech to be slow and laborious.
Wernicke's area in the left temporal lobe governs the understanding of speech. Damage to
this area causes comprehension problems and the person's speech is fluent but
Study: Paulesu et al:
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Aim: was to investigate the phonological loop in regards to the working memory model ( but it
still supports localisation of aspects of language)
Method: Participants were asked to either memorise a series of letters or to rehearse the
sounds of letters in their heads, whilst blood flow in the brain was being measured by a PET
Results Each type of task produced a very different pattern of blood flow in the brain.…read more