Localisation of function in the brain

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  • Localisation of function in the brain:
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  • Scientists in the early 19th century supported the holistic theory that all parts of the brain were involved in processing thought and action. But specific areas of the brain were later linked with specific physical and psychological function (localisation theory). If an area of the brain is damaged through illness or injury, the function associated with that area is also affected. 
  • The brain is divided into 2 halves - left and right hemispheres. Lateralisation: some physical and psychological functions are controlled by a particular hemisphere. generally, the left side of the body is controlled by the right hemisphere; the right side of the body by the left hemisphere. 
  • The outer layer of the brain is called the Cerebal Cortex, it covers the inner parts of the brain. It is about 3mm thick and is what separates us from lower animals as it is highly developed. The cortex appears grey due to the location of cell bodies - hence the phrase 'grey matter'. 
  • The cortex of both hemispheres is divided into 4 lobes (frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal). Motor area: at the back of the frontal lobe (both hemispheres), controls voluntary movement. Damage may result in loss of control over fine movements. Somatosensory area: at the front of the parital lobes. Processes sensory information from the skin (touch, heat, pressure, etc). The amount of somatosensory area devoted to a particular body part…

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