Definition of Localisation
Different areas of the brain are associated with particular physical or physiological functions.
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Function of the frontal lobe
Emotion and impulse control, judgement/decision making.
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Function of the temporal lobe
Hearing,language and memory.
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Function of the parietal lobe
Perception, sensation and dealing with the environment
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Function of the occipital lobe
Visual processing
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Function of the Broca & Wernicke areas
Broca = left frontal speech production. Wernicke = left temporal, language comprehension
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What did PETERSEN (1988) discover as evidence for localisation?
He used brain scans in relation to language to demonstrate how Wernicke's area was alive during listening task and Broca's during a reading task, 2 areas of the brain have different functions
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What did TULVING et al discover in relation to localisation?
He revealed semantic and episodic memories are located in different parts of the prefrontal lobe
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What did DOUGHERTY (2002) report about localisation?
Reported on 44 OCD patients who had a cingulotomy (lesioning go the cingulate gyrus). After 32 weeks 30% had improved substantially and 14% partially - symptoms and behaviours associated with series mental health disorders are localised.
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What was the case of ''TAN'' by Broca?
Tan was speechless, Broca performed a post mortem on Tan's brain and found a superficial lesion in the left frontal lobe only. The area damaged was responsible for his lack of speech.
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What did Wernicke discover?
He was investigating effects of brain disease on speech and language - noticed that not all language deficits were the result of damage of Broca's area.
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Why are both Broca and Wernicke's studies reliable?
They have been replicated successfully on many occasions- brain scanning also proves their findings.
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How does PLASTICITY challenge Localisation?
When the brain is damaged and a function is compromised or lost, the rest of the brain reorganises itself to recover the lost function - suggests flexibility in localisation, stroke victims have been able to recover their lost abilities.
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What is the Equipotentiality Theory? (LASHLEY 1930)
Basic motor and sensory functions were localised but higher cognitive functions weren't. Intact areas of the cortex could take over specific responsibility of cognitive functions.
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What does Lashley's investigation suggest about Localisation?
Learning is too complex to be localised and requires involvement from the whole brain. Effects of damage to the brain determined by extent rather than location - HOLISTIC, functions distributed across whole brain
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What did Lashley carry out on rats?
He removed 10 to 50% of the cortex in rats and tested learning in maze, etc part of the cortex appeared to be as important as every other part for learning.
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Definition of Lateralisation
Neural functions or cognitive processes tend to be more dominant in one hemisphere than the other.
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What is the Corpus Callosum?
A bundle of fibres forming a bridge that enables corresponding regions of the left and right hemispheres to communicate.
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What is the importance of SPLIT BRAIN patients?
Epilepsy patients undergo surgery to sever the CC, limits seizure to one hemisphere. In split brain patients, 2 hemispheres are completely independent of each other, enables functions of each hemisphere to be studied separately.
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How are split brain patients studied? (SPERRY)
Experiment based on flashing images in the right and left visual fields, information processed by each visual field could only be transmitted to the opposite hemisphere. Flashed image at LVF, unable to state what they had seen, info sent to RH
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What has split brain research helped us find out about the LH?
LH is specialised for language. P's able to verbally name, write, draw info (right hand) that was presented to LH. Better at mathematical calculation, reading and reasoning than RH.
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What has split brain research helped us find out about the RH?
RH can recognise words, but is unable to produce language in speech or writing. Better than LH in non-verbal and spatial tasks, specialises in pattern and facial recognition. Produces emotional responses e.g. blushing or giggling.
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Strengths of Split Brain
- useful in development of highly controlled procedures for studying functions of each hemisphere separately. Increased understanding of the role of each hemisphere and extent of lateralisation in each (especially language.)
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What did TURK (2002) study?
He studied JW who developed the capacity to speak using the right hemisphere. He can now speak about information presented to both the left and right brain.
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How have Individual differences influenced split brain research?
Samples are small due to rare cases. Can interfere with findings, some p's have more bilateral representation than others. 95% of right handers have dominant LH for language, greater variation amongst left handers, 75% LH and 25% bilateral.
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Other Limitations of split brain
Conclusions drawn about lateralisation in epilepsy patients may not reflect lateralisation in normal individuals. Artificially produced, a severed CC can be compensated for. Procedure now redundant, WADA technique used to isolate a single hemisphere.
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Is the concept of the brain developing and changing in response to the environment and experiences, also that the brain can recover after trauma
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What is synaptic 'SPROUTING'?
Rapid growth in the number of synaptic connections between neutrons occurs during infancy.
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What is synaptic 'PRUNING'?
In adolescence connections that are inappropriate or unnecesary are deleted and connections used a lot are strengthened.
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Difference between Adult and Infant brains
Adult brains change and develop on a smaller scale, as result of learning and experience, than at infancy when connections are being formed very quickly. Adult brains are less flexible but more efficient.
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What is meant by synaptic 'REWEIGHTING' and 'DELETION'?
The more a synaptic connection is used the stronger it becomes, whereas a sufficient disuse of neutron connections results in deletion.
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What did MAGUIRE et al (2000) study?
He studied brains of London taxi drivers, significantly greater volume of grey matter in posterior hippocampus than in control group. Part of the brain associated with spatial and navigational skills. Taxi drivers took test to assess recall ability.
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What were MAGUIRE's results?
The learning drivers undertake, alters their brain structure. Positive correlation between greater volume of grey matter how long they had been in the job - longer daily use of knowledge, strengthened neural connections associated with learning.
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What is functional RECOVERY AFTER TRAUMA?
Unaffected areas are often able to adapt and compensate for the areas damaged or lost, healthy areas take responsibility for functions that have been altered. Process occurs quickly after trauma, slows down after weeks, may require rehabilitation.
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How does brain recovery work?
The brain reorganises and rewires itself by forming new synaptic connections close to damaged area. Secondary pathways are activated to enable functioning to continue as before.
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What structural changes take place during brain recovery?
Axonal sprouting - growth of new nerve endings, connect undamaged nerve cells form new neuronal pathways. Recruitment of homologous areas on other side of the brain take over specific tasks. Neuronal unmasking - synapse activated in neighbouring area
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What is an EEG?
Measures electrical activity of the brain during sleep. Electrodes are placed on the scalp to detect charges resulting from activity of brain cells.
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What did DEMENT discover?
He used an EEG in his research of the sleep cycle. All participants showed regular periods of REM every night during sleep. In between participants experienced intervals of deep sleep. REM never occurred at beginning of sleep.
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Spatial and Temporal resolution of an EEG
Spatial - Very Low Temporal - Very High
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Strengths of using an EEG
Provides recording of brains activity in real time, accurately measure a particular task with brain activity associated. Useful in clinical diagnosis e.g. epileptic seizures caused by disturbed brain activity, normal EEG reading changes.
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Limitations of EEG
Only detect activity in superficial regions, unable to reveal deeper activity, electrodes too invasive in humans. Not useful for pinpointing exact source of activity in close and adjacent regions
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What is an ERP?
'event related potential' - used to record activity in response to a stimulus, small voltage charges are triggered by specific events or stimuli.
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Spatial and Temporal resolution
Spatial - very LOW Temporal - very HIGH
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Strengths of using ERP'S
Continuous measure in response to a stimulus, possible to determine how processing is affected by specific experimental manipulation. Measure of processing stimuli even in absence of behavioural response - monitor overtly.
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Limitations of ERP's
Small and difficult to pick out. requires large numbers of trials to gain meaningful data, limited to how many questions can be answered. Only sufficiently strong charges across the scalp are recordable, restricted to neocortex
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What is mean by fMRI?
'functional magnetic resonance imaging' - measures brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow and neuronal activation. Active areas require more oxygen, increased blood flow. Produce a map to show which areas are active during mental activity.
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Spatial and Temporal resolution of fMRI's
Spatial - 1-2mm Temporal - 1-2 seconds
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Strengths of using fMRI's
Non-invasive procedure, doesn't expose brain to potentially harmful radiation. More objective and reliable measure of psychological processed than with verbal reports, useful in investigating psychological phenomena.
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Limitations of fMRI's
Changes in blood isn't a direct measure of neural activity in particular brain areas - not fully quantitative. Overlooks networked nature of brain activity, focuses on localised activity, communication integral to mental functioning.
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What is a post mortem?
An examination of a dead body to identify abnormalities. Used to see where damage had occurred in the brain and how this could explain behaviour exhibited by the individual prior to death.
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How did Broca use the post mortem method?
Broca worked with Tan who had speech impairments whilst alive. His post mortem examination revealed a superficial lesion in his left frontal lobe, became known as Broca's area (speech production site)
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How did Annese et al (2014) use the post mortem procedure?
He worked with HM's brain and performed a PM. He discovered that his inabiilty to form new memories was associated with lesions in his hippocampus.
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Spatial and Temporal resolution of a post mortem
Spatial - very high NO Temporal resolution
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Strengths of using a post mortem
More detailed examination of anatomical and neurochemical aspects of the brain, deeper regions of the brain. Played a central part in understanding of schizophrenia, discovered structural abnormalities, associated with schizophrenia.
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Limitations of a post mortem
Retrospective method, person is already dead, researcher unable to follow up on anything that arises from PM e.g. relationships between abnormalities and cognitive functioning.
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What is a biological rhythm?
Regular variations (behaviour or pattern that follows a repeating pattern) in the biological activity of living organisms. Includes Ultradian, Circadian and Infradian.
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Examples of Ultradian rhythms
Eating, Stages of sleep, Heart beat
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Examples of Circadian rhythms
Sleep/Wake cycle, Body temperature
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Examples of Infradian rhythms
Menstrual cycle, Seasonal Affective disorder
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What controls Biological Rhythms?
ENDOGENOUS pacemakers (EP's) and EXOGENOUS zeitgebers (EZ's)
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What are ENDOGENOUS pacemakers?
Internal biological clocks that govern biological rhythms, they can be affected by EZ's. For example the suprachiasmatic is the master clock, linked to areas responsible for sleep and arousal
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What are EXOGENOUS zeitgebers?
External environmental cues about the time of day, resets biological clock. Can include; social cues like meal times and social activities. light/dark is the most important cue, keeps our body clock on a 24hr cycle
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What is a CIRCADIAN rhythm?
24 hour cycles of sleep and wakefulness. Some cycles we are consciously aware of e.g. sleep/wake, most cycles we are not usually aware of e.g. core body temperature. Controlled by ep's and ez's.
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How are EP's involved in Circadian rhythms?
The main human biological clock is the suprachiasmatic nucleus, located in the hypothalamus, it controls circadian rhythms. When light hits the retina it transfers through the optic nerve to SCN and stimulates release of melatonin in the pineal gland
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How did EZ's and EP's affect MICHEL SIFFRE?
He spent 6 months underground, isolated from influence of all EZ's no natural light or temperature variation, no contact with outside world. His sleep wake maintained strong circadian rhythm, extended to 25hrs, several days behind on estimation date.
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What evidence did Michel Siffre's experiment provide about EZ's and EP's?
EP'S: SCN is a key endogenous pacemaker, maintains a circadian rhythm of sleeping and waking, changing SCN changes timing. EZ's: speed up adjustment, increased exposure to light helps adjustment to time zone quicker.
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What is the role of the Motor cortex?
Planning, control and execution of voluntary movement, sends signals to muscles, different regions control different parts of the body.
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What is the role of the Somatosensory cortex?
Receives incoming sensory information from skin receptors over the body. Produces sensations related to pressure, touch, pain and temperature. Some areas have more somatosensory sorted associated to them than other e.g. fingertips and tongue.
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Function of the frontal lobe


Emotion and impulse control, judgement/decision making.

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Function of the temporal lobe


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Function of the parietal lobe


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Function of the occipital lobe


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