Essay on The Case of Phineas Gage

1076 Words May 26th, 2013 5 Pages
Part I
Option B
The case of Phineas Gage is one of the most often cited in biological psychology. Explain what we can learn about the relationship between brain and behaviour from this and similar cases and describe techniques used by biological psychologists that can supplement our knowledge of this relationship.

This essay explains what can be learnt about the relationship between brain and behaviour using the case of Phineas Gage and imaging techniques. It starts by briefly describing neurons. It then goes on to look at what can be learnt by studying accidental brain damages and the effect they can have on behaviour using Phineas Gage’s case. This essay acknowledges that there are limitations on what can be learnt from accidental
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Also he illustrated impulsivity and struggled with the capacity to utilize emotional information. The frontal lobe lesion association with Gage’s change of personal behaviour indicates that the neurons in that area normally serve, amongst other things, communication and control of impulsive emotional behaviour.

As much as insight to brain and behaviour relationship can be derived from accidental brain damage, they are unplanned, uncontrolled, usually affect multiple areas of the brain and unique to individuals. Additionally no one lesion provides conclusive and unique key to lock relationship between brain area and behaviour because of the possibility that the damage to the area might have disturbed neural connection to other brain areas; rather than it being responsible for the changed psychological function. Alternatively there are other factors which might contribute to the change of behaviour such as pain and trauma associated with the accident. On the other hand it is possible for other brain areas to compensate for the damaged area by forming new neural communications after an injury, thus resulting in partial restoration of the neural network (Toates, 2007).

So to enhance what can be learnt from the study of lesions

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