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99 Cards in this Set

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What is localisation of function?

- different areas of the brain responsible for different behaviours/processes/activities

What was the holistic theory of the brain?

- all parts of the brain were involved in the processing of thought and action

What did Paul Broca and Carl Wernicke argue about brain function?

- certain brain areas associated with physical/psychological functions


- different parts performed different tasks

What is the lateralisation of function in the brain?

- physical/psychological functions mainly by one hemisphere


- left side controlled by right hemisphere


- right side controlled by left hemisphere

What is the cerebral cortex?

- outer layer of both hemispheres


- more developed in humans

What are the four lobes of each hemisphere?

- frontal


- parietal


- occipital


- temporal


*named after bones they are under

What is the motor area?

- back of frontal lobes


- voluntary movement in opposite side of body


- damage=lose control of fine movement

What is the somatosensory area?

- front of parietal lobes


- where sensory info from skin is represented


- more area devoted=more sensitivity

What is the central sulcus?

- the valley which separates the motor and somatosensory areas

What is the visual area?

- in occipital lobes at back of brain


- info from right visual field to left visual cortex


- damage to left hemisphere=blindless in right visual field of both eyes

What is the auditory area?

- in temporal lobes


- analyse speech info


- damage=hearing loss


- damage to specific area=affect ability to comprehend language

What did Broca find about the localisation of language?

- identified small area of left frontal lobe=speech production


- damage=slow, laborious, lack frequency


- Broca's area

What did Wernicke find about Wernicke's area?

- patients difficulty understanding language, not producing


- area in left temporal lobe=language comprehension


- damage=produce nonsense words in speech

What are the evaluation points of localisation of brain function?

- brain scan evidence


- neurosurgical evidence


- case study evidence


- lashley's research


- plasticity

What is the brain scan evidence evaluation point of localisation of function?

Peterson: Wernicke's area active in listening;Broca's active in reading=diff. functions


- highly objective methods=scientific

What is the neurosurgical evidence evaluative point of localisation of function?

- remove parts of brain to control behaviour


Dougherty: 44 OCD patients/cingulotomy/32 weeks=1/3 success


- localisation of mental disorder behaviours

What is the case study evidence evaluative point of localisation of function?

Phineas Gage: pole through face/frontal lobe destroyed/personality change (calm to rude)


- frontal lobe may control mood=support localisation

What is Lashley's research evaluative point of localisation of function?

- highly cognitive functions follow holistic theory


- remove rat cortex areas=no area more important in learning


- learning too complex to be localised

What is the plasticity evaluative point of localisation of function?

- brain damaged=rest of brain compensates for action


- stroke victims recover lost abilities


- more than one area control same function

What is brain plasticity?

- brain's ability to change throughout life


- neural connections change throughout life, not just in infancy

What is synaptic pruning?

- rarely used connections are deleted


- frequent connections are strengthened

What was Maguire's research into brain plasticity?

- London taxi drivers had more grey matter in posterior hippocampus than matched control


- longer in job=more defined structure difference

What was Draganski's research into brain plasticity?

- med student brain images three months pre/post final exams


- learning=change in posterior hippocampus/parietal cortex

What was Mechelli's research into brain plasticity?

- found larger parietal cortex in bilingual people vs matched monolingual control

How does the brain functionally recover after trauma?

- injury/trauma=unaffected areas adapt for damaged (functional recovery)


- quickly after trauma (spontaneous recovery)


- slows down=rehab therapy needed

What structural changes occur during functional recovery?

- Axonal sprouting: nerve endings grow/connect=new pathways


- Reformation of blood vessels


- Recruit similar area on other hemisphere

What are the evaluation points of brain plasticity?

- practical applications


- negative plasticity


- support from animal studies


- concept of cognitive reserve

What are the practical applications of brain plasticity?

- contributes to neurorehabilitation


- physical therapy after spontaneous recovery


- brain can't fully heal alone

What is the negative plasticity evaluative point of brain plasticity?

- behavioural consequences e.g long drug use=cognitive function down


- risk of dementia up


- 60-80% amputees=phantom limb syndrome=unpleasant

What is the support from animal studies for brain plasticity?

Hubel/Wiesel: sew one kitten eye shut;analyse brain response=visual cortex area of closed eye not idle;continued to process info from open eye

What is the concept of cognitive reserve evaluative point for brain plasticity?

- education affects functional plasticity


Schneider: brain injury patients;longer in school=disability free recovery


- 2/5 patients 16+ years in school vs 10% <12 years in school

What is split brain research?

- 1960s onwards studies of epileptic patients with hemispheres surgically separated


- investigate extent to which brain function is lateralised

What is hemispheric lateralisation?

- two hemispheres are functionally different


- specific processes/behaviours controlled by one hemisphere

What was Sperry's split brain study into hemispheric lateralisation?

- epileptic group had corpus callosum cut to separate hemispheres=control seizures


- see if hemispheres performed tasks independently

What was the procedure of Sperry's split brain research?

- image/word shown in right visual field (left hemisphere) vice versa


- normal brain=corpus callosume share info between hemispheres=complete picture


- split brain patient=info not shared

What were the findings of Sperry's research about describing what you see?

- picture shown to right visual field, could describe;left visual field, nothing there


- right hemisphere lacks language centres

What were the findings of Sperry's research about recognition by touch?

- object shown in left visual field;could match object from grab bag behind screen using left hand


- selected closely related object

What were the findings of Sperry's research about composite words?

- two words same time each visual field


- write with left hand word in left visual field


- say the word in the right visual field

What were the findings of Sperry's research about matching faces?

- right hemisphere dominant


- shown face to each visual field;asked to macth from series of faces, left visual field chosen


- composite picture, left hemisphere described, right matched

What are the evaluation points of Sperry's split brain research?

- demonstrate lateralisation


- strengths of methodology


- theoretical basis


- issues with generalisation


- differences in function overstated

What is the demonstrated lateralised brain functions evaluative point of Sperry's split brain research?

- left hemisphere=analytic/verbal tasks


- right hemisphere=spatial/music tasks/emotion to language


- left=analyser;right=synthesiser

What are the strengths of methodology for Sperry's split brain research?

- highly standardised procedures


- one eye blindfolded;image 1/10th sec=no time to spread info to both visual fields


- well controlled

What is the theoretical basis evaluative point of Sperry's split brain research?

- debate on communication between hemispheres


Pucetti: so functionally different=two minds


Others: highly integrated=both involved in everyday tasks

What are the issues with generalisation of Sperry's split brain research?

- unusual/small sample, all had epileptic seizure history


- influence findings;some more disconnection than others

What is the difference in function overstated evaluative point of Sperry's split brain research?

- labelling hemispheres=oversimplifying=less clear cut


- normal brain=constant communication performing everyday tasks


- many behaviours of one hemisphere done by other

What is functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)?

- measures brain activity performing task


- detect radio waves from changing magnetic fields


- detect regions of brain rich in O2


- 3D images/helps understanding of localisation of function

What are the strengths of fMRI?

- doesn't rely on radiation=virtually risk-free


- non-invasive


- straight forward


- high resolution

What are the weaknesses of fMRI?

- expensive compared to other techniques


- clear image if person stays still


- poor temporal resolution


- only measures blood flow not neurone activity

What is electroencephalogram (EEG)?

- records tiny electrical impulses


- measures wave patterns=diagnose certain conditions e.g epilepsy, tumors, disorders of sleep

What are the strengths of EEG?

- diagnose brain conditions


- contributed to understanding of sleep stages


- high temporal resolution

What are the weakness of EEG?

- information too general


- can't pinpoint source of neural activity


- can't distinguish activities in different adjacent locations

What are event-related potentials (ERPs)?

- statistical analysis of EEG showing electrophysiological response to specific events e.g. sensory/cogntive/motor

What are the strengths of ERPs?

- more specific measure of neural processes


- excellent temporal resolution compared to other techniques


- used to measure cognitive functions/deficits

What are the weaknesses of ERPs?

- methodology lacks standardisation=difficult to confirm finding


- pure data=background noise/extraneous material eliminated=not always achieved

What are post-mortem examinations?

- analyse the brain after death=observed behaviours in lifetime linked to brain abnormality

What are the strengths of post-mortems?

- foundation of understanding key brain processes


- used by Broca/Wernicke


- improve medical knowledge=generate hypotheses

What are the weaknesses of post-mortems?

- causation issues=damage from unrelated trauma


- ethical issues (consent of patients)

What are biological rhythms?

- distinct patterns of changes in body activity=cyclical time periods

What are the two factors which control biological rhythms?

- endogenous pacemakers (internal clocks)


- exogenous zeitgebers (external changes)

What is a circadian rhythm?

- biological rhythm with a 24 hour cycle


- regulates body processes e.g. sleep/wake cycle and core body temperature

What else controls our sleep/wake cycle?

- light=important exogenous zeitgeber


- makes us drowsy at night and alert in the morning

What was Siffre's cave study?

- spent extended time underground=study effects on biological rhythms


- deprived of natural light/sound


- 2 months in Southern Alps, resurfaced in September 1962;thought it was mid-August


- endogenous pacemaker slowed to 25 hours

What was Aschoff and Wever's research into circadian rhythms?

- participants 4 weeks in WWII bunker=no sunlight


- all but one showed 24-25 hour circadian rhythm


- natural cycle longer;entrained by exogenous zeitgebers

What was Folkard's research into circadian rhythms?

- 12 people;3 weeks in dark cave


- sleep=clock time 11.45pm;rise=7.45am


- gradually sped up clock time=22 hr day


- only one person comfortably adjusted


- free-running circadian rhythm not easily overriden by exogenous zeitgebers

What are the evaluation points of circadian rhythms?

- practical application to shift work


- practical application to drug treatment


- use of case studies and small samples


- poor control in studies


- individual differences

What are the practical applications of circadian rhythms to shift work?

- understanding consequences of disrupting circadian rhythm


- night workers=down conc. at 6am=mistakes


- shift workers 3x likely develop heart disease=adjust sleep/wake cycle


- implications=manage worker productivity

What are the practical applications of circadian rhythms to drug treatments?

- circadian rhythms co-ordinate heart rate, digestion and hormone levels


- effects action of drugs on body;peak times when most effective


- guidelines on timing for some meds

What is the use of case studies and small samples evaluative point of circadian rhythms?

- studies involve small groups e.g. Aschoff/Wever


- not representative/generalisable

What is the poor control in studies evaluative point of circadian rhythms?

- Siffre still had access to artificial light (lamp)=assumed no effect


Czeisher: Adjust circadian rhythms 22 to 28 hrs using dim light


- artificial light affected Siffre's findings

What is the individual difference evaluative point of circadian rhythms?

- sleep/wake cycle can vary in people from 13 to 65 hours


Duffy: some prefer early rise vs some prefer opposite


- age differences in sleep/wake patterns

What is an infradian rhythm?

- biological rhythms that have a period of more than 24 hours e.g. menstrual cycle/seasonal affective disorder

What is the menstrual cycle? What occurs during the cycle?

- typical cycle lasts about 28 days


- oestrogen levels up=release egg;progesterone thickens womb lining


- no pregnancy=egg absorbed


- womb lining leaves body

What was McClintock's research into the menstrual cycle?

- 29 women irregular periods


- pheromones from 9 women at different stages on cotton pad (8 hrs)


- rubbed on upper lip of 20 women


- 68% women cycles changed to match 'odour donor'

What is seasonal affective disorder? What are the possible causes?

- symptoms triggered in winter months=daylight hours shorter


- hypothesised melatonin implicated


- night=pineal gland secretes melatonin until dawn (light up)


- lack of light=longer secretion=effect serotonin production

What are ultradian rhythms?

- biological rhythms with a period of less than 24 hours e.g. sleep stages


- 5 distinct stages have 90 minute durations=continues throughout night

Describe stages 1 and 2 of the sleep cycle.

- light sleep=easily woken


- beginning of sleep, brainwaves slower/rhythmic (alpha waves), then slower (theta waves) as sleep gets deeper

Describe stages 3 and 4 of the sleep cycle.

- delta waves=slower/greater amplitude


- deep sleep/slow wave sleep=difficult to wake someone

Describe stage 5 of the sleep cycle (REM sleep).

- body paralysed


- brain activity speeds=awake brain


- REM=rapid eye movement


- REM activity highly correlated to dreaming

What are the evaluation points of ultradian and infradian rhythms?

- evolutionary basis of the menstrual cycle


- methodological limitations in synchronisation studies


- evidence supports the idea of distinct stages in sleep


- animal studies


- practical application to SAD

What is the evolutionary basis of the menstrual cycle evaluative point of ultradian and infradian rhythms?

- past=advantageous to menstruate together=pregnant together=newborns raised in group=increase survival

What is the methodological limitations in synchronisation studies evaluative point of ultradian and infradian rhythms?

- confounding variables e.g. stress/diet/exercise not controlled


- patterns in synchronisation may due to chance


- small samples;self report

What is the evidence supports idea of distinct stages in sleep evaluative point of ultradian and infradian rhythms?

Dement/Kleitman: 9 adult sleep patterns in lab;EEG;control caffiene/alcohol;REM highly correlated to dreaming;brain activity varied how vivid dreams were


- replicated;small sample size

What are the animal studies evaluative point of ultradian and infradian rhythms?

- knowledge of pheromone effect on behaviour derived from animal studies


- evidence for effect in human behaviour speculative/inconclusive


- can't fully generalise animal study findings

What are the practical applications to SAD of ultradian and infradian rhythms?

- phototherapy=reset melatonin levels=relieve symptoms in 60% sufferers


- placebo effect 30% 'sham negative ion generator'=doubt on influence of phototherapy

What are endogenous pacemakers?

- internal body clocks regulating biological rhythms e.g. SCN influencing sleep/wake cycle

What is the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)?

- nerve bundle in hypothalamus


- primary endogenous pacemaker of mammal


- maintains circadian rhythm e.g. sleep/wake cycle


- nerve fibres connected to eye cross optic chiasm to visual area of cerebral cortex


- SCN above optic chiasm=receives light info;continues when eyes closed

What was Decoursey's animal study into the SCN?

- destroyed SCN in 30 chipmunks


- returned to natural habitat/observed for 80 days


- significant portion killed (awake when should've been asleep)

What was Ralph's animal study into the SCN?

- bred 'mutant' hamsters with 20 hr sleep/wake


- SCN from mutant transplanted to normal=cycles defaulted to 20 hrs


- emphasise role of SCN in maintaining circadian sleep/wake cycle

What are exogenous zeitgebers?

- external cues which affect biological rhythms e.g. light on sleep/wake cycle

How are the pinal gland and melatonin affected by the SCN?

- SCN passes info on light to pineal gland


- night=increases melatonin production (induces sleep)

How does light work as an exogenous zeitgeber?

- resets SCN=maintain sleep/wake cycle


- indirect influence on hormone secretion/blood circulation

What was Campbell and Murphy's research into light as an exogenous zeitgeber?

- light detected by skin receptors when not received by eye


- 15 participants woken diff. times


- light shone on back of knee


- deviated sleep/wake cycle up to 3 hrs


- don't necessarily rely on eyes to influence the brain

How do social cues act as an exogenous zeitgeber?

- 6 weeks=circadian rhythm;16 weeks=most babies entrained


- influenced by parents schedules (mealtimes/bedtimes)


- adapting to local time for eating/sleeping=beat jetlag

What are the evaluation points of exogenous zeitgebers and endogenous pacemakers?

- beyond the master clock


- ethics in animal studies


- influence of exogenous zeitgebers overstated


- methodological issues in studies


- interactionist system

What is the beyond the master clock evaluative point of EZ and EP?

- many circadian rhythms in organs/cells (peripheral oscillators)


- highly influenced by SCN, act independently


Damiola: change mice feed pattern alter liver cell circadian rhythm by 12 hours/SCN unaffected


- other complex influences on sleep/wake cycle

What are the ethics in animal studies evaluative point of EZ and EP?

- cannot generalise findings from animal studies to humans


- animals exposed to harm/risk when returned to natural habitat

What is the influence of EZ overstated evaluative point of EZ and EP?

Miles: young man blind from birth;circadian rhythm 24.9 hrs;despite social cues, sleep/wake cycle not adjusted


- occasions EZ little effect on internal rhythm

What is the methological issues in studies evaluative point of EZ and EP?

- Campbell and Murphy study not replicated


- limited light exposure to eyes=major confounding variable


- isolating light doesn't give insight to other zeitgebers influence

What is the interactionist system evaluative point of EZ and EP?

- free-running endogenous pacemakers exceptional circumstances


- total isolation extremely rare=lack validity


- pacemakers/zeitgebers interact