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10 Cards in this Set

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What are the different invasive an non-invasive methods of studying cortical specialisation?

Invasive: Neurosurgery, Electrical and chemical stimulation, and post mortem examinations.

Non-inavsive: Electrocencephalogram (EEG), Computerised axial tomography (CAT), Positron emission tomography (PET), Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)


Invasive method of studying, involves manipulating structures within the brain. two main ways of performing it are ablations and lesions.

Electrical and chemical stimulation?

Electrical stimulation of specific areas of the brain to study, reticular function.


Method where body is examined after death. Usually carried out on individuals with a rare affiliation who has been part of a longitudinal study.(Used for centuries before contemporary scanning methods and X-rays). One of the few ways to study relationship between brain and behaviour. Body entered by a needle tube device or scope.

Post mortem: Paul Broca

Paul Broca investigated location of speech in the brain using this method. Patient named 'tan' because that's all he could say, after he died Broca used post mortem and discovered tan had a legion on left cerebral hemisphere caused by syphilis. Area of the brain became known as Broca's area.

Evaluation of post mortem

Strengths: provides greater understanding of rare afflictions in individuals.

Limitation: Obtaining a person's brain even if they have been the subject of a longitudinal study, can be very difficult.


Uses magnetic radio weaves, person lies in a large cylinder which contains a magnet, and magnetic radio waves are sent through the body, affecting body atoms.Body tissues give out a signal which can be measured.

+: Detailed knowledge of brain whilst active, doing problem solving

-:Time consuming, cannot record spontaneous behaviour

CAT Scan

Used for evaluating amount brain swelling due to tissue damage, or assess size of ventricles deep within brain. Narrow X-ray beam sent through head, amount of radiation absorbed is measured, these measurement fed to computer, where cross section of the brain can be photographed or displayed on a screen (and 3-D images of internal body organs). +: Detailed knowledge of the brain whilst active -: time consuming, no spontaneous behaviour


Main measurement of electrical activity of the brain, by placing electrodes on scalp. EEG picks up electrical signals from neurons within the brain and sends them to EEG machine record signals on pc screen which clinicians monitor. Used to record patterns during sleep, in sleep labs, on humans animals in lab tests, monitor and categorise epileptic seizures. +: no intervention needed, allows natural measurement of brain activity -:electrodes not sensitive enough to pick up individual action potentials of single neurons.


Small amount of radioactive glucose tracer, injected into bloodstream which is then detected and forms picture of amount being absorbed to show which part of brain is functioning. (When asked to certain task, e.g. problem solving). Measures blood flow and oxygen use. +: detailed knowledge of brain while active -: time consuming, cannot record spontaneous behaviour, radioactive glucose used-ethical concerns.