Transcript Biopsychology - Stmaryspsyweb's Weblog
Biopsychology Localisation of function The human brain The brain is separated into 2 hemispheres. These hemispheres are the newly evolved sections of the brain and are involved in higher cognitive functions such as vision, memory and thought. The left and right hemispheres are symmetrical in shape and are divided into 2 separate halves joined by a bundle of fibres called the corpus callosum. The corpus callosum The corpus callosum allows the two halves of the brain to communicate or transfer information between each other. As a general rule each side of the brain works the opposite side of the body. Key Study Krupa et al. (1993) Aim – They conducted a series of experiments on rabbits to investigate the role of the cerebellum in memory. Method – Rabbits were conditioned to blink their eyes in response to a certain sound. Once the rabbit had been conditioned to make this response, a drug was administered which temporarily stopped the action of the cerebellum. Results – The rabbits failed to blink to the sound that had been conditioned while the drug was active; however, as the drug wore off, the conditioned response returned. Conclusion – The results show that the cerebellum is involved in simple memory tasks. The cerebral cortex The cerebral cortex is divided up into what are called frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes, as shown above. The functions The frontal lobe: motor processing (body movement); higher thought processes such as abstract reasoning. Parietal Lobe : processing of sensations from the skin and the muscles in the body. Temporal Lobe: mainly involved in processing auditory information; sometimes called the auditory cortex. Occipital Lobe : mainly responsible for processing visual information; sometimes called the visual cortex. Localisation of Function Different parts of the brain are involved with different parts of the body. This idea dates back to Joseph Gall (17581828). Gall was an anatomist who thought that different areas of the brain related to different aspects of personality. Gall created the pseudoscience of Phrenology, which claimed that the bumps or contours of the skull revealed different psychological characteristics of the person. Gall was wrong about phrenology, but the underlying concept of localisation of brain function was correct.