Biopsychology - Stmaryspsyweb's Weblog

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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
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
Conclusion – The results show that the
cerebellum is involved in simple memory
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.