Organization of the cortex. Cortex has 6 distinct laminae (layers). Cortex is arranged via columns. Each column extends through several laminae and share similar functions. Cortex has two symmetrical halves, right and left. Cortex has a contralateral function. That is, one side of the brain controls the other side of the body.Two hemispheres are connected in two waysCorpus callosumAnterior commisure.
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1. Physiological Psychology Cortex / Research Methods
2. Organization of the cortex Cortex has 6 distinct laminae (layers)
3. Cortex is arranged via columns.
Each column extends through several laminae and share similar functions
4. Cortex has two symmetrical halves, right and left.
Cortex has a contralateral function. That is, one side of the brain controls the other side of the body.
Two hemispheres are connected in two ways
7. Occipital lobe
Vision: Primary visual cortex
Wernicke’s area: Language comprehension
8. Parietal lobe
Primary somatosensory cortex
Somatosensory function (touch, vibration, pain)
Sensory areas have specific parts dedicated to certain parts of the body
Combination of all senses with vision
10. Frontal lobe – very large, many functions
Precentral gyrus: Primary motor cortex
Generation of movement
Broca’s area – production of speech
Integration of many types of information
Thinking, planning, decision making
11. Research methods and the brain Brain activity and behavior
Gall and phrenology
Behaviors are associated with certain cranial features
13. Approaches to the study of the brain
Animals vs. humans
1. Correlate brain anatomy with behavior
2. Record brain activity during behavior
3. Examine the effects of brain damage
4. Examine the effects of stimulating some brain area.
14. Studies with animals
In vitro vs. in vivo
In Vitro analysis: “In the Lab” – brain tissue is removed, isolated, and studied on its own. Individual neurons can be studied
Ex. Patch clamp technique
In Vivo analysis: “In the Living” – the brain is studied in an intact animal
15. Lesions – remove portions of the brain in particular areas
Stereotaxic – instrument that allows for precise calculation of lesion coordinates.
16. Types of lesions
Electrolytic – electricity is passed through an area until the neurons in that area die
Problem: axons passing through the area may be damaged as well.
Chemical – specific drugs are administered that selectively destroy certain types of neurons
Administration of drugs that shut off specific areas of the brain
17. Human research Study cases of brain damage
Example: Phineas Gage
Neural imaging – technology that allows inspection of an intact brain
EEG: electroencephalogram – electrodes are placed on the scalp.
It records the electrical activity of neurons.
Problem: It records from thousands of neurons at a time; not very precise
19. “CAT” scan: Computerized tomography
Computer enhanced 3-D X-Rays
Not much resolution, still life
20. MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging – uses magnetic fields to get brain scans
Just get a picture
22. PET scan: Positron Emission Tomography
– patients are injected with radioactive glucose. The scanner tracks where the glucose moves to. This is used as an indicator of neural activity.
- Has problems: resolution is fairly low.
25. Functional MRI (fMRI) – Registers changes in the metabolism of cells
Increase in blood flow to the local vasculature that accompanies neural activity in the brain.
Get 3-D picture of real time brain activity