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A brief and incomplete history of the study of brain and behaviour. Greek mythology. The hypothesis that the mind, soul or psyche is responsible for behaviour has roots in Greek mythology Psyche was a human who became immortal after completing a number of almost impossible tasks

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greek mythology
Greek mythology
  • The hypothesis that the mind, soul or psyche isresponsible for behaviour has roots in Greek mythology
  • Psyche was a human whobecame immortal after completing a number of almost impossible tasks
  • Herpsychebecame separate from her body
greek mythology1
Greek mythology
  • Aristotle (350 BC)alluded to Greek mythology whenhe suggested that all human intellectualfunctions were carried out by the mind(psyche)
  • However, Aristotle thought that the mindwas located in the heart - he thought the brain was just there tocool the blood
slide4
Other Greek thinkers, such as Hippocratesand Galen, did regard the brain to bethe seat of intellect and the organ that controlsbehaviour:
  • Not only our pleasure, our joy and our laughterbut also our sorrow, pain, grief and tears risefrom the brain, and the brain alone. With it wethink and understand, see and hear, and wediscriminate between the ugly and the beautiful,between what is pleasant and what is unpleasantand between good and evil(Hippocrates, 400BC).
independent bodies and brains
Independent bodies and brains
  • Rene Descartes (1596-1650) wrote aninfluential book on mind and brain
  • He tooka philosophical position that both a nonmaterialmind and the material bodycontribute to behaviour
  • Cartesian dualism
accidental neuroscience
Accidental neuroscience
  • In 1838 Phineas Gagewas the foreman of a railway construction gang in New England, USA
  • He was responsible for laying new tracks which involves blasting hard rocks to provide amore level path
  • Gage was considered ‘an efficient andcapable man’ by his employers and was welllikedby his colleagues
  • One day a rock chargeblows up in his face
  • An iron rod entered Gage’scheek and penetrated the base of hisskull, leaving through the topof his head.
slide7
Gage survives, is able to walk without assistance, couldtouch, hear, see (through his right eye) and speak
  • However, some aspects of hispersonality were changed
  • He became ‘fitful, irreverent, and indulged in thegrossest profanity’
  • Thisresulted in him losing his job and his friends
  • Gage was no longer Gage
localisation of function
Localisation of function
  • The concept of functional localization beganwith Franz Gall and the phrenologists in theearly 19th century
  • Phrenology(reading personality from bumps on the head) is a discredited science but...
localisation of function1
Localisation of function
  • Phrenology did suggestthat thebrain could be divided up into many separateorgans that were responsible for differentbehavioural faculties
  • Support for the concept of localization camefrom neurologists who demonstrated that brainlesions had specific effects on behaviour
localisation of function2
Localisation of function
  • John Hughlings Jackson, anEnglish neurologist, was one ofthe first to recognise thelocalizational view
  • He notedthat lesions to the right side ofthe brain affected visual-spatialprocesses more than lesions tothe left side of the brain
localisation of function3
Localisation of function
  • Pierre Paul Broca and CarlWernike showed how lesions toother parts of the brain (left hemisphere) affectedlanguage capability