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Neuropsychology . Prepared by: Cicilia Evi GradDiplSc ., M. Psi. The Development . “Psychology has a long past but a short history” ( Ebbinghaus ) The same thing can be said for Neuropsychology . Historical Roots - Egyptians .

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Prepared by:

CiciliaEviGradDiplSc., M. Psi

the development
The Development
  • “Psychology has a long past but a short history” (Ebbinghaus)
  • The same thing can be said for Neuropsychology
historical roots egyptians
Historical Roots - Egyptians
  • Ancient Egyptians believed that heart and diaphragm were the seats of mental life (Feinberg & Farah, 1997)
  • Heart, liver, spleen and other organs were carefully removed from dead body and stored in separate jars  while the brain was simply discarded  considered unimportant (Rains, 2002)

The first recorded evidence on brain – behavior relationship: The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus (2000 B.C.)  was misleading

  • The impairments were ipsilateral to the lesion (same side) rather than contralateral (opposite side)
  • Egyptian observers didn’t take theoretical leap despite their findings
historical roots greeks
Historical Roots – Greeks
  • Alcmaeon of Croton (500 BC)  the first neurologist or neuropsychologist  proposed that the brain is ‘the seat of the soul’
  • Plato (400 BC)  similar proposal: the head is part of the body closest to heaven and therefore most likely to contain the most divine organ

On the other hand  pitfalls of rationalism

  • Empedocles (500BC)  heart was ‘the seat of the soul’
  • Aristotle (400BC) agreed:
    • Brain with its elaborate network of blood vessels and its position near the surface of the body  served to cool the blood
    • Heart, being an active and central structure was more suitable as the organ of feeling and thinking

Hippocrates (400 BC) had his brain hypothesis  brain was responsible for the intellect, senses, knowledge, emotions and even mental illness (Adams, 1932)

  • In ‘On The Sacred Disease’  epilepsy is a medical condition, not demonic possession
  • Found contralateral relationship
    • Head injury on the left side  seizure on the right side
    • Head injury on the left side  speech impairments
historical roots
Historical Roots
  • Romans accepted the brain hypothesis
  • Localization of function  where in the brain various psychological functions (perception, memory and thinking) take place?
  • Galen of Pergamus  cerebral ventricles, fluid-filled cavities deep within the brain, were the structures in which thinking and other psychological processes were localized

Nemesius (4th century)  ventricular hypothesis  assigning different psychological processes to locations within different ventricles

    • Cellulaphantastica  seat of perception
    • Cellulalogistica  seat of reasoning and cognition
    • Cellulamemoralis  seat of memory
  • This theory was lack of empirical support … until 19th century
mind body problem
Mind – Body Problem
  • Monism  hold to one belief, either physical (materialism) or spiritual (idealism)
  • Dualism  Rene Descartes  there is brain and there is mind, independent of each other but they interact.
    • Pineal gland  organ that mediate the interaction
    • No localization of function  because the mind was not localized, wasn’t in space at all
  • Holism  whole brain mediates all functioning
modern neuropsychology
Modern Neuropsychology
  • Franz Joseph Gall and Johann Casper Spurzheim phrenology  relating specific brain regions to particular faculties or functions  no precise definition or empirical basis
  • Jean BaptisteBouillaud  left-hemisphere specialize for motor dexterity, underlying right-handedness, also specialized movements involved in speech
modern neuropsychology 2
Modern Neuropsychology (2)
  • Paul Broca
  • A patient, Leborgne called ‘Tan’  epileptic, right hemiplegia and loss of speech for over 20 years  understood language, not demented, responded accurately to questions asked through gestures, such as his age  after his dead, found a lesion on his left hemisphere
  • In 1865  Broca concluded that left hemisphere is dominant for language
  • Marc Dax’s view
  • Meier (1974)  Neuropsychology is the scientific study of brain – behavior relationships
  • Subfields: clinical neuropsychology, experimental neuropsychology, behavioral neurology, and behavioral neuropsychology
clinical neuropsychology
Clinical Neuropsychology
  • The application of our understanding of human brain – behavior relationships to clinical problems (Horton, Wedding & Phay, 1981)
  • Clinical Neuropsychologist is a professional psychologist with diagnostic skills and psychometric expertise applicable to behavioral dysfunction associated with CNS dysfunction
  • Halstead – Reitan Neuropsychology Battery and Luria – Nebraska Neuropsychology Battery
experimental neuropsychology
Experimental Neuropsychology
  • Elucidation of basic brain – behavior relationship (Horton, Wedding & Phay, 1981)
  • Focus on theoretical questions rather than practical ones  nonhuman subjects
  • Degree of generality depends on the species and area of psychology under study
behavioral neurology
Behavioral Neurology
  • Concerned with clinical application of scientific knowledge  using qualitative, intuitive approach
  • Contrast with clinical neuropsychology which used psychometric and quantitative approach
  • Traditional medical case study approach  assumes the practitioner has considerable clinical expertise and thorough understanding of neural structure and function
behavioral neuropsychology
Behavioral Neuropsychology
  • Horton (1979)  the application of behavior therapy techniques to problems of organically impaired individuals while using a neuropsychological assessment and intervention perspective
  • Emphasis on the problems of management, retraining, and rehabilitation
psychometric approach to neuropsychology
Psychometric Approach to Neuropsychology
  • Case study approach  revealed in-depth study of single individual case  but we need more …
  • Group Studies  started at 40-50s  allowed the formation of control groups to reveal the nature of impairments associated with a particular lesion  result: quantitative definitions of impairments and sensitivity of specific tests to the presence of impairments

Statistical analyses  used to quantify the probability that a group with a particular lesion is performing at a lower level than a control group on a particular task  help us to understand cerebral organization of psychological processes

  • Also provide a basis for making inferences regarding the presence of cognitive impairments and associated cerebral abnormality in that individual (Reitan & Davidson, 1974)  provide a set of procedures in diagnosis and rehabilitation (Lezak, 1995)
case study
Case Study?
  • Still effective in very rare disorders (agnosia or aphasia)  provide a vivid and detailed description of the impairment that is often lost in the analysis of group data
  • Individual differences and avoid overgeneralized appraisal of the effects of particular lesions
  • Group study defined on the basis of lesion sites  may comprise subjects with widely varying lesion sites  erroneous interpretation
  • Erroneous idea of mind-body relationship can remain widely accepted for long periods
  • Establishment of localization of function within cerebral cortex and the specialization of left hemisphere for language  mid 19th century
  • An awareness of historical antecedents of current controversies helps place them in perspective and provides a framework for possible resolutions