Brain research Reading Pennington page 36-37 Gross pages 59-62
Methods of investigating Brain Function • Mainly depend on: • Sticking in electrodes or • Cutting bits off and seeing what happens or • Sometimes by accidental injury
Electrical stimulation of the brain • Delgado • Animal studies
Electrical stimulation of the brain • Penfield • Human studies • Usually while undergoing existing surgery • Try it • (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/tryit/brain/)
Cutting bits off • Animals: • Several experiments – ethical questions • Humans: • Pre-frontal lobotomy.
Accidents • Phineas Gage
Electroencephalogram (EEG) Non – invasive but cumbersome. Crude method, not very accurate.
Scanning methods • CAT scan • Computerised Axial Tomography • Produced by X-ray rotation
Magnetic Resonance Imaging • MRI Scan • Magnetic field rotated around the head • Extremely detailed picture. • Recent technology has 3D images like the real thing.
An fMRI of the brain. Green areas were active while subjects remembered information presented visually. Red areas were active while they remembered information presented aurally. Yellow areas were active for both types.
MRI scan • Try it • (http://nobelprize.org/medicine/educational/mri/game/index.html)
PET • Positron Emission Tomography
fMRI scans • Functional Magnetic resonance • Most powerful tool. Can give moving pictures of brain activity • Non Invasive
Watching your brain work • Science Museum site link • (www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/exhibitions/brain/index.asp)