Unit03_Mod15_Mind_Reading_Monkeys - 24 PsychSim 5 Mind-Reading Monkeys PsychSim 5 MIND-READING MONKEYS Name Section Date This activity explores one of

Unit03_Mod15_Mind_Reading_Monkeys - 24 PsychSim 5...

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Unformatted text preview: 24 PsychSim 5: Mind-Reading Monkeys PsychSim 5: MIND-READING MONKEYS Name: __________________________________________ Section: ________________________ Date: __________________________________________ This activity explores one of the brain mechanisms believed to foster the evolution of human language and culture. The focus of the activity is a simulated experiment in which you will play the role of a researcher who is recording the activity of “mirror neurons” in the premotor cortex of monkeys as they perform various tasks or watch others perform those tasks. Brain Regions • Briefly describe the premotor cortex of the brain, including its location and function. It is located in the frontal lobe and it plans movement. Neural Experiments • In the first simulated experiment with Rizzo, a macaque monkey, a wooden block is placed in front of him and the results of his neural activity are graphed. What does the graph tell you about the activity of this neuron while Rizzo performed the action of grasping a wooden block? Does it appear that this neuron is “tuned” to respond to this particular action? The graph showed low overall activity rate, and that tells us that this neuron is tuned to a different type of action. • In the second simulated experiment with Rizzo, a small raisin is placed in front of him and the results of his neural activity are graphed. What does the graph tell you about the activity of this neuron while Rizzo performed the action of grasping a raisin? Does it appear that this neuron is “tuned” to respond to this particular action? The graph showed rapid and high overall activity rate, and that tells us that this neuron responds to this movement. • In the final simulated experiment with Rizzo, the experimenter grasps a small raisin while Rizzo watches. The results of his neural activity are graphed. What does the graph tell you about the activity of this neuron while Rizzo watched the experimenter perform the action of grasping a raisin? What purpose could this neuron serve? The neuron showed strong activity while witnessing the raisin grasp. This neuron could serve as a way for Rizzo to relate or understand the witnessed movement. Mirror Neurons • What purpose or purposes could mirror neurons serve in human behavior? It can help humans learn through imitation. • What is the theorized role of mirror neurons in relation to empathy? It is theorized to be able to help us understand facial expressions. ...
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  • Fall '17
  • LUL
  • simulated experiment, Rizzo

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