Lec8BrainPlas%26FunctionA

Lec8BrainPlas%26FunctionA - Lecture 8 (2/12/09) Brain...

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Lecture 8 (2/12/09) Brain plasticity, modules, and localization of function Exam 1: 2/17/09 In class. Section of text on “How brain is divided” and “consciousness” will come later in course, when we do consciousness---hence, not on Exam 1. Format: 40 multiple choice and 1 or more short essays or short answers. Questions will tend to focus on significance/meaning of findings and major findings, not details.
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Sample multiple choice question: iClicker In the reading titled: “Spontaneous Expressive Control in Blind and Sighted Children” the main finding was that: A = The blind children did learn to mask disappointment but did so at a somewhat later age than sighted children B = Researchers did not detect an age difference in the ability to mask facial expressions of disappointment in blind and sighted children. C = Blind children could learn to mask facial expressions of disappointment, but only after they were instructed how to do this. D = The blind children were somewhat older than the sighted children so that it is not possible to answer this question.
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Sample question: iClicker Some of the reasons that blind children did learn to mask facial signs of disappointment are: A = They may have learned that it is “not polite” to show disappointment and that certain facial expressions are not polite. B = They may have discovered that masking negative emotions by smiling attenuates aversive aspects of feeling disappointed. C = They may have been instructed as to how to manage their facial expressions in public. D = All of the above
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Brain plasticity As a function of developmental As a function of specific (not universal) experiences
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Do universal developmental changes in cognition reflect universal changes in brain structure, or build on existing brain structures? Thought becomes more abstract, flexible, less egocentric Examples: Capacity to appreciate puns, construct hypothetical situations, see things from another point of view, manipulate ideas (as if they were objects), construct a logical plan of action, imagine ideal situations (e.g., morals, utopian thought, etc.) Simple measures of brain structure: gray and white matter proportions: Gray matter: areas of the nervous system with a high density of cell bodies and dendrites, few myelinated axons White matter: areas of the nervous system containing mostly myelinated axons
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Brain development during childhood & adolescence: a longitudinal MRI study* 145 subjects, age 4 to 20 had brain scans on 1 to 4 occasions. The brain scans measured the density of white matter in different brain areas (% of brain tissue composed of myelinated axons). *Giedd et al., 1999
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Giedd et al., 1999 % of Cortex Composed of White Matter (Myelinated Axons)* 0 5 10 15 20 25 24% 26% 28% 30% 32% 34% 36% 38% Females Males % Cortical White Matter Age *Based on Giedd et al., 1999 Changes are relative: What is going on with absolute densities?
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Morphometric study of human cerebral cortex development* A study of density of dendrites and synapses (gray matter) in children. ..(post mortem)
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This note was uploaded on 04/23/2009 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 11002 taught by Professor Heyman during the Spring '09 term at BC.

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Lec8BrainPlas%26FunctionA - Lecture 8 (2/12/09) Brain...

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