Lecture 2-Cognitive Neuroscience

Lecture 2-Cognitive Neuroscience - C OGNITION- L ECTURE TWO...

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Unformatted text preview: C OGNITION- L ECTURE TWO : C OGNITIVE N EUROSCIENCE 1/12/2010 Localization of function : The attempt to discover correspondences between specific cognitive functions and specific parts of the brain, based on the assumption that there is a strict one-to-one correspondence between specific parts of the brain. Cognitive neuroscience: A marriage between neuroscience and cognitive science. Two key principles: 1- Interdisciplinary Methodology Draws from multiple fields to get its methods, which is good considering research findings and conclusion is only as good as methods are. When you use methods from different sciences you can rely on different strengths. Convergent Methods. Gives us all kinds of possibilities of studying different aspects of cognition 2- Cognition = Brain This is one of the major premises and assumptions one has to make. This all started with Galls theory of Phrenology . We can actually find a correspondence between a certain function and a region of brain.. Phrenology: The study of the shape, size, and protrusions of the cranium in an attempt to discover the relation of parts of the brain to various mental activities and abilities. On the basis of their observations, Franz (1912 ) and his student Lashley concluded that mental processes are not due to the independent activities of individual parts of the brain, but to the activities of the brain as a whole, and that, it would appear best and most scientific that we should not adhere to any of the phrenological systems. He removed parts of the brain from some rats, but they still were able to function. This leads us to believe that function isnt exactly localized in one area of the brain, but rather the brain functions as a whole. Their results led to formulate both: The Law of mass action: Learning and memory depends on the total mass of brain tissue remaining rather than the properties of individuals cells. The Law of equipotentiality: Even though some areas of the cortex may become specialized for certain tasks, within limits any part of an area can do the job of any other part of that area. C OGNITION- L ECTURE TWO : C OGNITIVE N EUROSCIENCE 1/12/2010 Methods are fuelled by advances in technology because what cognitive neuro aim is to relate brain and behaviour. All of a sudden it was actually possible to see healthy cognitive functions and how their represented in the brain. Brain is dynamic. Differences between consciousness and the mind Consciousness is the narrower concept, often taken to mean what we are aware of at any point in time. Mind is the broader concept. It includes consciousness, but also includes processes that may take place outside our awareness....
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This note was uploaded on 03/21/2010 for the course PSYC 213 taught by Professor Levitin during the Spring '08 term at McGill.

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Lecture 2-Cognitive Neuroscience - C OGNITION- L ECTURE TWO...

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