Chapter 2 Cognition

Chapter 2 Cognition - C hapter 2 (Cognitive Neuroscience) T...

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Chapter 2 (Cognitive Neuroscience) The goal of cognitive neuroscience is to provide an explanation of brain mechanisms that lead to mental functions, such as: language, memory, and attention Assumed that the mind is made up of different modules . Modules are sections of the brain, in which each section is responsible for particular cognitive functions The number of modules that may exist, the kinds of mental modules there are, and the extent to which our minds are modular, are three aspects that are questioned by cognitive neuroscientists, in which opinions differ from one scientist to another. The Brain as the Organ of the Mind Gall and Spurzheim – Phrenology – Study of the shape, size, and protrusions of the cranium to discover the relationship between the parts of the brain to mental activities and abilities. (Figure 2.1) Three basic principles that existed: 1) The brain is the sole organ of the mind 2) Basic character and intellectual traits are innately determined 3) Differences in character and intellectual traits among individuals and differences in various intellectual capacities within a single individual There are variations of function that exist, which means there is variation in the controlling structures of the brain Believed that if a function was highly developed, the part of the brain that is responsible for the function would be larger than the part of the brain responsible for a function that is not highly developed. In this sense, the larger the function, the larger the brain module, and the larger the protrusion of the cranium in the region. Hypothesis that specific functions are localized in specific parts of the brain originates from phrenology Not everyone agrees with position of localization of function, which is the attempt to discover correspondences between cognitive functions and specific functions of the brain, based on the assumption that there is a strict one-to-one correspondence between specific functions and specific parts of the brain. Franz – Ablation – took out parts of the cortex of animals to study the localization of function hypothesis. He discovered that cognitive functions were not a result of independent activities of the brain (specific parts of the brain), but were a result of parts of the brain working together to produce cognitive functions/mental processes. Made small holes in the frontal lobes in rats, and studied the effect of the lesions caused by ablation in a simple learned maze habit. The lesions created were studied by histology (microscopic analysis of tissue structure). As long as
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sufficient tissue remained after the operation, than the location of the tissue was irrelevant Lashley: Law of Action : Learning and memory are a result of total mass of brain tissue remaining rather than the properties of individual cells Law of Equipotentiallity : 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
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This note was uploaded on 08/04/2011 for the course PSYC 213 taught by Professor Levitin during the Spring '08 term at McGill.

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Chapter 2 Cognition - C hapter 2 (Cognitive Neuroscience) T...

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