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CHAPTER 2: COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE I. The Brain – the organ in our bodies that most directly controls our thoughts, emotions, and motivations A. Nervous System: the basis for our ability to perceive, adapt to, and interact with the world around us & we receive, process and then respond to the information from the environment B. Viewing the structures and functions of the brain 1. methods included both postmortem and in vivo techniques on both human and animal a. after the patients die the researchers examine the patients brains for lesions (areas of the body where the tissue has been damaged such as from injury or disease); infer that the lesioned locations may be related to the behavior that was affected 2. each technique provides important information about the structure and function of the human. C. Electrical Recordings 1. electroencephalograms (EEG) recordings of the electrical frequencies and intensities of the living brain, typically recorded over relatively long periods a. it is possible to study brain wave activity indicative of changing mental states such as deep sleep or dreaming b. to obtain the recordings, electrodes are placed at various places along the surface of the scalp – the electrical activity of underlying brain areas are recorded D. Static imaging techniques 1. include angiograms, computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans, and MRIs. a. the X-ray based techniques (CAT scan and angiogram) allow for the observation of large abnormalities of the brain such as damage resulting from strokes or tumors i. can’t provide much information about smaller lesions and aberrations 2. MRI Scans : a technique for revealing high resolution images of the structure of the living brain by computing and analyzing magnetic changes in the energy of the orbits of nuclear particles in the molecules of the body a. a strong magnetic field is passed through the brain of a patient b. doesn’t provide much information about physiological processes E. metabolic imaging 1. rely on changes that take place within the brain as a result of increased consumption of glucose and oxygen in active areas of the brain 2. Basic idea is that active areas in the brain consume more glucose & oxygen than do inactive areas during some task 3. the analysis determines which areas are responsible for performance of a particular task above F. PET Scans: measure increases in glucose consumption in active brain areas during particular kinds of information processing a. to track the use of glucose, participants are given a mildly radioactive form of glucose that emit G. functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): a neuroimaging technique that uses magnetic fields to construct a detailed representation in three dimensions of levels of activity in various parts of the brain at
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This note was uploaded on 03/09/2012 for the course PSYCHOLOGY V89.0029 taught by Professor Hilford during the Spring '12 term at NYU.

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