But physiological psychology does not begin until

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But, physiological psychology does not begin until people who think of themselves as psychologists begin to study brain and behavior Karl Lashley (1890-1958) o Although trained in zoology, Lashley is often thought of as a psychologist; he even served as president of the APA in 1929 o Studied the effects of ablating discrete regions of the cortex on maze learning in rats o A main interest was to identify the neuroanatomical location of the “engram”, i.e., the site of memory o Best known for developing two principles Equipotentiality – the idea that any part of the cortex is capable of carrying out the function of any damaged area; rejected localization of memory Law of mass action (not to be confused with the law in chemistry by same name) – Although site of lesion was not associated with impairment, the amount of cortex damaged was o Lashley’s failure to identify localized effects is probably related to the complexity of maze running and the multitude of variables that can be employed to negotiate a maze. If an area of the brain that interferes with one variable, the others are employed. Donald Hebb (1904-1985) o Best known for the “Hebbian Theory of Learning”: “Neurons that fire together wire together” 8
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o Proposed the now established principle that strengthening of synaptic connections underlies learning o He argued that simple behavioral patterns, visual perceptions, and ideas are built up gradually over long periods of time through the formation of cell assemblies o Over time, more complex behaviors and processes (e.g., thoughts) are formed out of sets of cell assemblies which he called “phase sequences” o Phase sequences are less localized, i.e., they involve some equipotentiality o Has been called the father of “neuropsychology ” and neural networks, and in the latter regard contributed to modern theorizing in cognitive psychology James Olds (1922-1976) o Worked with Hebb at McGill University in Montreal on the effect of electrical brain stimulation of deep brain structures via surgically implanted electrodes o Was concerned that electrical stimulation might be aversive and confound learning studies o Tested hypothesis by electrically stimulating rat brain when rat wandered into a particular corner of an open field o Contrary to expectations, instead of avoiding the corner associated with stimulation the rats remained in the corner o Olds realized he had discovered a site involved in positive reinforcement; later identified as the medial forebrain bundle o This is the origin of the idea of “pleasure centers” in brain o Had huge impact in physiological psychology and psychiatry Research On Perception James Gibson (1904-1979) o Ecological approach: Influenced by Gestalt psychology focuses on “meaning” provided by information in the environment Example: motion perspective o Affordance : “The affordances of the environment are what it offers the animal, what it provides or furnishes, either for good or ill.” o When we perceive an object we perceive its affordances not its qualities o
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