Most language generation and comprehension occurs in

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Most language generation and comprehension occurs in left side of the brain o One side doesn’t really take over or is stronger than the other – they both work together o If connection is severed btwn left and right hemisphere, it can cause some serious problems Left and right hemispheres can be different and specialized in their function, but it’s not appropriate to say someone is more right brained or more left brained since they both work together Cortex – largest part of the brain, divided into 4 different lobes o Frontal lobe – near forehead, Occipital lobe – near back of head o Parietal lobe – top of the head, Temporal lobe – near the ears Debunk’d Myth – Placebos influence only imagination and not the brain Doctors have found that giving placebos to patients help them feel better o Doctors gave saline to soldiers in World War II to ease their pain o Doctors believed that placebos are effective because they fed people’s imaginations Reality – Placebo treatments influence both imagination and brains o Imagination alone cannot explain the effects of placebos- they also affect the brain One study told male participants that one of their arms was going to be treated w/ a numbing cream while other arm would be treated w/ a placebo cream o Neither cream actually contained anesthetic properties – both were placebos o Heat was applied to both of the men’s arms after application of both creams o Men reported feeling less pain in the arm believed to have been treated w/ numbing cream Neuro-imaging shows that the men were in fact feeling less pain Application of the cream had triggered the release of endorphins How the Brain is Studied EEG – electroencephalogram, measure electrical activity through electrodes places on the skull fMRI – functional magnetic resonance imaging, place someone in a magnet that is measuring blood flow
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o Blood is made up of iron which has a small magnetic property o Lets you see where blood is flowing to in the brain Takes 10-15 years for brain to organize itself to process grammar efficiently in just one focused specialized region Injuries, lesions, or even stimulations can be used to study the brain as well o Lesion study – taking a part of the brain, cut out a piece and remove it, see what changes o Stimulation – stick a tiny electrical probe in the head, send a little electrical charge, see what changes There’s no feeling on top of the brain, so you can cut a hole in the top Disorders of the Brain Before fMRI and EEG, much of what we learned about the brain came from injuries o September 13, 1848 – Phineas Gage frontal lobe brain injury Phineas Gage – foreman of railroad group that exploded boulders Cut holes in the boulder, put gun powder into hold, put sand on top Use tamping iron (large iron javelin) to tamp down the sand Forgot to put sand in the hole one day and put tamping iron in Tamping iron struck side of the rock which set a spark to the gun powder Rock became like a huge cannon and shot the tamping iron out of the rock
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