Psychological Psychology

Brain Systems and Research

 

Moodle Discussion Question…

Imagine that you are a police detective investigating a murder.

What evidence would you need to identify suspects?

How would you evaluate the potential guilt of each suspect?

 

  • Look for physical evidence
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Interview those close to the victim
  • Check alibi – where/when
  • Consider the motive
  • Test the suspect
  • Weigh the evidence

Why animal research?

 

 

    • Simpler nervous systems provide good models

 

    • Unethical to do certain research on humans

 

  • Know about animals

Animal research:

  • Stereotaxic surgery—precise placement of experimental devices in the brain
  • Electrical stimulation—use electrode to elicit a behavior (eat, drink, squeak, etc.)
  • Electrical recording—within the cell

Animal research:

    • Lesions—remove part of brain or nervous system

 

    • Gene knockout—remove a specific gene from the mouse’s DNA.

 

  • Gene replacement—insert pathological genes from human into a mouse.

Research Tools

    • Computerized Axial Tomography
      (CT scan)

 

 

 

Research Tools

Electroencephalogram (EEG)

    • Measure electrical activity in cortex

 

 

 

 

 

Research Tools

  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

http://www.med.harvard.edu/AANLIB/home.html

 

  • Positive Emission Tomography (PET scan)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3d/PET-MIPS-anim.gif

Research Tools

  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Research http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7015109

Clinical http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7015103

 

Research Tools

Normal brain Stroke victim

Research Tools

  • Direct brain stimulation
  • Pioneered by neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield

Dr. Penfield’s remarks:

“The patient thinks of himself as having an existence separate from his body.”

 

“There is no place…where electrical stimulation will cause a patient to believe or to decide.”