What is Neuropsychology?
Emphasis on higher levels of functions with focus on impairments and human models.
What are the two sides to Neuropsychology?
A Scientific Discipline and A Clinical Profession
Looks at the functions performed by the Brain, what parts of the brain are involved in the different processes ..
looks at interactions between damaged areas and behaviour, gives prognosis (what you can expect in the future)
What are the two major sources we can use as evidence of Brain Damage?
Brain-Damaged Patients and Neuroimaging Techniques.
The most important source of evidence. Basic Approach - Work out where the damage is, then examine behaviour using activities and then use both these to draw links and conclusions.
Inability to recognise faces - Patients still have full sight but lack the ability to make links between faces and the person that they belong to. They are able to see that each face is different but can not make the connect.
How can we use the data that we collect from patients?
A) We are able to search for dissociations (skills affected differently by the brain damage) eg. What can they do and not do? B) Examine patterns of impairment (what skills remain? what conditions improve or exacerbate the problem?) - This can allow as to see how different areas operate.
looks at what processes/systems do we need to do things
Where things are located, what they do and how they work
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Interferes TEMPORARILY with cognitive processing in targetted regions. Works by placing a high powered magnet over a persons head which delivers a magnetic pulse to the brain.
How can TMS help research?
Allows us to compare brain damage in selected areas, we can investigate normalities and common behavours between people as the result of brain damage.
Uses measures of brain activity as "markers" of different cognitive prcesses.
What are the two major Neuroimaging Techniques?
Electrophsiological Techniques and Functional Imaging.
Electrophysiological Tehniques: ERP
Measures the difference in electric activity within the brain between different activities by placing electrodes on the scalp. eg. The difference in Brain activity when a person is awake compared to when they are asleep.
Neuroimaging Techniques: Functional Imaging
Records metabolic activity of the brain during a task.(use of Oxygen) eg. when viewing sculptures judged as ugly the brain was more active then when is looked at ones judged as beautiful.
Functional Imaging: fMRI
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Measures magnetic changes in the blood as it deoxygenates (gives off oxygen) by taking scans of the Brain.