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Localization of Mental Functions

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In the now famous case of "Phineas Gage", the damage in his prefrontal cortex (in the orbital and medial regions) resulted in a loss of reasoning abilities and an alteration of personality. On the other hand, confabulation (a type of memory disorder) has been associated with damage in different parts of the prefrontal cortex. How do we reconcile these findings to understand the functional localization in the brain?

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It seems that the ventromedial part of the frontal cortex governs questions of doubt and belief. This part of the cortex degenerates after age 60. This might be related to confabulation because the truth and falsehood of claims becomes fuzzier as this part of the cortex gets damaged or aged (MN, 2012).

There is also an article dealing specifically with the Lateral part of the prefrontal. This part seems to govern basic behavioral planning. What is affected here is our ability to attend to important things at the expense of less important (Tasji and Hoshi, 2008).

It is also clear that damage to the dorsolateral part of the prefrontal is associated with dysexecutive syndrome. This is not entirely unrelated to the Lateral section above. The general concept with damage to this region is based around the inability to think rationally, especially when it comes to behavior choices. This can ...

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The following posting helps with various problems involving the localization of mental functions.

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neuropsychological processes cases

1. Elizabeth wants to find out if chewing bubble gum during an exam improves the test scores of her students. She knows she will have to give a test to her students, but she is not sure how to separate the control group from the experimental group. How should she do it?

2. Daffy Duck is in bad shape. A few too many direct hits from Elmer Fudd's rifle has left him stumbling around in an uncoordinated manner, and unable to regulate his breathing. (His beak is even sitting on the top of his head.) What layer of the brain has probably suffered the most damage?

3. It was my turn at bat. My friends and I play an informal game of baseball every Saturday morning. This morning it was so hot, that none of us could bear to wear our helmets. I remember the pitcher threw the ball, but the next thing I knew, I was in a hospital bed with a splitting headache. I felt a big, swollen lump right above my left ear. What loss of neural function might we expect from such an injury?

4. Reaction time studies can provide evidence that different information pathways or mental processes are being used in certain tasks. For instance, assume that it takes 5 seconds for information to cross the corpus callosum. In a typical right-hander with a normal brain, if you present the right visual field with the word "cup", how long will it take for the subject to point to the object represented by the word:
With her left hand?
With her right hand?
If the word was presented to the left visual field and the
Left hand responds?
Right hand responds?

5. A group of male, right-handed split-brain patients are brought into a psychology lab to participate in an experiment. Based on what you've learned about lateralization of function, predict how split-brain patients would describe in writing the stimulus picture below (an H composed of A's) when:
the image is presented in the right visual field and the response is written with the left hand, and
the image is presented in the left visual field and the response is written with the left hand.



6. an experimenter flashes the word TODAY across the visual field (as shown) to a split-brain patient. What will the patient say she sees? why?
if the patient is given a separate card with following 3 words written on it,
and is asked to indicate with her left hand what she saw, which word will the patient point to? why?

7. First look at the example below and answer the following preliminary questions,

suppose you train a your little brother to blink his eyes when you snap your fingers. you accomplish this by repeatedly putting a stick near his eyes when you snap your fingers.

a. what is the formal name for this kind of earning?
b. for this particular example explain what is: the unconditioned stimulus, the unconditioned response - the conditioned stimulus - the conditioned response.

Second, The next day you snap your fingers continuosly but you don't brandish the stick. you continue to do this until your brother's reaction to the snapping is extinguished.

c. what will happen if you wait until the following day and then snap you fingers again.
d. what is the phenomenon you identifies in 'c' above called.
e. what can you do to make sure that phenomenon form 'c' doesn't happen again.

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