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260 chapter1 260 chapter1 Presentation Transcript

  • Chapter 1:Origins of Behavioral Neuroscience Learning Objectives: 1.Describe the behavior of people with split brains and explain what study of this phenomenon contributes to our understanding of self-awareness 2.Describe the goals of scientific research 3.Describe the biological roots of behavioral neuroscience 4.Describe the role of natural selection in the evolution of behavioral traits 5.Describe the evolution of the human species 6.Discuss the value of research on animals and ethical issues concerning their care
  • The Brain"If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldnt.”   --  Lyall WatsonThe Colbert Report, Febuary 8, 2007 ◦ Stephen Colbert: “How does the brain work? Five words or less.” ◦ Steven Pinker: “Brain cells fire in patterns.”
  • Behavioral NeuroscienceUnderstanding consciousness through physiological processesConsciousness ◦ Awareness of one’s own thoughts, perceptions, memories and feelings ◦ Ability to communicate this awareness  Necessary? View slide
  • Split BrainCorpus Callosum ◦ Large bundle of fibers that connects contra- lateral brain regionsSplit brain operation ◦ Surgically severing the corpus callosum View slide
  • Split BrainCerebral hemispheres operate independently after the split brain operation
  • Nature of Behavioral NeuroscienceCombination of the experimental methods of psychology and physiology used to address questions of interest to all psychologists.
  • Goals of ResearchIdentify explanations for behavior ◦ Generalization ◦ Reduction
  • Roots of Behavioral NeuroscienceModel ◦ Mathematical or physical analogy for a physiological processDescartes’ Theory: fluid movementLuigi Galvani: electrical stimulationJohannes Müller: experimental techniques ◦ Doctrine of specific nerve energies
  • Roots of Behavioral NeuroscienceDoctrine of specific nerve energies: ◦ Sensory information must be specified by the particular nerve fibers that are active because all nerve fibers carry and electrical impulse.Experimental Ablation ◦ Function of a part of the brain is inferred by observing changes and deficits in after that part of the brain is damaged
  • Natural Selection and EvolutionNatural selection ◦ Not survival of the fittest ◦ Inherited traits provide a selective advantage and therefore become more prevalent  Selective advantage: increase an organism’s likelihood to live and reproduceMutation ◦ Change in genetic information which can be passed on to offspring ◦ Results in genetic variability
  • FunctionalismFunctionalism ◦ The principle that the best way to understand a biological phenomenon (a behavior or a physiological process) is to try to understand its useful functions for the organism.Does this characteristic provide a selective advantage?
  • Evolution of Large BrainsNeoteny: slowing of the process of maturation, allowing more time for growthBrain continues to grow after birth ◦ Full size not reached until late adolescence
  • Research with AnimalsUsing one species to benefit another ◦ Must be humane and worthwhileStrictly regulated ◦ Review boards ◦ Ethical StandardsTreating research animals poorly, is bad science