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  • 1. History of Neuropsychology Ch. 1
  • 2. Learning Objectives
    • Obtain an appreciation for the historical aspects of neuropsyc, from antiquity to the decade of the brain, in order to understand the progression of how scholars at various times have conceptualized the brain
    • Understand early theories of brain functioning, especially as they relate to early theories promoting the specific localization of functioning in the brain, as apposed to those that promote a more generalized approach to brain functioning
    • Learn about integrated approaches to neuropsychology, particularly the function model suggested by Alexander Luria
  • 3. Questions of Relevance
    • What is Neuropsychology?
    • How does brain function relate to mental activities such as perception, memory, action, etc.?
    • Do different brain parts do different things?
    • Are the evil spirits in the brain?
  • 4. History
    • Your beliefs, past experience, and expectations all influence what you think about the brain and how it functions
    • Many of you may have various misconceptions about how the brain works and functions
    • Popular press and media also feed into this misconception
  • 5. History
    • Consider amnesia
      • How many of you have seen these movies?
        • The Eternal Sundance of the Spotless Mind
        • 50 First Dates
        • The Bourne Identity/The Bourne Supremacy
        • Groundhog Day
  • 6. History
    • In these and other movies, amnesia is used as a popular cinematic device, yet several profound misconceptions have emerged
      • Most films make no distinction between amnesias resulting from a psychiatric bias or neurological cause…there is a huge difference
      • Most common “cure” for cinematic amnesia that results from severe head injury is another head injury
      • Post traumatic amnesia is common after head injury, but in the movies the capacity for new learning is usually left completely intact
  • 7. History
    • It isn’t all bad though
    • One of the most neuropsychologically accurate portrayls of amnesia in the cinema is the movie…
    • Finding Nemo (2003)….Dory has profound memory disturbance (learning/retaining new information, recalling names, knowing where she is going or why)…and the frustrations of those around her also accurately reflects the feelings of those who live with amnesic patients
  • 8. History
    • Other misconceptions as well
      • Are women smarter than men?
      • Do we only use one brain hemisphere?
      • Do memory enhancers work?
      • But where has all the misconception come from? In other words how has history shaped what we think we know about neuropsychology?
  • 9. History
    • If people act strange, must be a problem with the brain…evil spirits need to be evacuated…Trephining
    • Or does the heart control behavior?
    • Mind body problem (Descrates) common in philosophy…localization important
    • Is the brain an integrated whole or a collection of distinct organs that are specialized?
  • 10. History
    • Much time past and the 19 th century was really when modern neroupsychological theories evolved
      • Gall/Spurzheim
        • Phrenologists, bumps on the head, localization of function as different brain regions are responsible for different mental function, quackery but popular, and still practiced today
  • 11. History
      • Flourens
        • Discredited phrenology, against localization, removed bird brain parts and observed resulting behavior, claimed birds recovered regardless damage location, claimed brain was an integrated whole, loss of function correlated with extent of brain tissue damage
  • 12. History
      • Broca
        • Localization of function, famous patient Tan (that is all he could say), across 8 patients noticed at autopsy that same damage region (posterior part of left frontal lobe) resulted in language problems (called Broca’s aphasia), still highly influential
  • 13. History
      • Wernicke
        • Stronger support for localization, but not a strict localizationalist, identified other speech areas different from Broca (production vs. understanding), relates to what is now called DISCONNECTION SYNDROME (anatomical disconnection between 2 brain area; Split Brain, Alien Hand, etc.)
  • 14. History
      • Integrated Theories (Jackson, Luria)
        • Behavior results from interactions among all levels of the brain, hierarchial organization, 3 basic systems/units (brain stem, posterior areas of the cortex frontal/prefrontal lobes), brain operates as a whole, accounts for most observations of brain-damaged patients, explains that certain lesions yield consistent deficits, can account for how individuals recover from brain damage, suggests possible rehabilitation/treatment options
  • 15. History
    • Modern Day
      • WWI had an impact (penetrating missile wounds, soldiers that did not die as a result)
      • Imaging Technology advances
      • Cognitive Neuroscience (1970s)
      • Hubel & Weisel Nobel Prize (neuron>perception)
      • Roger Sperry Nobel Prize (Split Brain)
      • Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Psychology