Discuss Methods Used to Study Cortical Specialisation

1068 Words5 Pages
There are various methods that are used to study cortical specialisation. Which can be discussed under separate headings; Clinical/anatomical methods which involve intervention of the brain which is accidental such as injury to and disease of the brain. There are also invasive methods which involve intervention of the brain which is deliberate. Other methods used to study cortical specialisation are non-invasive methods which involve recording the brains activity without making deliberate interventions. Clinical and anatomincal studies compare what people could do before their brain damage with what they can do afterwards. For example the case study of Phineas Gage in 1848 whereby an iron pole ripped out his pre-frontal lobe as a consequence of an explosion while working on the railways. This damaged his personality from being a sensible, kind and reserved to someone who was now boisterous, lazy and rude. This case study taught psychologists a great deal about the complexity of psychological processes that occur in the human brain. However a limitation of this study is that the sample size is small so would be difficult to generalise because of individual differences in humans. Having said this, since Phineas Gage there have been many other similar case studies that have the same problem, for example Combat Veterans. Neurosurgery is considered an invasive method as it involves manipulating structures within the brain. The main ways neurosurgery performed are by Ablation or Lesions. Ablation involves surgically removing or destroying brain tissue, and observing the behavioural consequences. Flourens pioneered this technique in the 1820s, showing the removal of tissue for the cerebellum or rabbits, dogs and birds resulted in them displaying a lack of muscular coordination and poor sense of balance. Lesions involves deliberately injuring part of the brain and then

More about Discuss Methods Used to Study Cortical Specialisation

Open Document