Methods used to study the brain

Brain imaging techniques Introduction to brain imaging techniques and other methods A number of techniques are available to investigate the question of how and where in the brain particular perceptual and cognitive processes occur. Tasks or tests can be devised that place varying levels of demand on the cognitive, sensory or motor capacities of the participant being tested.

Methods used to study the brain

Human subjects[ edit ] MRI of the human brain. It is usually desirable to study memory in humans because we have the ability to subjectively describe experiences, and have the intellect to perform complex and indirect tests of memory. Lesion studies allow us to reduce the neural mechanisms of memory, and results from finely constructed Methods used to study the brain tests can help us make inferences about how memory works.

Neuropsychologists attempt to show that specific behavioural deficits are associated with specific sites of brain damage. The famous case of HMa man who had both his medial temporal lobes removed resulting in profound amnesia, illustrates how brain damage can tell us a lot about the inner workings of memory.

One of the fundamental problems with studying human patients who have already acquired brain damage is the lack of experimental control.

Item list memory tasks[ edit ] Ebbinghaus[ edit ] Hermann Ebbinghaus began the scientific study of human memory with this treatise On Memory is He would record how long it took him to memorize a list of syllables and also how quickly he would lose the memorization.

With this data, he traced learning and forgetting curves. Ebbinghaus also collected data on his ability to memorize at different times of the day and under different conditions. His work later influenced G.

Recognition[ edit ] Recognition memory is the ability to judge whether or not the cued item was previously presented on the list usually with a yes or no response. This memory is akin to the type of memory used for police line-ups. The particular task described used to be called "item recognition".

Scientists study the rates of hits correct "yes" responses related to the rates of false alarms incorrect "yes" responses with statistical analysis to develop theories on how the recognition judgement is stored and retrieved.

Recall[ edit ] Recall memory is the ability to retrieve stored information either by being cued by a particular associated item or without an associated cue. The first is called cued recall and the second is called free recall.

In cued recall the participant studies a list of paired items and then is presented one half of those pairs and must recall the associated other half.

Brain Maps: The Study of Brain Function in the Nineteenth Century

A common additional task is to have the participant learn a new set of associations with the cued items and study the amount of interference from prior association occurs. These experiments help to develop theories on how we learn associations and what conditions affect that learning.

Instead participants study a list of items and then recall that list in the order that they retrieve the items from memory. In these experiments the data is drawn from the order in which items are recalled and the inter-response times.

Brain case study: Patient HM | Big Picture

This data is used to develop models of memory storage and retrieval. Children[ edit ] Humans are extremely dependent on memory for survival as we are dependent on our ability to identify and remember a wide range of material in order to learn and function, which is why the capability for memory is developed at a very young age.

Memory in children is displayed in simpler ways than in adults due to lack of verbal communication and mental capabilities, and therefore the testing methods are similar but are modified to suit age specific abilities. An older child can provide answers to both verbal and non-verbal tests to more complex tasks in a more detailed and accurate way and therefore produce more direct data.

The change of methods according to age is necessary for several reasons particularly because memory ability expands at certain stages of childhood and can be influenced by biological advances and environmental experience.

From birth, children use observational imitation and auditory learning styles with increasing ability to remember complex sequences and concepts. The rapid growth in ability to retain information is partly due to the increase of myelinwhich increases the speed of impulses between neurons, especially in the visual and auditory cortexes which become myelinated very early in the development processes.

Understanding of contexts and relationships as well as memory strategies such as chunking and learning of schemas can also influence the strength of memories and therefore must be considered when choosing a method of testing.

Methods used to study the brain

After the initial training, it was shown that a week later the infants kicked in order to produce movement. Two weeks later the infant resumed the kicking behavior after a short reminder session where they watched the mobile moving unattached to their foot.

Recognition and recall are two essential aspects of memory; these are particularly useful in children since verbal reporting of memory may not be available yet or as reliable when testing very young participants.

Children become able to replicate more complex events with greater detail, from memory.To study the brain, psychologists use a variety of tools, like EEG, PET and CAT scans, MRI, DTI, and studying pathology in individuals. Brain and Behavior Brian loves brains. These methods are used in a wide range of areas including cognitive psychology and psychopathology.

The studies are non-invasive and consist of measuring behavioral variables such as: reaction time, eye movements, arm movements, and responses  · Commonly used radioactively-labeled material includes oxygen, fluorine, carbon and nitrogen.

When this material gets into the bloodstream, it goes to areas of the brain that use it. So, oxygen and glucose accumulate in brain areas that are metabolically  · Methods Used to Study the Brain The brain's functions can be studied in many ways: effects of brain damage, effects of electrical, chemical (and recently magnetic) stimulation of the brain, measurement of electrical and chemical activity of the brain, and computer-based brain scans, which show structure or function of the brain through the  · Methods Used to Study the Brain.

Many different methods are used to study brain functions. They include the following: The oldest evidence for this idea comes from the effects of brain Study of the Brain The brain is the single most important structure in our bodies.

From our study of the brain we can tell that the brain controls most of human thought and emotion. When you sit and think about it, the brain is also the coolest thing about /

Ways to study the Brain - AP Psychology Community