Brain Localization

“Examine one study related to localization of function in the brain” is a learning outcome in the biological level of analysis (BLOA).

It is VERY important to understand that as Dr. LeDoux, Neuroscientist at NYU and director of the Emotional Brain Institute, says we must:

“Be suspicious of any statement that says a brain area is a center responsible for some function. The notion of functions being products of brain areas or centers is left over from the days when most evidence about brain function was based on the effects of brain lesions localized to specific areas. Today, we think of functions as products of systems rather than of areas. Neurons in areas contribute because they are part of a system”

But, having said that, I.B wants you to understand that certain brain regions are INTEGRAL parts of a SYSTEM.

We’ll examine two case studies to address this learning outcome: S.M. and H.M.

H.M — The Man With No New Memories

Read the post humous description of H.M and his Case Study below:

Next, enter the study into your STUDY GUIDE FOR STUDIES

We’ll then watch a Scientific American Frontiers’ episode regarding memory and see some similar H.M. Cases.

Questions about H.M: 

  1.  Is the Hippocampus the sole creator of new memories?
  2. Are memories stored in the Hippocampus?
  3. What area of the brain is the Hippocampus in?
  4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Case Study of H.M?

S.M — The Woman Who Lacked a Physiological Response to Fear

Notice that I didn’t say, “The woman who had no fear.” I didn’t say this because she did not lack fear completely, but rather she lacked the physiological fear response that is created/initiated by the amygdala.  Dr. LeDoux of NYU, perhaps the most famous researcher in the world in regard to the Amygdala explains the Nuances of the Amygdala and fear here:

S.M. was a woman who famously lacked an Amygdala due to surgery to reduce her epileptic seizures. Read about S.M here:

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