Localization of Brain Function

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Localization of Brain Function Psychologists have found that the brain often shows “localization of function”. This means that different parts of the brain carry out different tasks, for example, vision, voluntary movement and speech. The idea is that not all parts of the brain do the same thing, and that each part functions on its own, without the aid of other areas of the brain. This may seem obvious, but other organs, such as the liver, do not show localization of function; one part of the liver does the same thing as a part on the opposite side. A famous example of brain localization is the case of Phineas Gage; a railway worker in 1848, who one day, while trying to blow out a hole in the side of a mountain, had a metal rod shoot…show more content…
AD suffered cardiac arrest, which damaged his frontal and temporal lobes. The damage done caused him to alter his personality when in the company of different people; gaining the patient the nick-name “The Human Chameleon.” When AD was in the company of lawyers, he would invent a detailed background story to support his claim of being a lawyer. When in the company of a doctor, he would do the same but claim to be a doctor. The interesting twist on his case is that AD had anosognosia; a lack of insight into his odd behavior. This meant that AD truly believed his own lavish stories. His condition is a form of anterograde amnesia, which caused him to forget everything prior to the cardiac arrest, thus allowing him to invent past lives. The case of AD shows that the area that was damaged (the frontal and temporal lobes)’s function was not taken over by another area of the brain, as AD never regained the memories lost in the accident. However, psychologists have also found a counter-argument for localization of brain function; and that is brain plasticity. Brain plasticity is the idea that if one part of the brain stops functioning, another part will take over that role. The idea of brain plasticity has been around for hundreds of years. The ancient Greeks accepted the idea, believing that one could train their mind, just like training a body. Around the time of Galileo, the idea was dismissed, as scientists began to see the world mechanically, with each object/organ being
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