The Case of Phineas Gage

1088 Words5 Pages
Part I
Option B
The case of Phineas Gage is one of the most often cited in biological psychology. Explain what we can learn about the relationship between brain and behaviour from this and similar cases and describe techniques used by biological psychologists that can supplement our knowledge of this relationship.

This essay explains what can be learnt about the relationship between brain and behaviour using the case of Phineas Gage and imaging techniques. It starts by briefly describing neurons. It then goes on to look at what can be learnt by studying accidental brain damages and the effect they can have on behaviour using Phineas Gage’s case. This essay acknowledges that there are limitations on what can be learnt from accidental
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These recordings measure blood flow to the brain areas. As blood flow is associated with activity it gives insight to the events such as which and how often the brain area was active during a particular psychological activity. Therefore allows exploration, comparison between individuals with brain damage and those without leading to association between mental processes and behaviour.

For example studying of lesion illustrated that damage to the temporal and frontal cortex affects language and imaging studies have shown them to be active during language processing, thus complementing the association learnt by studying brain damage (Toates, 2007).
In addition imaging can be used to locate brain areas with dysfunction and low activity assisting in diagnosis, monitoring and research. For instance a study by Raine, Buchsbaum and LaCasse(as cited in Toates,2007) using PET scan results to compare difference in brain activity between violent criminals and controls participants showed evidence that brain regions associated with exerting restrains on action such as frontal lobes are less active in violent criminals when compared with control participants. This allows the use of prescription drugs such as Prozac, a drug that temporarily targets specific brain area; alter synaptic activity to improve emotional behaviour.

Additionally insight to brain and behaviour

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