Neuropsychology of Consciousness
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Phrenology (Franz Joseph Gall 1800)
- It had a strict scientific approach that argued for a strictly biological view of the mind
- It was the first theory that believed that the brain was developed in to many different functionally specialized subsystems
- It proposed that every subsystem is taken care of by a specialized and localized brain area
Psychophysics (Gustav Feshner 1860)
- He managed to connect the aspects of the subjective psychological reality
- to physical measurements and quantities.
- How can specific stimuli affect specific subjective experiences?
- The relation between different intensity in stimuli affects our subjective experiences.
Introspectionism - the first scientific psychology of consciousness. (Wundt, Titchener & James)
Introspectionism consists simply of having experiences, carefully attending to them and subsequently verbally describing them
Is where we focus our attention
Is where we do not focus our attention
Structualism (Edward Titchener)
- Consciousness has an atomistic structure that, at bottom, consists of simple elements
- Dividing mental experience, bit by bit until he can go no further and that is according to Titchener the ”conscious element”
- Mind is according to Titchener a stream of mental processes that we experience subjectively.
- Mind= the sum total of mental processes experienced by an individual during his whole lifetime
Consciousness= the sum of mental processes that make up my experience right now
(Consciousness is therefore a part of the whole mind at any given present time)
The grandfather of modern Consciousness studies
Consciousness and introspectionism as a core of psychology
Blindness to visual motion, caused by damaged to the visual cortex (area V5 or MT)
Disorder of autobiographical (episodic) memory, inability to remember events from one's own personal past
Unawareness of deficit, specific inability to notice or understand that one is suffering from a disorder or from a medical condition without any general intellectual decline
A neuropsychological disorder characterized by the inability to see more than one object at a time (simultanagnosia, feature conjunction errors in visual perception and optic ataxia or visuomotor inability to accurately reach and manipulate perceived objects, typically caused by bilateral damage to the posterior parietal lobes.
Non-conscious visual perception in patients suffering from damage to primary visual cortex and cortical blindness
The persistent belief that family members have been switched to identical copies or impostors, although they still look exactly the same. Caused by brain damage affecting the emotional components of face recognition
Color blindness caused by damage to the visual cortex at area V4
An obviously false belief that is held with strong conviction in the face of no supporting evidence or explicit contrary evidence
a medical condition where the brain damage has affected only motor functions and left the patient immobile and unresponsive to stimuli, but internally consciousness remains normal
A disorder of spatial awareness caused by brain damage to the right posterior parietal lobe. The patient is typically unaware of the left side of perceptual space and/or the left side of his or her body
The patient can see visual objects but cannot point to them or reach them manually; a visuomotor disorder caused by brain damage to the posterior parietal cortex
A deficit of visual face recognition
REM sleep behavior disorder
A disorder where muscles are not paralyzed as they should be during REM sleep, which causes the subject to act out the behaviors they are dreaming about
Progressive loss of semantic memory and semantic knowledge of concepts and words, due to progressive disease in the brain
Inability to see more than one object at a time, typically caused by bilateral damage to the posterior lobes
The experience of having woken up but being unable to open one's eyes or move any muscles. May be accompanied by frightening imagery or feeling of panic. Caused by REM sleep mechanisms that paralyze muscles; these mechanisms are still working even though the rest of the brain has woken up
A neuropsychological deficit where the patient denies ownership of a limb or a body part
the condition where the cerebral hemispheres have been functionally separated from each other by surgically cutting the corpus callosum and (and sometimes also the anterior commissure), typically to threat severe epilepsy
Inability to recognize visual objects
A state of un-arousal unresponsiveness in a brain-damaged patient. However, the patient shows a preserved sleep-wake cycle and spontaneous eye-opening (if not, then the sate is called coma)
The primary visual cortex, which is the area in the occipital lobe where visual information first arrives at the cortex
A visual cortical area specialized in the processing of colour
Afterlife hypothesis on NDE (near death experiences)
The idea that near-death experiences are explained by the survival of consciousness after bodily death.
Loss of sensory experiences, especially of pain, usually induced by special drugs given before surgery
Computers and programs that mimic or surpass human intellectual and cognitive abilities
A dominating school of thought in the history of psychology, 1920-1950, according to which psychology is the science of behavior, not a science of the mind or consciousness.
Two different stimuli are shown, one to each eye, and they comete for access to perceptual consciousness, so that only one is seen at any one time and the winning stimulus changes every few seconds.
The problem of explaining how the unity of consciousness, especially conscious visual perception, is generated by the brain; how and where in the brain the different features of perceived objects are bound together to form coherent percepts
A term launched by the philosopher Daniel Dennett to indicate a special place in the brain where experiences happen and are presented to the subject. Dennett argued that many scientist intuitively think about consciousness as a cartesian theatre, but according to Dennett the cartesian theatre is a misleading idea and should be rejected.
Refers to the subjective psychological reality that we experience. Can be divided into different levels such as phenomenal consciousness and self-awareness.
The metaphysical idea that there is a fundamental substance of the universe that has both physical and mental states
Double dissociation (of cognitive functioning)
Theoretically interesting, opposite patterns of cognitive deficits in two patients - one brain damage who cannot perform one type of cognitive task but can perform another type, and the other who has the exact opposite abilities - showing that the two task are functionally and anatomically separated from each other in the brain.
Philosophical mind-body theory, the interactionist variety of dualism, developed by Rene Descartes. The material body and the immaterial mind are in two-way interaction with each other.
Philosophical mind-brain theory that eliminates the concepts of "mind" and "consciousness" from science, arguing that such phenomena do not really exist and that therefore in future neuroscience such concepts will not be needed.
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