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The Research Methods of Biopsychology
What are the Goals of Research in Behavioral Neuroscience ?
Assess how different brain areas control behavior
Determine which cells and chemicals are involved in behavior
Measure activity of neurons in conjunction with behavior
To prepare nervous tissue for examination under the microscope
Flush blood from animal's body using SALINE
Chemicals(FORMALIN) stabilize tissue to prevent disintegration after death
FORMALIN-> not hard enough to slice through
-> liquid form of FERMALDIHIDE
What does Embedding and Slicing include ?
Embed brain in WAX or other supporting medium (FREEZE)
Slice very thin and mount each slice on a microscope slide
What is the
1800's Nissl discovered METHYLENE BLUE would stain CELL BODIES
One of the most common structural stains
Dyes have changed; CRYSYL VIOLET & THIONIN
THOININ popular outside of the brain
Colors that sheaths that surround the neurons so fibre bundles are observed
Tell axons, no direction of pathway & not all neurons are myelinated
Extremely important staining method
Developed by Golgi
Chemical reaction results in SOME neurons stained
Allows morphology of whole neuron to be seen
2-5% of all neurons are stained, allows us to see the shape of neuron
In Neuroanatomical Tracing Techniques what does
Tracing where axons project away from an area
In Neuroanatomical Tracing Techniques what does
Tracing where axons are projecting into an area
How does Neuroanatomical Tracing Techniques occur ?
Sucked by axon terminal & back to the dendrites
Beam of X-rays passed through an object onto a photographic plate
X-ray useless for visualizing the brain
What is a
Involves temporarily replacing some of CSF with air
Ventricles & Fissures visible
Can tell us relative size = tumor locations
Bigger ventricles = less brain (altimers, schizophrenia)
What is a
Visualizes cerebral circulatory system
Infuse radio-opaque dye through a cerebral artery
See blood vessels supplied
Can tell us blockage = stroke
(CT scans) ?
X-ray beam and detector rotate around individual
Info in 2D image
: 8 horizontal pictures
Series of 2D images can be combined to created 3D image
Go around the whole brain to see inside of the brain & location of tumor
What is MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) ?
Measures waves emitted by HYDROGEN ATOMS when they are placed in magnetic field
Neural structures different densities of H ATOMS -> White & Grey Matter, CSF
What are advantages to MRI ?
High spatial resolution
Gives complete sagital &/or different planes & views
Non-invasive (no radiation)
What are disadvantages to MRI ?
Takes a lot of time (45 min) = claustrophobia
Only structure NOT function
What is POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY (PET) ?
Highlights active areas of brain
How does PET work ?
Patient injected with radiolabelled glucose (2-DG)
Active brain areas use more glucose
PET localizes glucose using decay
Glucose is what the brain uses for energy
What is a FUNCTIONAL MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (fMRI) ?
Main tool used by Cognitive Neuroscience
Images increase in oxygen (blood) flow to active brain areas
measures Blood Oxygenated Level Dependent Signal (BOLD)
What are the Advantages of fMRI ?
Provides structural and functional info
Spatial resolution better
Changes can be measured in real time
What are Disadvantages of fMRI ?
Correlation Research - Can be sure of a cause & effect relationship
What is Psychophysiological Recording Methods ?
Recording physiological activity from the body surface
How do you record brain activity ?
How do you record Somatic Nervous System Activity ?
Muscle Tension (EMG)
Eye Movements (EOG)
How do you record Autonomic Nervous System Activity ?
What is an EEG ?
A measure of the average electrical activity of the brain
Some EEG wave forms associated with
: Specific state of consciousness, Cerebral Pathology (Epilepsy, brain tumor)
: measuring electrical patterns in response to external stimuli (ERP)
What is TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETI STIMULATION (TMS) ?
NOT a measure of activity - ALTERS neural activity
Applies a brief, strong magnetic field that alters neural activity
Either activates or deactivates brain structures depending on stimulation parameters
Only good for surface of the brain
What do Invasive Physiological Research Methods include ?
Invasive recording methods
All require stereotaxic sugery
What is Sterotaxic Surgery ?
Used to position experimental devices within the brain
: provides coordinates for locating structures within the brain
Point of Reference
: BREGMA ->where the bones of the skull infuse
: Holds head steady & guides device to be inserted
Expose the skull
What are the steps in Lesion Studies ?
Lesion area of the brain
What behaviors are disrupted ?
Determine function of lesioned area
Suction cortical tissue
Vacuum & such brain tissue out
Heat destroys tissue
Cheap & easy
Selectively destroys cell bodies
May damage surrounding area
Neurons cooled till they stop firing; "reversible lesion"
Deactivate the area for a short period of time
Controls for effect of surgery
Always compare lesion animals to Sham lesion animals
What happens when you lesion the
Direct connection to
Does not remember it has children
Can not gather her nest or pups due to problems in spatial perception
What happens with
: activates a structure
Effects tend to be
to those seen if structure is lesioned
Behavioural response depends on location of electroed, parameters of current and test environment
What did Walter Penfield accomplish ?
Find where in the brain a woman smelt burnt toast
Mapped out pre-central gyris & post central gyris
What is Invasive Electrophysiological Recording Methods ?
Intacellular unit recording
: Membrane potential of a neuron
Extracellular unit recording
: Firing of a neuron
: Firing of many neuronns
What is Gene Knockout ?
Organisms lacking a particular gene of interest (Time of birth)
What is Antisense drugs ?
block expression of the gene of interest (Go in & block expression)
What are Transgenic Mice ?
Mice containing genetic material of another species (Insert genes, regulate expression)
Useful for many animal models of disease
What does an Open field apparatus help measure ?
What does an Elevated Plus Maze help test ?
2 arms have sides and 2 do not
Time spent in open vs. closed arms
The use of anti-anxiety drugs - are they going to spend more time in open or closed arm ?
What does Pavlovian Condition consist of ?
Pairing an unconditioned stimulus with a conditioned stimulus
associated sound with food
What does Operant Conditioning consist of ?
Reinforcement and punishment
What is the Radial Arm Maze ?
Measures spacial ability & foraging behavior
Rat must remember which arms are baited vs. visited
Distinguishes between STM & LTM
What is the Morris Water Maze ?
Test spatial abilities
Rat must find hidden platform in an opaque pool
What is the Conditioned Taste Aversion ? (teacher has PhD)
Toxin defense mechanism
pair novel taste & malaise = avoidance of taste in future
In lab use LiCl to make them feel nausies. Whatever food they had before injection they will never go near it
Defie the law of temporal continuetiy, 12 hours ago
What principles of learning does Conditioned Taste Aversion challenge ?
Single trial learning
Equipotentiality - only illness & taste
What are the Clinical Implications of Conditioned Taste Aversion ?
Chemotherapy - develop these especially with children
Also work in reverse (Buckleys)