Techniques used to study the brain in relation to behaviour

 
Suitable techniques include MRI, fMRI and PET imaging but what is important is that you understand how they are used by psychologists to study the relationship between brain and behaviour (remember the IB accept cognitive processes, such as memory, as a behaviour).
 
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/scanning/index.html This site gives a basic description of the different brain imaging techniques.
 
PET scans: pet-scans with information from Smith and Jonides (1997)
 
http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v2/n3/full/nn0399_289.html This study ties in well with our work on flashbulb memory as well.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU3et8qJOrM Japanese language video clip about this study posted by the researcher (Hamann)
 
In an ERQ you may wish to talk (or even compare) more than one technique, so I have provided some materials in MRI and fMRI too.
 
MRI 
 
http://www.howstuffworks.com/mri.htm More info specifically about MRI scans
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGcZvSG805Y a clip about how MRI works
 
 
Do you remember Maguire’s study from the BLOA?
 
Here is a link to the complete original article by Maguire: maguire.pdf
 
Maguire powerpoint: maguire pp.pptx
 
Maguire worksheet: maguire worksheet julia.pdf
Maguire evaluation grid: maguire evaluation.doc
 
Maguire questions: maguire questions.doc
 
You may choose to talk about Corkin et al’s (1997) MRI study on HM, find out more here: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/17/10/3964
 

 
 
 

 
Useful to evaluate studies which use brain imaging; if they don’t control of motivation, conclusions may not be valid: also another example of a study using fMRI scans. ScienceDirect – Neuroscience Letters Motivation effects in a dichotic listening task as evident from functional magnetic resonance imaging in human subjects.mht
 
Examples of studies that have used virtual reality 
 
A very interesting study as it looks at the cross over between emotion(affect), cognition and biology and uses virtual reality so ideal for IB! Performance on a Virtual Reality Spatial Memory Navigation Task in Depressed Patients — Gould et al_ 164 (3) 516 — Am J Psychiatry.mht
 
 

Sense Cam a treatment for amnesia
 
The use of modern technology to overcome some forms of amnesia: case study of Mrs B, life logging and sense cam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NjZxCll9Z8&feature=related
 
 
 

 

The choice of techniques used to correlate the brain with behaviour is based on a variety of factors including ….

  • opportunity
  • available technology
  • costs

An awareness of these limitations as well as the strengths of these different techniques is important when evaluating the contribution they have made to understanding behaviour.