Neuropsychology

Class 2: Evolution, The Mind-Body Problem, and Localization of Function

  1. What is Neuropsychology?
    1. The study of brain-behavior relationships
    2. So we need to know about the brain
    3. Other Features of the Definition
    4. Assignment for Thursday
      1. Find the book's idea about the importance of the theory of evolution to physiological psychology.
      2. Find evidence as well. We will discuss in class.
  2. Evolutionary Theory
    1. A bit of a Historical Introduction
    2. Darwin's Theory
  3. The Mind Body Problem
    1. What is it?
    2. What are the different types of positions?
      1. Monist
      2. Dualist
      3. Interactionism
      4. Parallelism
      5. Emergent Property Monism
      6. Solipsm
    3. Descartes and Dualism
      1. Assumptions
      2. Puppet Analogy
      3. Hydraulic Model of the Mind
      4. Contrast with La Mettrie
    4. The Strange Case of Phineas Gage


    1. Gall and Spurzheim and Phrenology (Monism)
      1. MORAL: Smart people do dumb things when we go beyond data
      2. Gall was skilled neuroanatomist
      3. Assumptions
        1. Moral and intellectual functions are innate
        2. Their exercise or manifestation depends upon the organization of the brain
        3. The brain is the organ of all of our propensities, sentiments and faculties, i. e., tendencies, feelings and abilities
        4. The brain is composed as many particular organs as these propensities, sentiments, and faculties, which differ essentially from each other
        5. As the organs and their localities can be determined by observation only, it is also necessary that the form of the head or cranium should represent, in most cases, the form of the brain, and should suggest various means to ascertain the fundamental qualities and faculties, and the seat of her organs.
      4. Hidden and variable assumptions
        1. The size of the organ determines the ability or strength of that organ, e.g. a bigger calculation organ the better at calculation
        2. Variable (depends on the phrenologist): The abilities of these organs can change with exercise.

5.       Details of the Theory

A Reading





6.                 Reaction to phrenology: Flourens

7.                 Why did he go so far a field?

8.             How do these lessons apply to science today and us in this class?