Methods for investigating the brain:
|Method for Investigating the |What it is |Advantages |Disadvantages | |brain | | | | |PET (Positron Emission |Where a radioactive chemical, such as glucose, is injected into the bloodstream of an | |Expensive | |Tomography) |individual. The head is then put into the scanning machine and the emission of | |Results aren’t to easy to interpret e.g. the brain is | | |radioactivity from each part of the brain is measured. The area emitting the most | |always active so not easy to ascertain which area is | | |radioactivity are the areas with the greatest blood flow and therefore the most brain | |specific to which activity | | |activity | | | |EEG (Electroencephalograms) |These are recordings made from electrodes that are attached to various points on the head.|Safe painless way of measuring brain activity | | | |In general, two types of brainwave patterns are recorded; rhythmic brainwave patterns |Often used as a diagnostic tool when looking at epilepsy | | | |(these typical of a healthy functioning brain) and arrhythmic brainwave patterns (these |or sleeping disorders | | | |found when a person is having an epileptic fit for example) | | | |Neurosurgery |Where an area of the brain is deliberately destroyed or operated on in some way. (e.g. to |Allows experimenter high degree of precision over what |Damage is not reversible | | |remove tumours, or a lobotomy as use to treat psychological disorders) often used on |area of brain removed |Cannot generalise animal research to humans | | |research in animals | | | |Post-Mortem Examinations |Looking at a brain after a person has died |Can see what effect certain diseases have physically on |Cannot compare what the brain was like before and after | | | |the brain |Limited sample of the population (either ill or old) | |MRI Scan |(Magnetic resonance imaging) provides real time images of brain responses to certain |Show clear...
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