Localization Function in the Brain

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Explain one study related to localization of function in the brain (Sperry) Command Term: Explain reasons or causes.

Localization of function refers to the belief that specific areas of the cerebral cortex are associated with specific physical or behavioral functions. Examples of case studies to prove how specific locations of the brain can be affected and have an impact on behavior are demonstrated by the HM and Phineas Gage incident.

In 1848, when Phineas Gage was tampering iron to press explosives into a hole, an explosion sent a rod through his head. His physician J.M Harlow recognized some significant changes in his personality and described him as having little restraint, using extremely rude language, and making grand plans for the future that would be instantly replaced with others. Because the frontal lobe of the brain was damaged, Gage became disinhibited which meant he wanted to start doing things that might he might normally have stopped himself from doing. Although he wanted to continue working, his impulsive and rude behavior was not conductive to working with other people therefore could not continue.

Sperry had a study to help neuroscientists understand the way the brain functions and appear to be not only localized in specific regions, but also lateralized (left and right hemispheres seem to be more or less responsible for certain activities). The participants in Sperry’s work had all undergone an operation to reduce the severity of their epilepsy by severing the corpus callosum. The corpus callosum is a part of the brain that joins the two hemispheres and it appears to be responsible for the communication between them. Without this communication and under the right experimental conditions the two hemispheres could be studied separately and their sometimes-subtle differences identified. A similar incident happened with HM (1953), where he had to undergo a surgery to remove the medial temporal lobes in order to reduce the frequency of...
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