Methods to Study the Brain

Methods to Study the Brain
The Brain
How do we learn about the brain & its functions?
Tools of discovery
1. Clinical observation (case study) -
Phineas Gage
– The Story of Phineas Gage (A
Reenactment) – Module 25 of The
Brain DVD (12:00)
The Brain
Tools of discovery
2. Manipulating the brain
a. Lesions – purposely destroying a part of
the brain and observing the results.
b. Brain Stimulation (Show at :40-:50 sec)
The Brain
Tools of discovery
3. Electroencephalogram (EEG) – shows the
brain’s electrical activity.
The Brain
Tools of discovery
4. Three Major Imaging Techniques
• CT Scan
• PET Scan
Brain Imaging: 3 Types
• Imaging of the human brain allows us to look inside the brain
without surgical intrusion.
CT Scan
• CT (computed tomography) scanning is a much-improved version of
x-ray imaging. A CT scan takes a series of cross-sectional
photographs, which are then put together to form a threedimensional image.
PET (positron emission tomography) scans
reveal the activity of different areas of the brain
by showing consumption of radioactive glucose
(active neurons use more glucose) as the subject
performs various mental activities.
In MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), spinning atoms
within the brain are aligned in a strong magnetic field. A
brief pulse of radio waves disorients the aligned atoms,
and the signals released as the atoms realign are
processed to form images.
Two Types of MRI:
Structural MRI
Functional MRI
Shows structures within the
Show functioning of different
structures in the brain
Click below to view an example
Click below to view an example