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Flashcards in Neuropsychology Deck (13):


Studies the structure and function of the brain as they relate to spec psychological processes and behaviors
Seen as a clinical / experimental field that aims to study, assess, understand, and treat behaviors directly related to brain functioning
Goal: to understand mind / brain by studying ppl w/ brain injury / illness


Visual Agnosia

Impairment of recognition of visually presented objects
Not due to deficit in vision, language, memory, or low intellect
Two types: apperceptive and associative


Apperceptive Agnosia

Impairments in:
- recognizing visually presented info, esp. perceptual processing (eg. picture naming)
- copying geometric shapes and letters; they can see / trace them but can't id them
Damage in proximity of left occipital lobe
Patients can still attend cued stimuli, maintain fixation, write, and reach for mobile objects


Associative Agnosia

Impairment in:
- recognizing / assigning meaning to a stimulus that is accurately perceived
- identifying objects, their features, or functions; can still distinguish general categories of objects (eg. living v non-living)
Damage in proximity of left anterior temporal lobe from strokes, tumors, CO pzn; often accompanied w/ other neuropsych
Patients retain semantic knowledge of items



Aka motion blindness; extremely rare
Inability to:
- perceive motion in visual field
- perform visuomotor tasks
Damage to posterior visual cortex (v5) from brain trauma; no treatment / cure
Can still see stationary objects; normal spatial acuity, stereo / color vision
Eg. L.M. had difficulty pouring drinks



Inability to:
- recognize faces including self
- recognize "expertise" areas of things (eg. makes of cars, types of birds)
No treatment other than to cope w/ using other cues such as voices / clothes
Bilateral damage to fusiform gyrus (fusiform face area)


Phineas Gage

Was a sober, respected man before he sustained damage to frontal lobe in 1848; became impulsive and disrespectful afterwards
Likely to have sustained damage to orbitofrontal region of both frontal lobes


Implications of Prefrontal Lesions

- Emotional reactivity: moody; reduced responsiveness to pain
- Impulsive behavior detracts from social norm
- No concern for past / future events; less receptive to rewards / punishments
- Inability to execute a series of commands w/out false starts / backtracking
- Tendency to perseverate



Tendency to repeat a specific behavior (often the initial actions) in any activity
Wisconsin Card Sorting Tasks shows whether or not a person perseverates


Hemispatial Neglect

Unconscious neglect of the left side of both body and space as if unseen (eg. patient fails to dress left side of body)
Includes symptoms of anosognosia, asomatognosia
Damage to right inferior parietal cortex



Deficit of self-awareness; inability to recognize that something is different / wrong w/ oneself



Deficit of awareness of one / all parts of one's body


Charlottesville, VA Man

Was a regular husband, father, teacher
In 2000, he began exhibiting pedophilia
He began leering at random women and talked about raping them; he was arrested for molesting his young stepdaughter
In 2003, an large frontal lobe tumor was removed from his brain and he stopped acting the way he did; he relapsed his behavior later b/c the tumor returned