I need to respond to 2 classmates in the discussion board. Must be at least 200 words each
This is for my Physiological Psychology class.
Classmate 1 – Tequila Booker
The potential problems with using some of these indirect measures is
that not all may be accurate and some may even be more dangerous on
the brain to utilize. For example the PET using radioactive chemicals
and those chemicals are exposed to the brain. Another one is the fMRI
which according to the book some say is debatable information because
the information does not fully explain why a person likes something or
don't like something. The fMRI example of this in the book is that a
person that craved chocolate showed a greater than average brain
response to the sight of chocolate but that does not explain why some
people like chocolate so with this method the information can't be
proven to be fully reliable.
I would have to examine what the course consist of first. Then examine
what tools someone taking the class would need in order to be successful
in the course. Once those two things have been examined I would then
have to come up with a plan in order to be successful such as a study plan
and record what went right and what went wrong week by week so I will
know what need to improve on by the week in order to stay on track and
be successful in the course.
Classmate 2 – Victoria Garza
Most of the noninvasive imaging methods estimate brain activity by changes in blood flow,
oxygen consumption, glucose utilization, etc. Discuss the potential problems with using these
types of indirect measure.
Most of the noninvasive imaging methods are beneficial for researchers as these methods make it
possible for these men and women to view and trace brain activity. Unfortunately, these methods
have some setbacks. For instance, the positron-emission tomography (PET) scanner allows for
researchers to clearly view images of brain activity (Kalat, 2014). In most cases, a person is
injected with glucose containing radioactive atoms before being placed into the scanner. Glucose
tends to increase in the “most active brain areas” enabling the researchers to pinpoint the areas of
the brain with the most activity (Kalat, 2014, p. 92). Unfortunately, due to the use of radiation in
the brain, researchers tend to use less of this method and more of the functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI). In this method, researchers focus on the amount of hemoglobin with
the amount of oxygen (Kalat, 2014). When areas of the brain become active, there tends to be an
increase of blood flow and oxygen in that area and a decrease in the hemoglobin and oxygen
mixture. Furthermore, this method requires that there be a comparison between two images of
the brain in order to get a more accurate assessment of the brain activity. Therefore, researchers
require participants to perform two different activities as the researchers review the brain activity
in both occasions. Finally, the researchers calculate the differences between the parts of the brain
that were activated during each activity to determine the areas of the brain that experienced the
most brain activity. As one can see, there are flaws to these methods; however, researchers now
have a better understanding of how the brain works.
Using the methods discussed in this chapter, how could you design a study to find the brain basis
of doing well in a biological psychology course?
I would base my research design on the studies past researchers have done when using the fMRI
scanner. As mentioned previously, researchers use the fMRI scanner to pinpoint the areas of the
brain with which the most brain activity occurs at a given time. That is, researchers begin by
requiring a person to perform an activity as they review the brain. Next, the researchers require
the person to perform a different activity as they review the brain. Finally, the researchers
compare both images and calculate the differences between the brain activity in the first image
with the brain activity of the second image. That being said, I would review the brain activity of
someone in a biological psychology course as he or she answered questions pertaining to that
course. Then, I would ask the student questions from a different course and then compare brain
activity from both images. This comparison would help identify whether or not the student is
comprehending the material in the course.
Kalat, J.W. (2014). Biological psychology (12th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
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