role of the brain in mental processes and behaviour

  • 500 BCE

    brain v's heart debate

    brain v's heart debate
    Alcmaeon was regarded as the 1st person to identify the brain as the source of mental processes. After disecting the eyeball he found that optic nerve was what connected the eye to the brain. This lead him to beleive that all our sences are connected to the brain in some way, therefore the brain was the centre of understanding and played a virtual role in perceptions thoughts and other mental mental processes.
  • 430 BCE


    Empedocles is best known for his proposal that every living thing and non-living thing in the world are made from 4 elements
    earth, fire, water, and air. he reasonded that the heart was the centre of the bodys blood vescles system, so that our thoughts had to be made up of blood particularly around the heart.
  • 370 BCE


    Starting in 460 bce, some well known physicians (doctors) in ancient greece, such as hippocrates, who is now regarded as the 'father of medicine'
  • 322 BCE


    the heart is where Aristotle located all the mental abilities and the soul at around 350 BCE. this famous ancient Greek philosipher who dicected amimals to learn about anatomy. he gave no to the brain in behavior he beleive the brain was a cooling mechanism for the hot temperature of the blood
  • 280 BCE


    Heropphilus is known as the father of anatomy,(starting in 335 and finishig in 288) He took the brain side of the debate. the advanced knowledge of the brain and the nervous system by scientificly disecting bodies of people and animals then recording their findings in highly detailed ways for other physicians. For example Hippocrates wrote that all our emotions 'arise from the brain and the brain alone' and with the brain 'we think and understand see and hear'
  • 216


    Galen worked as a gladiatior doctor in the first centry where he treated their head injuries and was able to see how their behaviour would change in reaction to differnet wounds. He observed that the nerves from sense organs went to the brain and not to the heart and the brain injury adversly affected behaviour. He noted that pressure on certain parts of the brain could effect things like movement whereas similar minipulation of the heart did not directly affect behaviour.
  • mind body problem

    mind body problem
    French philosipher Rene Descartes proposed that the human mind and body are seperate but interconnected. Descartes beleived that the pineal gland connected right in the middle of the brain to serve as the centre of consciousness and control behavour. He beleived that mental processes such as memory and imagination were the result of bodily functions,emotions such as love hate and sadness came from the mental states which could influence the body.
  • Phrenology

    Franz Gall proposed that different parts of the brain had dffernet functions. Gall argued that personality chracteristics and mental abilities were controlled by different parts which were located on its outer surface. The size of these parts determined how developed they were and the more it was used the more it would develop. He discovered that the people from his school who had the best memory had big eyes, this lead him to beleive that there was developed memory located behind the brain.
  • Karl Lashleys search for the location of learning and memory

    Karl Lashleys search for the location of learning and memory
    begining in the 1920's emitment American psychologist Karl Lasly used abliation throughout the next 30 years in experiments to find the location of learning and memory the brain. he used animals like rats and monkeys, they were taught various tasks and then bits of their cortical tissue were removed with the goal beig that the animals would get amnesia. Lasleey failed to produce amnesia and found that memory and learning were throughout the brain rather than one place.
  • Computerised tomography (CT)

    Computerised tomography (CT)
    frst used in the early 1970's, CT provided a new way of looking at live, intact human brain without using risky procedures. it was useful in identifying brain abdormalities and injuries. it was also useful in seeig the size and location of tumours
  • functional neuroimagaing

    functional neuroimagaing
    CT and MRI's produce useful images of the brain structures. They can give information on what brain areas look like but do not reveal their avtivity during any given mental process or behaviour. This limitation was overcome in the late 1970's through PET
  • split brain surgery

    American neuropsychologist Roger Sperry was awarded a Nobel Prize for his pioneering research on the relationship between the brain and behavior.
  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

    Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
    fMRI technology become avaliable in the 1990's. fMRI detects and records brain activity by measuring oxygen consumption across the brain. However, it does not expose participants to radioactive tracers. The technigue exploits the fact that blood is more oxygenated in highly active parts of the brain.