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Neuroimaging Experiments and Memory Loss Studies Essay

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Updated: Jan 14th, 2020

Neuroimaging experiments are applicable in the study of memory loss. Brain imaging is very crucial. This is because it enables the examination of the cognitive and affective processes. The “functional Magnetic Resonance imaging,” (fMRI) may also be applicable in the examination of memory loss. It facilitates the gathering of images related to various neural actions. These actions are pertinent to specific stimuli.

Notably, these stimuli occur within adequate intervals. Most of the commonly set intervals are 14-16 seconds. The investigator determines the baseline condition. Ideally, this simply stands for the neural activity of the individual under examination. It is also important to average the outcomes of individual trials.

For consistency, it is necessary to document the time taken to achieve the various results. The random trial selection may include another methodology applied in these processes. Randomization enables the analysis of specific trials during the process of investigation. Evidently, it enhances the process of identification of major experimental errors.

There are potential benefits associated with averaging. For instance, it allows the elimination of temporal limitations caused by hemodynamic responses. Additionally, it enables the specification of disparities in periods of fMRI signals. These differences in periods can be as short as 100ms.

However, in order to attain consistent and accurate outcomes, it is necessary to conduct several trials. Observably, the randomization processes remain difficult. It is important to engage the use of “single-photon emission computed tomography,” (SPECT). This is because it improves the outcome of the empirical investigation. SPECT refers to a neuroimaging technique. It enables for the construction of three-dimensional data pertinent to the basic neural activities.

SPECT enhances the outcome of the investigation. This is because it enables selection of data from all parts of the brain. Indicatively, the fMRI performs a similar role. However, fMRI lacks certain specific features within the SPECT. “Fusiform Gyrus” offers the main region for the activation process during this experiment. It operates as the region for recognition of colors, faces and words.

Visual Processing in the Brain

Pathways are very important elements. They permit the development of visual information. These critical pathways include the ventral and the dorsal pathways. The elementary visual cortex forms the fundamental source of visual information. Information process move through these pathways in a logical manner.

For instance, within the larger dorsal pathway, basic data initially flows through the visual region 1. Consequently, it travels to the visual region 2. This critical information further moves to the important dorsomedial region. Notably, some also reach the visual region MT.

This information finally arrives at the “posterior parietal cortex”. This important pathway is typically associated with actions or activities that involve motion and location of objects. Visual regions 1 mainly deal with colors and angle lines. On the other hand, the visual region 2 explicitly deals with motion and depth. Observably, the visual region MT operates to aid the process of optic flow. This process also assists the motions within the environment.

The motion within the ventral pathways is crucial. In this pathway, information moves through the visual region 1. Consequently, there is another vital move to the visual region 2. Eventually, there is passage of this important information to the last visual region 4. The “inferior temporal cortex” provides the next destination for this vital information.

Every ventral pathway has a sole preserve to identify the forms. In addition, they are associated with deposition of objects. The ventral pathway enables individuals to keep information for a long time. Visual region 4 is deals with the perception of shapes and complex patterns.

Individuals may lose their capacities to recognize objects. This may occur irrespective of an individual’s visual incompetency. Therefore, it is possible for a person to be unable to recognize objects. However, in this process, an individual’s intelligence level might remain equally high and upheld. This condition is widely termed as agnosia.

However, the inadequacy of knowledge about an object does not necessarily mean existence of object agnosia. Brain damage remains as one of the most important and recognizable leading causes of the agnosia condition. Indicatively, injuries leading to this condition may not result into the damage of the eyes.

Additionally, they might also not lead to the total loss of intelligence. It is noteworthy to indicate that brain damages that involve the “Fusiform gyrus” are vital. This is because they might initiate the development of object agnosia. Principally, this region of the brain mainly deals with recognition of objects. Therefore, object agnosia remains elementarily associated with impairments within the ventral pathway.

The Gate-control Model of Pain

The “Gate-control model of pain” is very crucial. According to this model, the direct activation of “receptor neurons of pain” never causes substantial pain. However, the modulation of sensitivity of pain occurs through the interaction of diverse neurons. Pain signals are more likely to enter into the body.

After this entry, they undergo translocation to the human brain. This process occurs via the spinal cord. Notably, there are other important pathways of transferring pain signals to the brain. The main idea is that signals from these other pathways open or close gates. The gates exist within the human spinal cord.

These affect the severity of the signal that leaves the spinal cord. Research findings have indicated that various factors affect the perception of pain. These factors include expectation and attention variability. Others include the different stimuli that have the capacity to distort a person’s hypnosis.

The above outlined indications have the capacity to change the perception of pain. This is despite the fact that they never involve drug use in therapeutic processes. In order to experience pain relief, some patients take the placebo. However, a placebo is not a drug. Despite this fact, the patients experience significant pain relief after taking the placebo. Attention of individuals with third degree burns or other capital injuries usually shifts.

This is achievable through techniques that assist them not to feel pain. Stimuli pictures also distract the attention of persons undergoing immense pain. These individuals focus more on the content of the stimuli. These processes indicate the validity of the “gate control model of pain.”

Several investigations focus on virtual reality pain. These have had considerable improvements in the treatment of severe physical pain. The application of this reality approach in the therapeutic process is vital. This is because it relieves individuals of their pain. This is attainable without the application of appropriate drugs. Personally, I have never experienced the outlined cognitive methods of pain control. However, their effectiveness is unquestionable.

Mirror Neurons

Mirror neurons are crucial because they control the feelings of empathy. Additionally, mirror neurons play a vital role in learning. These neurons are unique since they can fire when an individual performs an action. This is also eminent when an individual observes a similar action.

Therefore, neuroactivity is crucial and remains similar within most individuals. These important neurons exist within two parts of the brain. These include the premotor cortex and the renowned parietal cortex. Other regions where these neurons exist include the supplementary motor location and the larger elementary somatosensory cortex.

According to most recent investigations, autism emerges from the various deficiencies within the mirror neurons. Some studies have noted that Electroencephalography (EEG) and “Magnetoencephalograpghy” (MEG) portray critical functionality trends. For instance, they remain in suppression.

This is notable when personalities watch the movements of others. These recordings mainly concern the motor region. This indicates that watching others relates to systems of the mirror neurons. However, the suppression of the recordings among children with autism is low. Therefore, the autistic children depict dysfunctional systems within their mirror neurons.

Other important investigations indicate that all autistic children have functional systems within their mirror neurons. This observation is the opposite of other previous investigations. They propose that the systems are functional but not highly sensitive. Further, there are arguments that impairment of systems of mirror neurons is the likely cause of autism. This impairment causes disabilities. These associations are extremely simplistic.

A majority of the investigators fail to record the activities of mirror neurons. The methods used to measure suppressions of motor regions do not file mirror neurons. Hence, the idea can assist in understanding autism. Apart from this, it might help to comprehend the behaviors in autistic children. There is an urgent need for extensive research to determine the relationship between the deficiency in mirror neurons and autism.

Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases

Multiple sclerosis, (MS) is a potential health complication. It affects humans’ brains and the spinal cords. It results into the progressive loss of control of muscles and vision. Additionally, the complication also interferes with proper balance and understanding. With this condition, there is a notable damage of the nerves of the spinal cord and brain.

This process occurs through the specific immune system. One of the characteristics of this condition is the chronic inflammation of the nervous system. This condition mainly affects the teenagers and the elderly, of approximately 50 years and above.

Alzheimer’s complication refers to the situation in which there is a potential destruction of individual’s memory. The condition is progressive, and loss of neurons occurs permanently. Memory becomes impaired during the progression of the condition. It also affects reasoning, language and planning.

As the condition develops, tangles form in the brain. This progressively causes the death of important brain cells. It is characterized by deficiencies in brain chemicals. These chemicals help to transmit information. This condition mainly affects individuals of 65 years and above.

Parkinson’s health complication is identifiable through continuous loss of ability to control muscles. Parkinson’s disease refers to a persistent nervous system condition. It affects a person’s movements, speech and ability to write. Additionally, persons with the condition experience stiffness and tremors.

This means that the condition affects the ability of the brain to coordinate movements of muscles. Personally, I would rather suffer from Parkinson’s disease. The condition does not lead to brain damage. Consequently, I would give priority to research on Alzheimer’s disease. An approximate of 5.1 million U.S. citizens suffers from this condition. This is higher relative to those citizens suffering from Parkinson’s and Multiple sclerosis.

Alzheimer and Koraskoff’s types of Memory Loss

Alzheimer and Koraskoff’s diseases cause memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease primarily affects the abilities of individuals to remember events. It also destroys the “thought skills.” It is strongly associated with dementia. This refers to loss of thinking, reasoning and remembering skills. In general, these are cognitive skills.

They are commonly termed as behavioral abilities. On the other hand, Koraskoff’s condition refers to a form or situation that entails potential memory loss. It is due to high inadequacy of thiamine in the body. Alcohol abuse is a major contributory factor to this condition. It is preventable. Some of its behavioral symptoms include memory loss and inability to be engaged in rational conversations. The complication is also associated with the development of plaques and tangles. These are notable within the brain.

Notably, Koraskoff’s disease affects vital sections within the brain. These segments coordinate memory functions. Memory systems do present evidence for modularity. Memory systems have structures with explicit functions. The structures have undergone modification over longer periods.

They are also highly specialized to perform specific duties. Thus, in case one section of the memory system dysfunctions, memory loss occurs. Most persons suffering from memory loss may lose their perceptions of color. Generally, mental processes are never randomly distributed. In order to survive, humans must adapt to their environment.

Natural selection ensured that the modern human became complex and capable of surviving in the world. Evidently, each structure of the human brain has to specialize. Memory systems indicate that modularity of mental processes transpire within the brain.


Chemicals released by human sweat and other fluids are important. They might spread neurotransmitters. These have the capacity to affect actions of people of the opposite sex. They are termed as the pheromones. These chemicals enable communication with individuals of the opposite sex. Pheromones affect both sexual and non-sexual actions. Pheromones increase the regularity of dates, foreplay and sexual activity.

Vomeronasal organ, (VNO) detects the pheromones. Humans usually create a breeze around them. The breeze transports pheromones to other persons. The detection of these pheromones by a person of the opposite sex can result in to the creation of sexual attraction. Pheromones can pass several features such as hostility and anxiety among others.

Research on pheromones has led to development of perfumes. These perfumes contain pheromone additives. In the creation of attractiveness, pheromones usually make individuals to feel comfortable and safe.

Certain investigations indicate that there are similar effects of pheromones on women and gay men. Male pheromone has the same effect on brain activity of gay men and straight women. Thus, brain function and sexual orientation of an individual are related. This shows that sexual orientation is an influence of imagination and brain activity of a person.

The studies indicate that gay men think in the same way straight women think. This is because their brain activity, in response to male pheromone, is similar. Thus, a gay man is likely to feel attracted to a male the same way a straight woman feels about the same male person.

Some legal and illegal drugs are addictive. Alcohol is an example of an addictive but legal drug. It affects the ability of an individual to function properly. Excessive consumption of alcohol leads to alteration of brain chemistry. This has the potential to increase depression and dependence. It can lead to psychosis.

Additionally, it is often associated with hallucinations. The withdrawal symptoms include tremors as well as nervousness. Additionally, palpitations accompany the withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms usually resemble chronic anxiety. Individuals have different tolerance levels of alcohol.

However, excessive and continuous consumption leads to almost similar symptoms. The symptoms are different from the effects of cocaine consumption. Cocaine is an illegal drug. It causes blockage of nerve impulses. It also causes activation of the “parasympathetic nervous” system. It often results in to increase in energy, and attentiveness. Additionally, users experience seizures and agitation. The effects of cocaine are usually gross. This is relative to the effects of alcohol consumption.

It is necessary to prohibit the use of alcohol and cocaine. This is due to their negative effects on the human body. Furthermore, alcohol consumption requires appropriate and stringent control measures. Changes in legislation regarding alcohol consumption are necessary within all environments.

There should be a reduction in the duration of alcohol consumption by individuals. However, laws regarding cocaine use must be very strict. Not all drugs are illegal. Consumption of some drugs lack severe effects. Drugs like nicotine do not result in to severe conditions. Children must undergo training on the negative effects of drug addiction at an early age.

Neuropsychological diseases and Psychiatric Disorders

There are several differences between the neurological and psychiatric complications within human beings. Neurological disorders affect the nervous system. On the other hand, psychiatric complications refer to basic mental disorders. The symptoms of psychiatric disorders manifest in behavior of individuals.

The symptoms of neurological disorders are largely observable. Some of these include paralysis and notable weaknesses in the muscles. Other symptoms include the poor control of muscles, seizures and pain. Psychiatric disorders are identifiable through individual actions, thoughts and perceptions. The major causes of neurological diseases include brain and nerve injuries. Others are genetic disorders. There are diverse factors capable of causing psychiatric disorders. Some of these remain unclear.

There are various misconceptions concerning people with psychiatric complications. The common misconception is that psychiatric patients are violent. However, this is wrong. Many individuals with psychiatric disorders have not exhibited violent tendencies. People believe that psychiatric patients experienced ineffective parenting. There is an assumption that depressed individuals possess a weak personality.

The other misconception is that psychiatric disorders affect only the aged. It is important to note that this is not the case. Additionally, some people believe that psychiatric disorders are incurable. Nevertheless, there exist various methods and strategies applicable in treatment of psychiatric disorders. In addition, some community programs provide necessary support. These are crucial in the improvement of individual’s mental functioning.

Observably, certain people believe that psychiatric disorders are not medical conditions like diabetes. Many people cannot distinguish certain disorders. These may include disorders like amnesia or schizophrenia. Individuals suffering from these conditions require different treatment methods.

This is because the complications are different. Moreover, their symptoms also differ. They also bear diverse influences on human interaction and physical health. Psychiatric complications are more prevalent. This is as compared to the brain diseases.

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