Science

16th June 2006 at 01:00
Consider some of a baby's unconscious actions, such as grasping, suckling, walking and the plantar (sole of the foot) reflexes, and discuss how these are used as indicators of brain development.

Look at Pavlov's work on conditioned reflexes. He showed that hungry dogs salivated when given food, and that, if a bell was rung simultaneously, the dogs began to associate the sound with food and became conditioned.

Discuss how our knowledge of conditioning has been exploited by advertisers and may also explain some of our behaviours (such as fear of the dentist's drill).

The cerebrum is the site of the brain dealing with personality and emotion. Look at maps displaying the brain's functional areas and discuss how they were discovered. Research the story of the gentle and conscientious US railroad worker Phineas Gage who, in 1848, was badly injured when a metal rod went through the left side of his cerebrum's frontal lobe and changed his personality. See science-education.nih.govnihHTMLosesnapshotsmultimediaritnGageBroken_ brain1.html

Investigate how electroencephalography (EEG) and positron emission tomography (PET) have increased our knowledge of the way the unconscious brain functions. See www.science.howstuffworks.com

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