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Explain how biological factors may affect one cognitive process.

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Introduction

´╗┐Emaan Jadoon 10/13/12 12G Explain how biological factors may affect one cognitive process. Cognitive processes are imperative for human behavior since their core is about knowledge and they way people use that knowledge under certain circumstances. For example, our brain has different areas in which our memory, emotions, and perception are stored and all that is stored is fairly accurate. Also, our brain stores memory in phases and then we retrieve it through language since the language of the brain is translated to the language of our body allowing us to understand the stored memory. Eventually, the stored memories lead us to learning and finally to intelligence. However, at times our biological factors such as hormonal levels or different areas of the brain are damaged in such a way that they hinder our instinct to use our cognitive abilities. In 1957, Scoville and Milner attempted the case study of H.M. H.M was a 7 year old boy who fell off from his bicycle and ended up with an injury to his head. ...read more.

Middle

The hippocampus plays a critical role in converting memories of experiences from STM to LTM. H.M was able to retain some memories for events that happened long before his surgery. This indicates that the medial temporal lobe with the hippocampus is not the site of permanent storage in itself. It rather seems to play a role in how memories are organized and then stored elsewhere in the brain. The medial temporal region with the hippocampus is important for forming, organizing, consolidating, and retrieving memory. Cortical areas are important for long term storage of knowledge and how to use this knowledge in everyday situations. The fact that H.M and other people have amnesia have deficits in some types of memories but not in others is taken as evidence that the brain has multiple memory systems that are supported by distinct brain regions. The relationship between H.M?s brain damage and his memory deficits is that in 1997, Corkin used MRI scans and analyzed the extent of the damage to H.M?s brain and found out that: part of the temporal lobes including the hippocampus and related structures on both sides were missing. ...read more.

Conclusion

of the hippocampus. They also found out that memory impairment can only be reversed if the damage had not progressed to a ?point of no return.? Lupien in 2002 did an experiment on cortisol level and memory and the aim of the study was to follow up with two groups of the elderly people from the five year study and whether it was possible to reverse memory problems with a drug. The procedure was that the participants were divided into two groups: the first group had a moderate level of cortisol at baseline and the second group had high level of cortisol and signs of impaired memory at baseline. Both groups were given first a drug preventing secretion of cortisol (metyrapone). Then they had to do a memory test. After this, they were given another drug (hydrocortisone) to restore their level of cortisol to previous levels. The results showed that participants with a moderate level of cortisol who were given metyrapone had no problem restoring normal memory function. Participants, who from the start, had a high level of cortisol, had no memory impairment and hydrocortisone caused even greater memory loss. ...read more.

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