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Explain how biological factors may affect one cognitive process.

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Introduction

´╗┐Zoe Sykes 12.3Psychology - Cognitive Ms St John Explain how biological factors may affect one cognitive process. (22 marks) The physiological approach to psychology very often affects cognitive processes, for example memory. Memory is affected by many different factors varying from culture, rehearsal, specific patterns in the article and many more. Our brains affect memory physiologically. The different areas of the brain have different functions, however there is not always one specific area that is assigned to perform one specific role. Therefore, different parts of the brain work collaboratively together in order to carry out a process such as memory. Some of the parts of the brain that are involved in memory are the hippocampus, frontal lobes, Wernicke?s area and Broca?s area. In the case of Clive Wearing who was a highly respected musician in his 40s, when he contracted a viral infection in 1985, which left him with extensive damage to the frontal lobes and hippocampus parts of his brain. ...read more.

Middle

However he also suffered from anterograde amnesia, as he was unable to store new memories, because he was not able to transfer new semantic memories into the long-term store. The anterograde amnesia caused by the removal of his hippocampus resulted in HM not being able to remember people he had met or what he has done, as he could not transfer short-term memory into long-term memory. it was clear however that he could still remember some things from before the surgery for example: when the death of his uncle was mentioned it caused him distress and grief. Roger Sperry conducted a study on participants that have had their corpus callosum severed in order to treat their epilepsy and to prevent their seizures and fits from spreading from one hemisphere of the brain to the other. The corpus callosum is the only part of the brain that connects the two hemispheres; by severing it essentially the patient is left with two individually functioning brains. ...read more.

Conclusion

right hand but if placed in the left hand, the participant could either only make wild guesses or even appeared to be unaware that anything at all was present. However, if the object was taken from the left hand and placed in a ?grab bag?, or was scrambled among other test items, the participant was able to search out and retrieve it with their left hand. The experiment showed that the individual hemispheres have separate visual perception, memory storage, and also different capacities, e.g. visual stimuli perceived by the left hemisphere could be verbally repeated and written down, but stimuli perceived only by the right hemisphere could only be identified by pointing at it. After looking at the case studies of Clive Wearing, HM and the studies performed by Sperry it can be concluded that the cognitive process: memory is affected by damage to areas in the brain such as the hippocampus as well as if the two hemispheres are deconnected by severing the corpus callosum. Therefore there are many ways in which biological factors may influence a cognitive process. ...read more.

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