The Brain Controls Body Functions Essay

The Brain Controls Body Functions Essay

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Currently, it is basic knowledge that the brain controls body functions and has voluntary and involuntary control over behavior. However, it was believed that behavior was due to cerebral localization and many studies have demonstrated support for this idea. Cerebral localization is a term that refers to how specific areas of the brain correlate with specific behaviors and functions. This concept was first utilized by Franz Josef Gall with phrenology. Gall relied on physical characteristics of an individual’s skull to be associated with certain regions of the brain, which later became known to be called phrenology. Some associations he believed were that larger brain size meant higher levels of intelligence, amativeness was correlated to the cerebellum, and acquisitiveness or greed was indicated by the presence of a bump above and in front of an individual’s ears. Another association was that the existence of a bump right above an individual’s ear was related to elevated levels of destructiveness. More correlations between traits and brain or skull regions were discovered and were mapped onto drawings of human heads to illustrate these associations.
Cerebral localization was also supported by the findings of Paul Broca and Carl Wernicke. Broca determined that damage to an area in the lower left frontal lobe affected speech, which later became known as Broca’s area. Using this as a starting point, Carl Wernicke found that damage to the back portion of the left temporal lobe resulted in an impairment with understanding language; this area was named as Wernicke’s area. Later researchers discovered areas in the brain for controlling movement and sensation, which would become, respectively, known as the motor and sensory strip. Through...


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...system sections; therefore supporting the idea that the concept behind the theory of reflex conduction was faulty.
Lashley analyzed reactions to form his second reason to demonstrate the inadequacies in the current theories and turned to experimental studies performed on animals to observe their motor activities for support. An animal trained to pass through a maze may do it quickly and seamlessly once but then do it slowly another trial; however, an injured cerebellum would result in correct movement throughout the maze. Another experimental study was mentioned in which observed animals with immobilized limbs during training and their motor reactions with that limb after training. The information gathered from those mentioned cases, Lashley concluded that behavioral reactions can occur even when no specific associations have been formed with certain muscle groups.

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