Recalling Routes around London: Activation of the Right Hippocampus in Taxi Drivers - Maguire, E.A., Frackowiak, R.S.J. and Frith, C.D. (1997)
We have known for over 150 years since the famous cases of Phineas Gage, Broca's 'Tan' and others, that different parts of the brain do different jobs, but as late as the 1990s we still didn't know whether memory was localised to one place or distributed across the brain as a whole. However, advances in brain imaging techniques from the 1970s onwards made these questions suddenly accessible to psychological researchers. Eleanor Maguire was one of these...
Assignment 1 - PET scanning
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning is nicely introduced in this video.
Introduction to PET activity
Visit this link and complete both the 'Analysing brain images' and the 'How is PET done sections'.
Also research the evaluations of PET scanning. What are the pros and cons of the technique?
Use your research to create a leaflet entitled 'An introduction to PET scanning', which can be given to patients considering PET scans to help them decide whether to use the technique or not.
Submit your leaflet either by hand or through the form on the home page.
One of the complicated factors of the Maguire et al study!
Maguire et al used a factorial design involving topographical and sequencing memory.
All of these were then compared to the activity from the baseline task.
This allowed Maguire et al to distinguish route planning from other types of memory.
Make sure you are able to explain what the design of Maguire's experiment was, and what the advantages of this design were for them.
You should know these three findings of the Maguire et al study clearly:
The cerebellum was active for all tasks
Assignment 1 - Evaluation practice
Write a PEE point evaluating the Maguire et al study (either positively or negatively) for the following points:
Submit your answers through the form on the home page.
Assignment 2 - Big Issue - Reductionism
Reductionism is the attempt to explain behaviour using single causes. In other words, a reductionist approach looks for one factor that is most important in causing a behaviour (such as genes, or the environment).
There are a number of different types of reductionism. You should be able to work out what they mean from their names:
What are the positives and neagtives of a reductionist approach? Create a table giving both the pros and the cons of reductionism.
Add your points to the shared document in the class Google drive folder
Assignment 3 - Keywords Generator
One of the most difficult aspects of the Maguire study is the amount of technical vocabulary used.
Make a list of 15 key words from the Maguire study and their definitions.
Access the 'BrainyBox' page on Classtools.net by following this link.
I want you to enter the definitions and the keyword. Put three or four on each page. Also include any pictures that you think are helpful. You will create a page where the key words and their definitions rotate and change place.
Once you've finished, save your page and then email me the link for your page. The best one will be embedded in here!
Alternative study - Maguire et al as a longitudial experiment?
Maguire et al performed a snapshot study. One of the problems with this is that we can't tell if the taxi drivers' use of the right hippocampus in route-finding is something that develops over time, or is always the same. For example, maybe experienced taxi drivers use their right hippocampi in a different way to normal people, because of all the extra route-planning that they have to do... A way to investigate this criticism would be to do a longitudinal experiment.
1. Describe the longitudinal study as a research method in Psychology (5).
2. How could they have performed a study with similar aims, but as a longitudinal experiment?
Write a description of the study, including the who, what, where and how. (10)
3. What would the advantages and disadvantages of such an experiment be, compared to the original?
Evaluate this new study in practical and ethical terms. (10)
Submit your alternative study and evaluation through the form on the home page.
Maguire et al key details quiz
Can you recall the following details from memory?
– Factors of interest
– DV– experimental design
– Main results/findings
Although you should make sure that you don't get the details mixed up, it is interesting to see how Maguire developed her work after this study. In another study in 2000, she observed that experienced taxi drivers had a larger hippocampus than 'normal' participants. What does this finding add to the conclusions from her 1997 study? Can you see any problems with this research design?