4-1 Discussion: Studying the Brain

Help me study for my Psychology class. I’m stuck and don’t understand.

Prior to the late twentieth century, neuropsychological assessment was the main tool available to identify the location of brain damage (localization). Today, since imaging techniques are available to provide localization, what role do neuropsychologists play in the research, assessment, and treatment of children and adolescents? Additionally, discuss how the various neuroimaging techniques are important for children with mental disorders and how imaging is used in conjunction with neuropsychological assessment. Provide examples to support your thinking. When responding to your peers, consider how your career choice relates to examples posted by your peers.

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.

AFTER COMPLETING THE INITIAL POST, PLEASE ALSO RESPOND TO THE FOLLOWING TWO STUDENTS REGARDING THE SAME TOPIC!


STUDENT ONE:

Neuropsychologists’ help doctors understand how brain problems/disturbances occur, and what happens when they do. By understanding these neurological problems, doctors can help possibly treat and prevent them. Some neuropsychologists may work in a research setting, which could involve studying both humans and animals and those with brain injuries or illnesses (Carlson & Birkett, 2017).

Some neuropsychologists work in clinical settings assessing and diagnosing patients. The neuropsychologist assesses and diagnoses patients by observing specific symptoms and using technology like CT’s, MRI’s, fMRI’s, DTI’s, PET’s, SPECT’s, EEG’s, MEG’s, and NIRS’s. After successfully diagnosing a neurological problem, neuropsychologists can then often recommend a course of treatment, which may include therapy, medication, or surgery (Carlson & Birkett, 2017).

Combining imaging and neuropsychological assessments can help children with mental disorders like depression. Gabrieli et al. (2016) performed a study in which he and his team of neuroscientists wanted to find ways to identify children who are at high risk for developing depression with a goal of seeing whether one could help those children prevent depression altogether. The study suggests that children with a high risk of depression have brain changes that can be identified on fMRI scans. This could possibly lead to new screening tests for depression, which can lead to earlier and better interventions (Gabrieli et al., 2016).

References:

Carlson, N.R. & Birkett, M.A. (2017). Physiology of Behavior (12th ed). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Gabrieli et al. (2016) Altered intrinsic functional brain architecture in children at familial risk of major depression. Biological Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/articl…

STUDENT TWO:

Today, since imaging techniques are available to provide localization, what role do neuropsychologists play in the research, assessment, and treatment of children and adolescents?

As we have noticed living today, technology has taken over. Things are literally at our fingertips. In the medical field some tests can be done, and results are given immediately. In my field alone as an adult Probation/Parole officer we have drug screens that we can dip into the urine versus having to send them off to the lab for results. Now we only send to the lab for confirmation. A neuropsychologist is one that studies the brain and behavior. Prior to the time imaging techniques came about, neuropsychologist had to use observation methods and monitor behavior. Now they can simply conduct an imaging test and are able to process how certain parts of the brain are reacting in different situations. This allows them to come up with the best treatment plan and put the plan into action.

Additionally, discuss how the various neuroimaging techniques are important for children with mental disorders and how imaging is used in conjunction with neuropsychological assessment.

In one type of test they cluster the main mental disorders according to the differential brain location of the imaging findings recently reported in children and adolescents’ reports (Mana, Paillere, Martinot & Martinot, 2010). Once the cross-sectional review was completed for child and adolescent mental disorders suggested that an overlap of brain locations allowing cluster to be diagnosed in affective, cognitive, and psychomotor phenomenology (Mana, Paillere, Martinot & Martinot, 2010). The MRI (magnetic reasonance imaging) is a very common imaging technique that is utilized. The MRI looks at the structure of the brain and is able to identify damage to the brain tissue. The functional magnetic reasonance imaging fMRI is similar in that it looks at the brain function. The fMRI looks at the brain while that individual is doing something. This gives the researcher a more in depth look to see if their brain is doing anything while the activity is going on. When signs of a mental disorder especially in a child, it is important for an assessment to be completed. Once this occurs the neuropsychologist wants to conduct on of the many neuroimaging techniques, one being the fMRI and a treatment plan is put in place. Ultimately the goal is success for the child even though a mental disorder is present. With so many different techniques including our society moving in a technology era, this is easier to do. I can only imagine where we go from here.

References

Brain imaging findings in children and adolescents with mental disorders: A cross-

sectional review Mana S., Paillere Martinot M.-L., Martinot J.-L.

(2010) European Psychiatry, 25 (6) , pp. 345-354.

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