Most Effective Research Concerning Brain Localization

What methods were use to conduct research concerning the localization of behavior/brain relationships? Which method do you feel is most effective? Why?

I was particularly interested in Lashley’s research into lesions of rat brains. I did not find this in our textbook. I was doing research for the team presentation and found this pic on:

Brain Image
Brain Image

Now Lashley was trying to determine the localization of behavior through lesions of the brain. He would cut certain sections of the brain, as illustrated, and observe the effects. Now of course animals do not have the over-developed cerebral cortex, etc… that humans possess. Therefore, these studies fall short of actually studying advanced cognition. I could not conceive of a situation in which lesion studies of human subjects could ever be ethical, but they would certainly shed new light on the localization of behavior in the brain. I know that frontal lobotomies have taken place as a way to relieve advanced psychosis, and their results are quite revealing. But the only way to determine a micro rather than the macro-level of localization would be to lesion human brains just as Lashley did to rat brains. Then we could do a much better job of isolating neural pathways and the like. Again, completely unethical, but an honest answer. 


Goodwin, C. J. (2005). A history of modern psychology (2 nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.


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