PSY1Brain and Behaviour Essay Writing
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Question Task Id: 0
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What is the evidence that faces are special?
To address this question, you will need to present evidence that faces are processed uniquely compared to other visual stimuli and discuss which brain regions are involved. This evidence might include:
- Neuropsychological studies (e.g., are there neurological syndromes that selectively disrupt a person's ability to recognize faces? Which brain regions are involved?)
- Behavioral studies (e.g., are there any behavioral paradigms that show faces are processed differently to other objects?)
- Neuroimaging studies (e.g., are there neuroimaging (i.e., functional magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography etc.) results that show functional specificity for any brain areas when processing faces?
Given that humans are highly social creatures, it makes evolutionary sense that faces might be processed in a unique and preferential way. We are asking you to consider the scientific evidence and make an argument that faces are or are not a special class of visual stimulus.
Some tips for writing your essay
The introduction needs to set the context of the essay, explain why the topic is important, and state the thesis (contention) in one or two paragraphs.
- Provide a general orientation to the topic and its importance. Ask yourself, why might faces be considered a special type of stimulus? In what circumstances is being able to recognize faces efficiently important?
- Define key terms. Some terms can mean slightly different things depending on the context, so it will be important that you define what you mean here. The same can be said for other terms you will likely use. When you write essays, you want to ensure the reader can follow along with what you're saying and being clear with your definitions is an important part of that.
- State the aim of the essay
- Explain what information about the nature of face perception is gained by examining neuropsychological, behavioral, and neuroimaging studies.
- Describe what types of evidence you are going to present (I.e., a road map/signpost). Your Introduction should finish by telling the reader where the essay is going.
The middle section, made up of 3-4 paragraphs of about 150-250 words each, is where you provide the evidence for your argument. The purpose is to build points, develop ideas, and support the main contention. Each paragraph should treat one line of evidence (e.g., neuropsychological studies) and will need to include:
- • A topic sentence to succinctly orient the reader to what the paragraph will be about
- Description and evaluation of two or more experimental research studies
- In-text citations to acknowledge sources of evidence
- Finish with an explanation/linking sentence
Use the paragraph as a unit of composition, where the topic sentence defines the content and the evidence you describe builds the point you're making.
In a single paragraph, concisely summarize your own argument and present an overall conclusion that answers the essay question.
- Restate the aim of the essay and summarize the content briefly (what evidence did you present?)
- How strong is the evidence and what is your conclusion: are faces special?