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Lecture 1

PSYC 2P35 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Pineal Gland, Ontogeny, Behaviorism

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Dawn Good

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PSYC 2P35 Lecture 1
Brain and behaviour is the study of physiological (primary), ontogenetic (developmental),
evolutionary, and functional; explanations of behaviour and experience
-with the emphasis on the study of areas and sub areas of the brain
-brain and brain changes affect behavior; but brain changes and behavior affect brain too
Physiological: relates a behavior to the activity of the brain and other organs (nervous system,
Ex. increased testosterone levels cause an area of the brain to increase in size and is
enlarged in
breeding males …area of the brain enables bird to sing
Ontogenetic: describes the development of the structure or behavior; focuses on the genes that
prepare for a behavior, and the early experience during sensitive/developmental periods
Ex. why genes and environment are both necessary for bird to sing; to produce the
song, the bird has the genes to sing and then must hear the appropriate song during
particular point/sensitive period in development
Evolutionarily: examines a structure or a behavior in terms of evolutionary history; the selection
of traits in terms of their adaptive value to the organism
Ex. 2 different species of birds with similar songs have same ancestor; there are species
songs are there are similar songs/song patterns amongst different species (and
from others) indicating possible common ancestor (might predict future behavior)
Functional: describes why a structure or behavior evolved as it did; describes the advantages
conferred by each trait
Ex. singing improves birds chances of mating; song attracts females and deters
from other males
*Human behaviour is also subject to biological explanation
Into to the Neuron (Most basic unit = the neuron)
The Nervous System
-CNS (Central Nervous System): comprised of the brain and spinal cord; encased within the
skull and spinal column; brain tells the body something
-(PNS) Peripheral Nervous System: comprised of nerve tissue located outside of the brain and
spinal cord; digestive system; takes info back to the brain (ex. pain in the leg)..may release
endorphins to numb the pain
-about 100 billion neurons and glial cells
-Neurons: receive and transmit info to other cells, 10s of 100s of connections
-Glia*: don’t transmit info over long distances, but perform several other tasks (but some do
have widespread influences)
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