Chapter 1 – Biopsychology as a Neuroscience
1.1 What Is Biopsychology?
The scientific study of the biology of behaviour – psychobiology, behavioural
biology, or behavioural neuroscience – biological approach to studying psych.
Developed into neuroscience in the 20 century – Hebb = first comp. theory.
1.2 Relationship Between Biopsychology & Other Neurosciences
Neuroscience is a team effort, biopsychologist are neuroscientists who bring
to their research a knowledge of behaviour and of the methods of
Neuroanatomy: Study of the structure of the nervous system.
Neurochemistry: Study of the chemical bases of neural activity.
Neuroendocrinology: Study of the interactions between the nervous &
Neuropathy: Study of the nervous system disorders.
Neuropharmacology: Study of the effects of drugs on neural activity.
Neurophysiology: Study of the functions & activities of the nervous system.
1.3 Research that Characterizes Biopsychological Approach
Human & Non-Human Subjects
Rats are most common, also cats, mice, dogs and primates. Humans have
several advantages over non-humans: 1) They can follow instructions, 2) Can
report their subjective experiences, 3) Cheaper.
Human brains are more quantitative than qualitative – major differences in
their overall size and extent of cortical development.
Nonhuman advantages: 1) brains & behaviour are simpler, 2) comparative
approach: study of biological processes by comparing different species, 3)
more lenient ethics.
Experiments & Non-Experiments
Experiment: The method used to study causation – what causes what?
Between-subjects-design: different group of sbjects is tested under each
Within-subjects-design: test the same group of subjects under each condition.
IV: The difference between the conditions.
DV: Variable measured to assess the effect of the independent variable.
Confounded Variable: Unintended difference
Coolidge Effect: If a male is having sex with one partner and then it stops,
often begins having sex with a new partner.
Quasiexperimental Studies: Studies of groups of subjects who have been
exposed to the conditions of interest in the real world.
Case Studies: Studies that focus on a single case or subject – generalizability