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[PSYB64H3] - Midterm Exam Guide - Ultimate 34 pages long Study Guide!


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB64H3
Professor
Janelle Leboutillier
Study Guide
Midterm

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UTSC
PSYB64H3
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Chapter 1: Introducing Biological Psychology
“You only use 10 percent of your brain” is a myth—perhaps originating from Pierre Flourens’ work which
showed that animals could still perform many functions with large parts of their brains removed. This
may have led to the perception that all those parts really weren’t necessary after all
Other authors suggest that misquotes of statements made my Albert Einstein or William James
might be the original source of the myth
Some of the new techniques discussed in this chapter for imaging the brain show that separate parts of
the brain become more active during different tasks but that each has its particular role to play
It seems unlikely that we would bother to evolve structures that did not contribute directly to our
chances of survival
The human brain contains 5 percent of the body’s mass, but it consumes 20 percent of its glucose and
oxygen. It would be a waste to use only 10 percent of an organ that used so many resources
Finally, observations of patients with brain damage show that even small injuries, such as those caused
by a concussion, can have a detrimental effect on brain functioning
A person who experienced damage to 90 percent of the brain would likely be dead or, at a
minimum, unable to emerge from a coma
Biological Psychology as an Interdisciplinary Field
Biological psychology: the branch of psychology that studies the biological foundations of behaviour,
emotions, and mental processes (Pickett, 2000)
Researchers in biological psychology draw techniques and theories from psychology, biology,
physiology, biochemistry, the neurosciences, and related fields to identify the relationships between
the activity of the nervous system and observable behaviour
The relationship between biology and behaviour is circular. Biology influences behaviour, and vice
versa
High testosterone levels are associated with increased aggression. Here, biology seems to drive
behaviour. At the same time, watching your favourite sports team lose acts to lower your
testosterone. Here, behaviour drives biology
Historical Highlights in Biological Psychology
The brain and nervous system are the sources of intellect, reason, sensation, and movement. This
simple fact has not been universally accepted throughout human history
Archaeological evidence of brain surgery suggests that as long as 7,000 years ago, people tried to cure
others by drilling holes in the skull
Because some skulls have been located that show evidence of healing following the drilling procedure
(known as trephining or trepanation) we can assume that the patient lived through the procedure and
that this was not a postmortem ritual
What is less clear is the intent of such surgeries
Possibly, these early surgeons hopes to release demons or relieve feelings of pressure
Based on Egyptian texts believed to be at least 5,000 years old, the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus
represents the oldest known medical writing in history
In general, the Egyptians did not seem to view the brain as an important structure
During mummification, the brain was removed through the nostrils and replaced with rosin
Nonetheless, the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus contains a number of rather modern-sounding
observations regarding the structure and function of the brain
The original author discussed the membranes covering the brain, or meninges
The convolutions of the cerebral cortex were quite accurately compared to the “corrugations which form
molten copper.”
The author clearly understood that paralysis and lack of sensation in the body resulted from
nervous system damage
Cases of nervous system damage were usually classified as “an ailment not to be treated”,
indicating the author’s understanding the relatively permanent damage involved
The Greek scholars of the fourth century B.C. proposed that the brain was the organ of sensation
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Hippocrates (460–379 B.C.) went further by suggesting that the brain was also the source of
intelligence
He correctly identified epilepsy as originating in the brain, although the most obvious outward signs
of the disorder were muscular convulsions
Aristotle however believed that the heart was the source of intellect
Herophilus (referred to as the father of anatomy) believed that the ventricles, which are the fluid-filled
cavities in the brain, were the source of intellect
Galen, a Greek physician serving the Roman Empire, made careful dissections of animals
One of his errors influenced thinking for nearly 1,500 years
Galen believed that the ventricles played an important role in transmitting messages to and from
the brain. Fluid flowing within the ventricles were believed to be continuous with fluids in the nerves
This notion of the nervous system as a network of fluid-filled, interconnected tubes and chambers
persisted until nearly modern times
Descartes supported Galen’s ideas and created a model for how the human body should work
When nerves sensed heat or pain, they opened “pores” in the brain. These pores in turn released
animal spirits that circulated through hollow tubes in the body. Reservoirs in the muscles would fill
with these spirits, causing the body to pull away from the fire
Descartes is also notable for his support of mind-body dualism
Mind-body dualism: a philosophical perspective in which the body is mechanistic, whereas the
mind is separate and nonphysical
This mind part separated humans from animals
In contrast, the modern neurosciences, including biological psychology, are based on monism
Monism: a philosophical perspective characteristic of the neurosciences in which the mind is
viewed as the product of activity in the brain and nervous system
The monism perspective proposes that the mind is the result of activity in the brain, which can be
studied scientifically
Between 1500 and 1800, scientists made considerable progress in describing the structure and function
of the nervous system
The advent of microscopes, beginning with the work of Anton van Leeuwenhoek in 1674, opened up a
whole new level of analysis and understanding
With a better understanding of electricity, thanks to observers such as Benjamin Franklin, the Galen-
Descartes notion of control via the movements of fluids was discarded
Work by Luigi Galvani and Emil du Bois-Reymond established electricity as the mode of communication
used by the nervous system
Galvani was known to entertain his dinner guests with visits to his basement frog laboratory
Although it was now understood that electrical signals transmitted information to and from the brain,
other questions remained
Did these messages share a single pathway, like a two-way street?
Scientists knew that when a peripheral nerve in an arm or a leg was damaged, both sensation
and movement were affected
On the other hand, these peripheral nerves were known to be quite complex, containing many
separate nerve fibers
Could sensation and movement have their own designated routes, or one-way streets?
The answer was independently provided by British physiologist Charles Bell (1774–1842) and
French physiologist François Magendie (1783–1855)
Transmission of information along nerves is typically a one-way street
Resourceful scientists applied dyes designed to stain cloth and chemicals used in photography to nerve
tissue and discovered a new world under the microscope
Many scientists, including Italian researcher Camillo Golgi, continued to support the concept of the
nervous system as a vast, interconnected network of continuous fibers
Others, including the Spanish anatomist Santiago Ramón y Cajal, argued that the nervous system
was composed of an array of separate, independent cells—Cajal’s concept came to be known as
the Neuron Doctrine
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