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Psychology 2220A/B Midterm: Psych 2220A/B - Midterm 1 Study Notes (Ch. 1-6)

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Psychology 2220A/B
Yves Bureau

Chapter 1: What Is Biopsychology? Four Major Themes 1. Thinking Creatively: thinking in productive, unconventional ways (think outside the box.); Based on evidence, rather than widely accepted views 2. Clinical Implications: pertaining to illness or treatment; Study of diseased or damaged brains leads to new knowledge; New knowledge leads to new treatments. 3. The Evolutionary Perspective: Consideration of environmental pressures on human evolution (May use a comparative approach) 4. Neuroplasticity: brain is plastic (changeable, not static) organ, continuously growing changing in response to the individuals genes and experiences What Is Biopsychology? Biopsychology: scientific study of the biology of behaviour (emerged as a discipline in the late 1940s); attempts to understand how brain interacts with the environment to produce behaviours that keeps us safe so that we may pass on the genetic material within us Hebb (1949) proposed that psychological phenomena might be produced by brain activity. o Helped discredit the notion that psychological functions were too complex to be derived from physiological activities; major contributor to understanding how neurons changed during the formation of memories. o Proposed that connections between neurons changed resulting in a different (altered) or preferred firing patterns. This produced a memory (engram). Think of it as trying different routes to get to class but then adopting a preferred one as the path becomes worn in. Biopsychology and Other Disciplines of Neuroscience Each discipline studies a different aspect of the nervous system (which informs our understanding of what produces and controls behavior) Other Disciplines of Neuroscience Neuroanatomy: Structure of the nervous system Neurochemistry: Chemical bases of neural activity Neuroendocrinology: Interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine system Neuropathology: Nervous system disorders Neuropharmacology: Effects of drugs on neural activity Neurophysiology: Functions and activities of the nervous system Biopsychological Research: Human and Nonhuman Subjects Species differences are often more quantitative than qualitative Why use nonhumans (3 advantages)? Simpler brains make it more likely that brainbehavior interactions will be revealed; Comparative approach: study of biological processes by comparing different species; Fewer ethical restrictions Although nonhuman research also requires extensive ethical oversight Why use humans? They can follow instructions make subjective reports Experiments and Nonexperiments Experiments involve the manipulation of variables In nonexperiments, the researcher does not control the variables of interest (random assignment is the key to equally distributing confounds so that if a significant effect is observed the investigator can claim that the manipulation is the cause) Betweensubjects design: Different group of subjects tested under each condition Withinsubjects design: Same group of subjects tested under each condition
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