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Chapter 1

Chapter 1- What is Biopsychology.docx

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Queen's University
PSYC 271
Monica Valsangkar- Smyth

Chapter 1 – What is Biopsychology? 4 Major Themes - Thinking Creatively - overcome the restrictive effects of conventional thinking and taken new approaches - Clinical Implications - much of what biopsychologists learn about functioning of the normal brain comes from studying the diseased or damaged brain - Evolutionary Perspective - why animals behave the way they do - examine mental pressures that likely led to the evolution of our brain and behaviour - important component is the comparative approach (trying to understand biological phenomena by comparing them in different species) - Neuroplasticity - brain adapts and changes 1.1 What is Biopsychology? - the ultimate function of the nervous system is behaviour - how does the brain let us do things - study how the brain and the rest of the nervous system determine what we perceive, feel, think, say, and do - this may be the ultimate challenge for the human brain…does our brain have the capacity to understand something as complex as itself - there will never be a true unified definition of the brain - The Organization of Behaviour in 1949 by D.O. Hebb played a key role in its emergence - developed the first comprehensive theory of how complex psychological phenomena might be produced by brain activity 1.2 What is the Relation between Biopsychology and the Other Disciplines of Neuroscience? - biopsychology is an integrative discipline - draw together knowledge from other neuroscientific disciplines - neuroanatomy – the study of the structure of the nervous system - neurochemistry – the study of the chemical bases of neural activity - neuroendocrinology – the study of interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine system - neuropathology – the study of nervous system of disorders - neuropharmacology – the study of the effects of drugs on neural activity - neurophysiology – the study of the functions and activities of the nervous system 1.3 What Types of Research Characterize the Biopsychological Approach? - three dimensions - subjects - humans - can follow instructions - can report subjective experiences - cheaper to work with - have human brain - nonhumans - simple brains = brain-behaviour interactions be revealed - insights arise from comparative approach (compare with other species) - there are fewer ethical restrictions - differences between nonhuman and human are more quantitative than qualitative - methods - experiments - used to determine cause-and-effect relationships - between - different group of subject is tested under each variation - within - all groups exposed to the different tests - nonexperiments - quasiexperimental studies - studies of groups of subjects exposed to conditions in the real world - not real experiments as potential confounded variables have not been controlled - too many factors can’t be controlled - case studies - focus on a single case or subject - usually more in-depth than other approaches - good source of testable hypotheses - major problem is generalizability; the degree to which results can be applied to other cases - types of research - pure - conducted for the purpose of acquiring knowledge - applied - intended to bring about some direct benefit to human kind - many research projects have elements of both approaches 1.4 What Are the Divisions of Biopsychology? - physiological psychology – neural mechanism of behaviour through direct manipulation of the brain - psychopharmacology – manipulation of neural activity and behaviour with drugs - neuropsychology – psychological effects of brai
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