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PSY100H1 (1,831)
Chapter 1


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Le Boutillier, Janelle

PSYB64Chapter 1 Introducing Biological Psychology Biological Psychology as an Interdisciplinary FieldBiological psychology is the branch of psychology that studies the biological foundations of behavior emotions and mental processesRelationship between biology and behavior is circular Just as our biology can influences our behavior so does our behavior influences our biology o High levels of testosterone are associated with increased aggression biology driving behavior o Watching a favorite sports team lose lowers testosterone levels behavior drives biologyHistorical Highlights in Biological PsychologyArcheological evidence of brain surgery suggests that many years ago people tried to cure others by drilling holes in the skull trephining or trepanation with the hope to release demons or relieve feelings of pressureEdwin Smith Surgical Papyrus is the Egyptian text which is the oldest known medical writing in history o The Egyptians didnt think the brain is important so they would remove it through the nostrils during mummificationThe Greek scholars thought the brain as an organ of sensation o Hippocrates suggested that it was the source of intelligence o Aristotle believed the heart was the source of intellect whereas Herophilus father of anatomy believed that the ventricles played this important role of intellectGalen believed that the ventricles played an important role in transmitting messages to and from the braino Fluids flowing within the ventricles were believed to be continuous with fluids in the nerves This persisted until the modern timesGalen got his ideas from Descartes who was impressed by the hydraulic statues and he used those to model for how the human body should work o Simple withdrawal reflex when nerves sense heat or pain they open pores in the brain and these pores release animal spirits that circulated through hollow tubes in the body Reservoirs in the muscles would fill with these spirits causing the foot to pull away from the fireDescartes is also notable for his support of the mindbody dualism o According to Descartes the bodies of both humans and animals work mechanically o Descartes believed that humans had special capacities that they did not share with other animals and that these were contained in the mind o For Descartes the mind was neither physical nor accessible to study through scienceModern sciences are based on monism rather than dualism o Monism perspective proposes that the mind is the result of activity in the brain which can be studied scientifically The invention of microscopes Leeuwenhoek opened many doors for researchWith better understanding of electricity Benjamin Franklin the GalenDescartes notion of control through the movement of fluids was discardedGalvani connected wires from a rooftop antenna to the legs of frogs and electrical disturbances in passing clouds would make the frogs twitch in unison
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