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Chapter 1

PSY290 Chapter 1 NOTES.docx

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John Yeomans

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Chapter 1 The human brain is an intricate network of neurons Jimmie G. - amnesiac -unable of creating a new neural connections (new memories/new information) with excellent cognitive, motor, and sensory abilities of his past. Major themes:  Thinking creatively about Biopsychology - thinking outside the box; base thinking on evidence instead of widely accepted views  Clinical implications - Biopsychology makes discoveries of the normal brain based on the functioning of an abnormal brain; Much of what is discovered is linked to treating damaged brains  Evolutionary perspectives - much of what is learned about us is learned from examining species that are closely related to us in evolution  Neuroplasticity - the brain is not a large wired circuit. It is highly changeable it grows and changes based on environment and experiences. The major goal of the nervous system is to produce and control behaviour. Biopsychological research can be on human or nonhuman subjects; can be either pure or applied; or can be in the form of formal experiments or no experimental studies Human brains differ from other mammals in their size and cortical developments (qualitative and quantitative) Non-human brains are more simple (more likely to reveal fundamental brain-behaviour interactions) and frequently insights come from using the comparative approach (comparing a subject without a cerebral cortex can give insight into the functions of the cerebral cortex). Also it is possible to conduct experiments that for ethical reasons would not be allowed to be conducted on human subjects  Experiments vs. non experiments - o Experiments used to study causation; I creating 2 or more conditions for the subject group(s) to be tested; measures outcome of subjects within conditions so that there is only 1 relative difference between the groups (independent variable) Coolidge effect - a copulating male that is no longer able to copulate with one sex partner can be able to copulate with a different female  while trying to determine whether the cool ridge effect is applicable to female subjects as well several confounds were found; they were unable to distinguish whether if a new sex partner being introduced tithe female displays a legitimate cool ridge effect male mammals fatigue quicker than females/ the female may be matching the increased vigor of the new partner. They isolated the variable of renewed vigor by introducing a third male into the equation and tracing the lordosis posture the female specimen portrayed in the third round Quasiexperimental studies- using subjects that have been exposed to the conditions of interest in the real world (subjecting the specimen through scientific process is not possible due to ethical and physical impediments) these are not true experiments it is impossible to determine what other confounds may be acting on the specimen because they are not in an isolated group. (Ex. People that have suffered from brain damage from accidents, alcoholics, etc.) Case studies - focus on a single case or subject usually provide more in-depth pictures; and good source for a testable hypotheses but because of generalizability these are only subjective. Results to one case study may not be applicable in another case (due to differing in brain function and behaviour  Pure research - motivated primarily by the curiosity of the researcher- for acquiring knowledge- more vulnerable to political regulation due to funding  Applied research - intended to create some direct benefit to human kind Divisions of Biopsychology Physiological psychology - uses controlled experiments to study the neural mechanisms of behaviour and thought; surgical and electrical methods of brain manipulation is comma and subjects are always animals- pure research Psychopharmacology - focuses on the manipulation of neural activity and behaviour with drugs (the effects of drugs on the brain); animal and human subjects are used; applied research Neuropsychology - the psychological effects of brain damage in humans; case studies and quasiexperimental methods are used; applied research Psychophysiology- studies the relation between physiological activity and psychological process in human subjects; understanding physiology of psychological process (attention; memory; emotion; information processing) noninvasive procedures (EEG; muscle tension/eye movement indicate autonomic nervous system activity); Cognitive neuroscience - study the neural bases of cognition; human subjects; noninvasive procedures (functional brain imaging) Comparative Psychology - the biology of behaviour; compare the behaviour of different species to understand; evolution, adaptation, and genetics of behaviour  Ethological research - study of animal behaviour in their natural environment  Evolutionary psychology- understanding behaviour by st
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