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Chapter 2

PSY290: Biopsychology Textbook Chapter 2 Notes

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Junchul Kim

Chapter 2 Evolution Genetics and Experience 120117 436 PM Zeitgeist general intellectual climate of a cultureThinking about the Biology of Behavior From Dichotomies to Interactions Is it Physiological or is it PsychologicalCartesian Dualism philosophical position of Rene Descartes argued that universe is composed of two elements physical matter and the human mind Is it Inherited or Is It Learned Naturenurture issue debate about relative contributions of nature genes and nurture experience to the behavioral capacities of individualsNorth American experimenters focused on instinctive behaviors behaviors that occur in all like members of a species even if there seems to be no opportunity for them to have been learnedProblems with Thinking about the Biology of Behavior in Terms of Traditional DichotomiesPhysiological or psychological debateincorrect ways of thinkin about biology of behavior PhysiologicalorPsychological Thinking Runs into DifficultyCase of the Man Who Fell out of Bed Oliver Sacks 1985 o Patient suffered from asomatognosia deficiency in the awareness of parts of ones own body usually from damage to right parietal lobeo Did not recognize his leg as being his own o Although changes in selfawareness were complex clearly the result of brain damageThe Case of Chimps and the Mirrors o Organism is selfaware to extent that it can shown capable of becoming the object of its own attentiono Chimps achieved some level of selfawareness by examining themselves in mirrors o Even nonhumans that are assumed to have no mind are capable of considerable psychological complexity Nature or Nurture Thinking Runs into DifficultyEven if Nature or Nurture dichotomy turns into a question of how much of the phenomena was influenced by genes and how much was influenced by experience it is still flawed oBased on premise that genetic factors and experiential factors combine in an additive fashiono It is a relationship of interaction rather than addition Brief points on neural developmento 1 Neurons become active long before they are fully developed o 2 Subsequent course of their development depends greatly on their activityo 3 Experience continuously modifies genetic expressionModel of the Biology of BehaviorAll behavior is the product of interactions among 3 factors1 The organisms genetic endowment which is a product of its evolution2 Its experience3 Its perception of the current situation Human Evolution Darwin presented 3 kinds of evidence1 Documented evolution of fossil records through progressively recent geological layers2 Described striking structural similarities among living species3 Pointed to major changes brought about in plants and animals by selective breeding Last evidence is evolution of finches on Galapagos Islands after only one season of drought Natural Selection idea that heritable traits associated with high rates of survival and reproduction are preferentially passed on to future generations
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