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Chapter 1- Intro to Biopsych .docx

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Psychology 2221B
Derek Quinlan

Introducthon to Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience May 13 - Chapter 1 What is Biopsychology anyways? - Explain behaviours of animals by their physiology 4 Major Themes  1. Thinking creatively about biopsychology o Base thinking on the evidence presented o But also ―think outside the box‖  2. Clinical implications o Study of diseased or damaged brains leads to new knowledge o New knowledge leads to new treatments  3. The evolutionary perspective- big* one-way of looking at how we believe the way we are. Animals function very similar to us o To study animals helps us figure out humans - we function very similarly o Consideration of environmental pressures on human evolution o May use a comparative approach- compare physiology o Ex: of the horseshoe crab tells us stuff about the human retina  4. Neuroplasticity o The brain is plastic, not static, brain is always changing o Massive change in the early yrs. of life- of growth and neural pruning o How brain changes in adult life as well o We used to think that when we hit adult life- brain is set in stone, but that’s false it is ALWAYS changing. o Creating new neurons  What is Biopsychology?  ―The scientific study of the biology of behavior (psychology)‖  Explain human behavior through physiology  Psychology: the scientific study of behavior  Also called psychobiology, behavioral biology, behavioral neuroscience  Biopsychology emerged as a discipline in the late 1940s combination of the two. Back in Ancient Greece, people knew that they were tied together.  Hebb (1949) proposed that psychological phenomena might be produced by brain activity Big person in this area, he said that the physiology of the NS can do much more than we originally thought- it can create emotion, imagination, etc..  Hebb’s work helped discredit the notion that psychological functions were too complex to be derived from physiological activities Biopsychology and Other Disciplines of Neuroscience  Biopsychology utilizes the knowledge and tools of other disciplines of neuroscience  Each discipline studies a different aspect of the nervous system that informs our understanding of what produces and controls behavior, going to have people working with cells. Put electrodes into tissues to record neurons.  Using psychology to explain the biological phenomenon  Neuroanatomy o Structure of the nervous system o Taking a piece of spinal cord, and looking at the neurons and dendrites, how is it hook together?  Neurochemistry o Chemical bases of neural activity o How do those bits and pieces talk to each other? How does it take the electricity and send it to another cell. (Neurotransmitters)  Neuroendocrinology o Interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine system o Endocrine system- looking at effects of hormones  Neuropathology o Nervous system disorders  Neuropharmacology o Effects of drugs on neural activity o How pharmalogical agents effect neural activity o Someone is depressed, one of the causes are low level of serotonin- we have many SSRI, that help elevate serotonin level at the synapse  Neurophysiology o Functions and activities of the nervous system o Reflex function Research Human and nonhuman subjects  Were interested in humans, and there is a lot we don’t know but, we have millions of questions to answer but hard to get at. Many questions that we have we can’t use humans as subjects to get the answers.  FAS- fetal alcohol syndrome- if they inject an amount of alcohol during pregnancy, more likely the child will get FAS, but we don’t know about causation only correlations.  But if we want a causation o show what is happening- we use non human subjects  Doing studies, on rats cats, mice, dogs, monkeys - allows us to conduct and manipulate a variable o Whether we are looking at animals that are close to us genetically, or not, while we are very much different we are very much the same, cells and neurons are wired up the same. o No qualitative difference. o Cheaper to use humans, because for animals you have to pay for housing and feeding, and teaching an experiment to an animal.  Many questions about the biology of behavior are addressed using human subjects  However, much can be learned from studying the brains of other species  Species differences are often more quantitative than qualitative  Why use non-humans? o Simpler brains makes it more likely that brain-behavior interactions will be revealed o Comparative approach – gain insight by making comparisons with other species o Fewer ethical restrictions for nonhumans than with humans  Although nonhuman research also requires extensive ethical oversight  Ex** with the cats, raising them in a vertical lines world, but then 3 months later, and put him in the world and the cats couldn’t perceive horizontal lines  But we want to usually use humans*** - to an extent to what we can ethically do and not do.  Why use humans? o They can follow instructions o They make subjective reports o They are often cheaper to work with 2) Experiments and nonexperiments - Some things we cant do to humans- like lesions sections of brains. But we can take people that don’t have, ex, someone with hippocampal damage. And conduct a quasi paradigm.  Experiments involve the manipulation of variables  In nonexperiments, the researcher does not control the variables of interest o Quasiexperimental studies alcohol consumption, take 1000 London women and give them a questionnaire after delivery about drinking and we can’t try drawing correlation. o Case studies- Pinneus Cage* learn a lot about how the avg person works from case studies.  Experiments involving living subjects require that subjects be placed in various conditions, want to manipulate something. o Between-subjects design: Different group of subjects tested under each condition o Within-subjects design: Same group of subjects tested under each condition o Ex: Weight loss- half of student have access to anything in the food court but other half can only in restricted diet area (healthy) and end of yr. you measure how you do, and compare two groups and see the effect that manipulation has (diet) that’s a between subject *** different from within is testing same people twice (within)  The difference between the conditions is the independent variable  The effect of the independent variable is the dependent variable  A confounded variable is a variable that affects the dependent variable but is not controlled for. - Something’s will sneak in there that will cause an effect, that if you werent thinking about it can cause the results from going one way or another.  Control of confounded variables example: the Coolidge effect if you have mating animals, that when a male becomes sexual fatigue, if you bring in a new female, he will react, and get horny right away doesn’t seem to be tired anymore, then afterwa
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