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Chapter 1

Biological psychology *biological basis of behaviour) chapter 1

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PSYC 2240
Neil Weiner

Biological Basis of Behaviour Chapter 1: The Major Issues 1.1 The Mind-Brian Relationship - Biological psyc is the study of psychological, evolutionary and development mechanisms of behaviour and experience - BP is a way to understand behaviour in terms of how it evolved and how the functioning of the brain and other organs control behaviour. - Comsology: the branch of physics that asks why the universe exists at all 2 types of cells 1. Neurons: convey msgs to one another and to muscles and glands. ( large in size,fn, and shape) 2. Glia: smaller than the neurons and have many functions but do convey info over great distances. Biological Explanations of Behaviour - Biological explanations of behaviour go into four categories: physiological, ontogenetic, evolutionary, and functional explanation. 1. Physiological explanation: relates a behaviour to the activity of the brain and other organs, deals with the machinery of the body. 2. Ontogenetic explanation: describes a structure or behaviour develops, including the influence of genes, nutrition, experiences and their interaction. 3. Evolutionary explanation : reconstructs the evolutionary history of a structure or behaviour, states what evolved from what. 4. Functional explanation: describes ‘why’ a structure/behaviour evolved the way it did. The Brain and the Conscious Mind - Biological explanations of behaviour raise the ‘mind-body’ or ‘mind-brain’ problem. - Dualism: the belief that mind and body are different kinds of substance that exist independently. - French Philosopher Rene Descrates defended dualism. He proposed that mind and brain interact at a single point in space, which he suggested was the pineal gland. - Monism: the belief that the universe consists of only one kind of substance, such as materalism, mentalism, and identity position. 1. Materalism : the view that everything that exists is material or physical.\ 2. Mentalism: The view that only the mind exists and that the physical world could not exist unless the mind was aware of it. 3. Identity position: the view that mental process and certain kinds of brain processes are the same thing, described in different words. 1.1 in Closing - Biological psychologist try to answer 4 types of questions about any given behaviour. 1. Physiological: how does it relate to the physiology of the brain and other organs? 2. Ontogenetic: how does it develop w/I the individual? 3. Evolutionary: how did the capacity for the behaviour evolve ? 4. Functional: Why did the capacity for the behaviour evolve? - Biological explanations of behaviour do not necessarily assume that the individual understands the purpose or function of the behaviour. - Philosophers and scientists continue to address the mind-brain relationship. Dualism, the view that the mind exists separately from the brain is opposed by the principle that only matter and energy can affect other matter and energy. - Nearly all philosophers and scientists who have addressed the mind-brain problem favor some version of monism, the belief that the universe consists of only one kind of substance. 1.2 The Genetics of Behaviour Mendelian Genetics - Gregor Mendel explains inheritance through the process of genes. - Know the basics of words such as chromosomes and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), homogeneous (identical chromosome), heterogeneous( different chromosomes), dominant and recessive genes. - A strand of a DNA acts as a template for RNA ( ribonucleic acid) which is single stranded. RNA can serve for protein synthesis and enzymes. Sex Linked and Sex Limited Genes - The genes located on the sex chromosome are known as sex linked gene. There is X and Y, Females have 2 X and males have X and Y. - Sex-limited genes which are present in both sexes, generally on autosomal but actively mainly in one sex. - A sex-linked gene is on a sex chromosome (usually X chromosome). A sex- limited gene could be on any chromosome, but it is activated by sex hormones and therefore shows its effects only in one sex or the other. Heredity and Environment - To determine the contribution of heredity and environment, researchers rely on 2 kinds of evidence: 1. Monozygotic (from one egg) twins or Dizygotic (from 2 eggs twin) 2. Adopted children study. - In some cases. They identity specific genes that are more common in people w/ one type of behaviour than another. Possible Complications - Humans are difficult research animals because researchers cannot ppl’s heredity or environment. - It is difficult to distinguish b/w heredity and parental influences. - Multiplier effect: If genet
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