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Week One

by: Emma Notetaker

Week One NSCI 4510

Emma Notetaker
GPA 3.975
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About this Document

These notes cover what we went over the first week of class.
Biological Psychology
Dr. Colombo
Class Notes




Popular in Biological Psychology

Popular in Neuroscience

This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emma Notetaker on Friday January 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to NSCI 4510 at Tulane University taught by Dr. Colombo in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 82 views. For similar materials see Biological Psychology in Neuroscience at Tulane University.


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Date Created: 01/15/16
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 Chapter 1 What is Biological Psychology? • biological psychology: biological bases of psychological processes and behavior (aka behavioral neuroscience) • neuroscience: study of the nervous system • brain produces behavior • behavior shapes brain (structurally - thinking about one thing over and over again creates network circuitry) 5 viewpoints • 1. describing behavior • can be described by different criteria (detailed acts OR results OR functions) • structural • functional • 2. studying evolution of behavior • comparing species to learn evolution 2 emphases: • • 1. continuity of behavior and biological processes due to common ancestry • 2. species-specific differences in behavior that evolved as adaptions • nature is conservative (conserved features from common ancestor) • 3. development of behavior and biological characteristics over lifespan • ontogeny: process by which individual changes in the course of its lifetime (aging process) • 4. biological mechanisms of behavior • underlie all behavior • regard organism as machine • 5. applications of biological psych (to human problems) • improving human condition (curing diseases, etc.) • each perspective can be applied to kinds of behavior (ex: sexual, learning/memory, and language/communication) 3 Approaches Relate Brain and Behavior • 1. somatic intervention most common • • alter structure or function to see how behavior will change • behavior is dependent outcome, body is independent variable • ex: administer hormones, stimulate brain region, cut connections • 2. behavioral intervention • intervention in behavior looking for resulting changes in the body structure or function • behavior is independent variable, body is dependent outcome ex: put male in presence of female, present visual stimulus, give training • • 3. correlation • finding the extent to which a given body measure varies with given behavioral measure • measuring both behavior and body 1 Tuesday, January 12, 2016 • no independent or dependent variables Neuroplasticity: Behavior can Change the Brain • neuroplasticity: ability to be changed by the environment and experience • other people can influence the physical structure of the brain (socially) • biological and social factors interact and affect each other continuously Levels of Analysis: scope of experimental approaches • reductionism: breaking system down into increasingly smaller parts in order to understand it levels (higher to lower) • • social • organ • neural system • brain region • circuit • cellular • synaptic • molecular • can be similar at lower levels without being the same at higher levels • approaches of study are different for each level History of Brain Research • used to believe mental capacities in the heart • Descartes related mind to body - pineal gland • dualism: notion that mind is subject to only spiritual interactions while body is subject only to material interactions • phrenolgy: bumps on the skull reflect enlargements of brain regions responsible for certain behavior • modern biopsych arose in 20th century • consciousness: state of awareness • very misunderstood 2


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