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What is Biopsychology?
The scientific study of the biology of behavior
- our behavior also influences
- our biology/ physiology (different things we do changes the way our brain
What is Neuroscience and how is it related to Psychology?
structure, functions of the nervous system
Related to psychology in the aspect of behavior
Biological Psychology Divisions
- Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Comparative Psychology
oldest division and traditional area of biological psychology
- (definition): Manipulate nervous system in controlled setting (laboratory
- setting); usually uses animal subjects. (ex. Putting in a drug or chemical that
- changes the nervous system)
Behavior and drugs
- Effects of drugs on behavior;
- Animal & human subjects
Investigates the effects of brain damage on human behavior
(investigates what part of the brain is damage and how it changes behavior)
Relationship between physiology & behavior; usually
(measuring the physiology not manipulating—ex. Measure your heart rate or brain activity by your EEG or how your eyes move when making a decision)
Neural basis of complex cognitive processes
human participants & nonhuman primates
(decision making—This is actually the newest area where people are trying to understand the human brain and how it is related to the specific brain regions to cognitive develop)
Lookinto evolutionary & genetic factors in behavior
both animal and human subjects
(Comparative= compare human behaviors to animals like fear or speech etc.)
verbal response/ capacity
less money and labor intensive to work with them
how the human brain works
subjective experience/responses (how they are feeling)
Animal/ Non Human subjects
brain functions are simpler
faster development (life span of a rat is two years)
can watch them and control their environment (you know more about their background and they’re easier to control)
- manipulate variables and see the outcomes based on
- that variable. (Randomly assign the placebo and the active drug)
Problem- they’re unethical
- Wouldn’t be ethical, so you find subjects who
- have preexisting variable. (Pregnant women who smoked cocaine-can’t get women to sniff it so find people who already chose to sniff cocaine during pregnancy)
Problem- preexisting experience cannot be manipulated
measuring variables to see if there is a relationship between the variables. (measure how hormone levels change with stress and see how they are related)
Problem- missing cause and effect--data very limited (the stress could cause high level of hormones or high level of hormones causes stress or a third variable that is causing the level of stress and hormones to be high).
look at a small group of patients in a very in depth look. You have a lot of information with the limited amount of peopleà usually two people.
Problem- such a small group you can’t generalize.
(“basic science”) motivated by curiosity of a researcher. Trying to understand stuff about how the world works designing a study to fill that gap of knowledge
(“translational research”) people want to translate. Try to design a study to solve a human problem. (non human primates or understand human memory).
- The conclusions that we draw might not be accurate- the way we should draw conclusions is by pulling the type of
- subjects, the type of study, and the focus to see where the overlap forms and to better understand how the world works.
- The use of animals is okay but only under
- certain conditions. Research can be done- it has to be meaningful goals- any discomfort is minimized.
Animal Welfare Act
Series of federal regulations that mandate how researches can use animals in their research. Standards for housing, handling, care.
Every institution that uses animals- there needs to be a committee to over look the proposals of the use of animals.
They also inspect the laboratories where researchers are using animals.
(gulls, chicks, dogs)
Behavior modification principles; treatment of phobias
- Model of depression; optimism/resilience; importance of prediction & controlà ways to leading less
- of depression
- Protection from chemotherapy- related taste
- One trial learning- eat once- sick once- never
- tried it again
Gall, Spurzheim (1800s)
idea was that each area of the cortex has a specific function. Had maps where each area of function is located.
Phrenology: cortical areas increase in size when used, create bump on skull. (Problem- Thebrain does not increase in size like muscles and they do not push a bump on theskull) People thought that by feeling the bumps on a person’s head they couldtell about their personality.
Aggregate field theory
mental functions are not localized (worked with birds)
He would damage some parts of the brain of the bird and see how they recovered. He proved localizationalists are wrongs that they are not localized.
Cellular Connectionism Theory
Broca (1860s), Wernicke (1870s)
basic mental functions are localized (productions of speech, understanding of speech, etc.)
- complex mental functions require different
- interactions among different areas of the brain.
Modern View on Brain
Both simple and complex acts use many brain regions.
Some functions are localized, others are not.
The more we learn about the brain the more we know we cannot define rules about what the brain is doing. You have to be very vague because the brain is a very complex system.
Jose Delgado & the “tamed” bull
put electrodes in the aquatic nucleus and when he pushes the button the electrodes shock the bull a bit. He was able to pinpoint an anger area of the brain and make him become calm/
- there are a lot of stimulation that can make the bull not angry. The bull was not tamed but influenced the bull to move into a circle.
Egas Moniz & prefrontal lobotomies
Chimpanzee was not emotional after the lobotomy (conference-overheard- wanted to do it to patients with mental disorders)
Very easy to treat people who have mental illness do lobotomies and in fact it does nothing at all.
A single dose of Ecstasy causes brain damage
The pattern of brain damage of ecstasy was the same as a single dose of amphetamine.
The drug company sent them the wrong drug and it wasn’t ecstasy but amphetamine.
You get brain damage after taking a lot of high doses of ecstasy.
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