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Physiological Psychology
Introductions: Areas of biopsychology /
Mind/body relations
Fig. 1-1, p. 2
• Biological Psychology is the study of the
physiological and genetic basis of behavior.
• Emphasis is placed upon physiol...
• Different names
– Biological Psychology
– Physiological Psychology
– Behavioral Neuroscience
• The biological basis of b...
• Heavy influence of Psychophysics
– Weber – Weber’s law
– Fechner
• Psychology begins in 1879
– Wilhelm Wundt
• William J...
• Donald Hebb – “The Organization of
Behavior” (1949)
• Wilder Penfield
Today’s Biopsychology
• Very eclectic, multidisciplinary field
– Should not be rigidly defined
– Key: brain, behavior rela...
Many areas within Biopsychology
• Mix of “pure” and “applied” research
• Physiological psychology
– Scientific study of br...
• Neuropsychology – Generally studies the
effects of brain damage in humans
• Deals with clinical populations
• Gathers in...
• Cognitive Neuroscience – cross between
cognitive psychology and physiological
psychology
• Experimental exploration of h...
• Neurophilosophy - the interdisciplinary study
of neuroscience and philosophy
• Works both ways:
– Use neuroscience resul...
Comparative Psychology
• Study of the role of evolution in brain and
behavior
• Comparison of behaviors of different speci...
• Psychoneuroimmunology – study of the
interactions between the brain and the
immune system / endocrine system in
regulati...
The Mind-Brain Relationship
• Brain functioning can be explained at a more
microscopic level in terms of neuron and glia
a...
Fig. 1-2, p. 3
Levels of explanation
• All of the sciences strive to uncover “reality”
• Many different ways of doing that on many
differ...
The Mind-Brain Relationship
• Biological explanations of behavior fall into
four categories:
– Physiological- emphasis on ...
The Mind-Brain Relationship
• Deep understanding of a particular behavior
is tied to being able to explain the behavior
fr...
The Mind-Brain Relationship
• Biological explanations of behavior raise the
issue of the relationship between the mind
and...
The Mind-Brain Relationship
• Dualism is the belief that there are different
kinds of substances and the mind and the
body...
The Mind-Brain Relationship
• Monism is the belief that the universe is only
comprised of one type of substance.
• Forms o...
The Mind-Brain Relationship
• Explanations of the mind-body relationship do
not answer some fundamental questions:
– Why i...
The Mind-Brain Relationship
• Because “consciousness” is not observable,
it’s function is often difficult to define and/ o...
The Use of Animals in Research
• Animal research is an important source of
information for biological psychology but
remai...
The Use of Animals in Research
• Reasons for studying animals include:
1. The underlying mechanisms of behavior
are simila...
Fig. 1-12, p. 23
The Use of Animals in Research
• Opposition to animal research varies:
– “Minimalists” favor firm regulation on
research a...
The Use of Animals in Research
• Justification for research considers the
amount of benefit gained compared to the
amount ...
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  • Figure 1.1: A dorsal view (from above) and a ventral view (from below) of the human brain.
    The brain has an enormous number of divisions and subareas; the labels point to a few of the main ones on the surface of the brain.
  • Figure 1.2: Neurons, greatly magnified.
    The brain is composed of individual cells called neurons and glia.
  • Figure 1.12: Brains of several species.
    The general plan and organization of the brain are similar for all mammals, even though the size varies from species to species.
  • Transcript of "Physiological Psychology Introductions: Areas of ..."

    1. 1. Physiological Psychology Introductions: Areas of biopsychology / Mind/body relations
    2. 2. Fig. 1-1, p. 2
    3. 3. • Biological Psychology is the study of the physiological and genetic basis of behavior. • Emphasis is placed upon physiological, evolutionary and developmental mechanisms of behavior. • Strong emphasis on brain function. • Components of biological psychology – Many different areas with many different names.
    4. 4. • Different names – Biological Psychology – Physiological Psychology – Behavioral Neuroscience • The biological basis of behavior • Biology heavily influence early psychologists – Ex. Luigi Galvani – Late 1700’s – Ex. Pierre Flourens – Early 1800’s
    5. 5. • Heavy influence of Psychophysics – Weber – Weber’s law – Fechner • Psychology begins in 1879 – Wilhelm Wundt • William James – championed the role of evolution and biology in understanding psychological processes
    6. 6. • Donald Hebb – “The Organization of Behavior” (1949) • Wilder Penfield
    7. 7. Today’s Biopsychology • Very eclectic, multidisciplinary field – Should not be rigidly defined – Key: brain, behavior relations • A part of Neuroscience: the study of the nervous system • Many parts to neuroscience – Neuroanatomy – Neurophysiology – Neurochemistry – Neuropharmacology – Behavioral Neuroscience
    8. 8. Many areas within Biopsychology • Mix of “pure” and “applied” research • Physiological psychology – Scientific study of brain/behavior in controlled experimental settings – Generally uses animal subjects • Psychopharmacology – study of the effect of drugs on the brain, behavior, and well as interactions
    9. 9. • Neuropsychology – Generally studies the effects of brain damage in humans • Deals with clinical populations • Gathers information via case-studies • Works towards treatment
    10. 10. • Cognitive Neuroscience – cross between cognitive psychology and physiological psychology • Experimental exploration of human cognition and the physiological processes involved • E.g., fMRI analysis of attention • E.g., Event-related potentials and dreaming
    11. 11. • Neurophilosophy - the interdisciplinary study of neuroscience and philosophy • Works both ways: – Use neuroscience results to understand philosophy – E.g., Dennett – Use philosophy as a basis for the understanding of neuroscience
    12. 12. Comparative Psychology • Study of the role of evolution in brain and behavior • Comparison of behaviors of different species of animals with attention to the phylogenetic and ecological context • Includes laboratory research as well as the study of animals in their natural environments (ethology)
    13. 13. • Psychoneuroimmunology – study of the interactions between the brain and the immune system / endocrine system in regulating behavior • Examples – Illness and stress – wound healing is much slower in psychologically stressed adults – Placebo effects
    14. 14. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Brain functioning can be explained at a more microscopic level in terms of neuron and glia activity. • Understanding the mind and consciousness is key to biopsychology
    15. 15. Fig. 1-2, p. 3
    16. 16. Levels of explanation • All of the sciences strive to uncover “reality” • Many different ways of doing that on many different levels. • Understanding behavior – Psychology – Brain – Neural chemistry – Physics • **Important: all levels are needed
    17. 17. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Biological explanations of behavior fall into four categories: – Physiological- emphasis on brain and other vital organs. – Ontogenetic- describes the development of a structure or behavior. – Evolutionary- focuses upon the evolutionary history of a behavior. – Functional- describes why a structure or behavior evolved as it did.
    18. 18. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Deep understanding of a particular behavior is tied to being able to explain the behavior from each of these perspectives.
    19. 19. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Biological explanations of behavior raise the issue of the relationship between the mind and the brain also know as the “mind-body” or “mind-brain problem”. • The “mind-brain problem” has a variety of explanations.
    20. 20. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Dualism is the belief that there are different kinds of substances and the mind and the body are separate entities. – Defended by French philosopher Rene Descartes. – Most common belief among nonscientists. – Rejected by most neuroscientists.
    21. 21. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Monism is the belief that the universe is only comprised of one type of substance. • Forms of monism include: – Materialism- everything that exists is physical by nature. – Mentalism- only the mind truly exists. – Identity position- mental processes are the same as brain processes but simply described in different ways.
    22. 22. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Explanations of the mind-body relationship do not answer some fundamental questions: – Why is consciousness a property of brain activity? – What kind of brain activity produces consciousness? – How does brain activity produce consciousness?
    23. 23. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Because “consciousness” is not observable, it’s function is often difficult to define and/ or explain. • Solipsism- suggests that “I alone” am conscious – Difficulty of knowing if others have conscious experiences is known as the “problem of other minds”.
    24. 24. The Use of Animals in Research • Animal research is an important source of information for biological psychology but remains a highly controversial topic. • Animal research varies on the amount of stress and/ or pain that is caused to the animal itself.
    25. 25. The Use of Animals in Research • Reasons for studying animals include: 1. The underlying mechanisms of behavior are similar across species and often easier to study in nonhuman species. 2. We are interested in animals for their own sake. 3. What we learn about animals sheds light on human evolution. 4. Some experiments cannot use humans because of legal or ethical reasons.
    26. 26. Fig. 1-12, p. 23
    27. 27. The Use of Animals in Research • Opposition to animal research varies: – “Minimalists” favor firm regulation on research and place consideration upon the type of animal used and the amount of stress induced. – “Abolitionists” maintain that all animals have the same rights as humans and any use of animals is unethical.
    28. 28. The Use of Animals in Research • Justification for research considers the amount of benefit gained compared to the amount of distress caused to the animal. – No clear dividing line exists. • Colleges and research institutions in the United States are required to have an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). – Oversees and determine acceptable procedures.
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