The Biology of Psychology
• “Let’s brainstorm.”
• “Watch it, you pea brain!”
• “She’s the brains behind it.”
• Use your brain!
When we listen to the words we use, it’s
clear we know WHO rules the roost when
it comes to human behavior.
But we’re still mystified by how it doesn’t
always listen to what we think we’re telling
What is this link between our
The Case of
brains and our behaviors?
The Headquarters of Human
The brain contains more
cells than there are
stars in our galaxy.
More than 100 billion
of them, to be exact.
A Living Record of Time Travel
of the brain
• The bottom-up approach is a useful way to
organize the brain …
You can see how human behavior
evolved from base instincts to
From a psychological standpoint, you can
see why it can be challenging to use your
reasoning and self-control to keep from
acting on powerful feelings or strong
desires …. Those desires have been
around a lot longer!
From a psychological
standpoint, you can
see why it can be
challenging to use
your reasoning and
self-control to keep
from acting on
powerful feelings or
strong desires ….
Those desires have been around a lot longer!
Get Your Brain Organized –
Get your Brain
each part is a specialist!
let’s fill it in!
Regulates higher level thinking & feeling
Sensory & sleep
Eat, drink, sex, temp
Learning & memory
Balance & movement
Left Brain, Right Brain Don’t say anything and
look at this picture.
• Do you prefer geometry or English? In what direction is the
• Would you rather be a painter or a dancer turning?
• Are you creative or logical?
Popular psychology would classify you
as “right-brained” or “left-brained.”
If clockwise, then you use
more of the right side of the
brain and vice versa.
Most of us would see the
dancer turning anti-clockwise
though you can try to focus
and change the direction;
see if you can do it.
Sports psychologists put the “right
brain/left brain” concept to good use.
• By teaching athletes to use BOTH sides of
their brain, they help them improve their
• Ex.: Tennis players naturally exercise their
left brain every time they swing their
• However, players can also use their right
brain to play: They can visualize the
perfect swing in their mind’s eye and
• It works!
Meet the Mother Lobes
• Each half of your brain has four lobes.
• Parietal, temporal, frontal, and occipital
Front and Center! … the Frontal
• …sit just behind your forehead
• …newest additions to the human brain
• … heavy duty responsibilities:
• Seat of purposeful behavior
• They plan,
• Make decisions,
• And pursue goals.
• May inhibit or override more primitive
behavior … the kind that gets us into
social or legal trouble.
Temporally speaking …. The
• …sit directly behind your ears –
• Primary job is to make sense of what you
hear – Left Temporal Lobe allows you to
• Damage to certain parts of the left
temporal lobe can leave you with perfectly
good hearing but completely incapable of
understanding a word said to you.
• ALL languages are foreign.
• …sit at the top of your head
• …integrate sensory information from
opposite sides of your body
• Your left parietal lobe makes sense of
information coming in from the right side
and viceversa …
• These lobes help you understand what
• When you reach in a pocket, your
parietal lobes help you tell the
difference between a dime and a
quarter just by the way they feel.
The Occipital Complex?
• Last but not least, if you cup
your hand on the back of your
head, you are hugging your
• …makes sense of what you see
– primary job is to process
Working with Half a Brain
• What happens when the two
hemispheres can’t communicate?
• Would they fight with each other?
• Would they get along?
• Are there really people with “half
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