Biological Bases

Biological Bases

  • Submitted By: irish07
  • Date Submitted: 02/22/2009 6:16 PM
  • Category: Psychology
  • Words: 703
  • Page: 3
  • Views: 664

Biological Bases of Behavior

I. What does the brain do?

II. What does biological psychology study? relationships between the nervous system and observable behavior; biology influences behavior and behavior influences biology

III. Philosophical Roots: The Mind/Body Issue

A. Dualism—the belief that the body is physical, but the mind or soul is not

Descartes—proposed a model (a representation that makes use of a relatively simple system that works on known principles and is able to do at least some of the things that a more complex system can do) of how the mind controls the body

--based on the ideas of Galen who first proposed the ventricles as the source of intellect

--believed that the soul controls movements of the body by moving the pineal gland and causing fluid to flow from the brain to the nerves

--among first to propose a link between the mind and its physical housing, the brain; however, mind is not physical and cannot be studied scientifically

B. Monism—the belief that everything in the world is physical (composed of
matter and energy) including the mind; the mind is a phenomenon produced
by the workings of the nervous system

IV. Philosophical Roots: Generalization versus Reductionism

A. Generalization—psychology—explaining behavior using general principles derived from multiple observations; finding commonalities across individuals and applying it to a new individual

B. Reductionism—physiology—explaining phenomena in terms of simpler, lower level, more elementary processes; probing deeper into a given individual to explain behavior

Example: falling asleep in class

V. Biological Roots: Important Discoveries and Methodological Developments

a. Galvani—discovered electric impulses moved muscles of frogs even when disconnected from the body

b. Bell and Magendie—separation of peripheral sensation and motor pathways through separate fibers; neural communication occurs in only one direction...

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