scientific study of the biological bases of behavior and mental processes.
scientific study of the nervous system.
biological psychology, biology, physiology genetics, neurology
What are the scientific disciplines that contribute to neuroscience?
How much does the brain weigh?
How much of your body’s energy does your brain use?
How much of your body weight does your brain make up?
The average number of thoughts that humans are
believed to experience each day is
inhibit development of the brain
Studies have shown that child abuse
can ———- and can permanently
affect brain development
The brain and the rest of the nervous system
are the power behind our psychological life and much of our physical being.
are cells responsible for receiving & transmitting electrochemical information.
All your thoughts, feelings, and actions result from —–flashing between billions of these tiny nerve cells.
form a vast, miniaturized informational network that allows us to receive sensory information, control muscle movement, regulate digestion, secrete hormones, and engage in complex mental processes such as thinking, imagining, dreaming and remembering
A bit of brain tissue no larger than a grain of rice contains about
The brain consists of 100 Billion Neuron and no two neurons are the
Neurons are held in place and supported by this. These surround neurons, perform
cleanup tasks, and insulate one neuron from another so that their neural messages are
Dendrites or nerve endings
receive information from other cells.These small, branch-like projections of the cell make connections to other cells and allow the neuron to talk with others.
receives information from dendrites and provides life support functions.This main part has all of the necessary components of the cell, such as the nucleus (contains DNA), endoplasmic reticulum and ribosomes (for building
proteins) and mitochondria (for making energy). If the cell body dies, the neuron
carries neuron’s message to other neurons, muscles, or glands. This long, cable-like projection of the cell carries the electrochemical message (nerve impulse or action potential) along the length of the cell.Vary tremendously in length
Depending upon the type of neuron, axons can be covered with a thin layer of myelin, like an insulated electrical wire. Myelin is made of fat, and it helps to speed transmission of a nerve impulse down a long axon. Myelinated neurons are typically found in the peripheral nerves (sensory and motor neurons), while non-myelinated neurons are found
in the brain and spinal cord.
covers the axon of some neurons to insulate and help speed neural impulses.
on axon form junctions with other cells and release chemicals called neurotransmitters.
Bring input to the brain; light or sound, smell, taste, skin senses, information from internal organs. Communicate information from the environment
to the central nervous system. Carry messages inward from the other body areas to the CNS.
Communicate information to the
muscles and glands of the body. Communicate information from the central nervous system to the muscles. Carry messages away from the CNS.
communicate information from one neuron to another. Communicate information between neurons. By far, most of the neurons in the human nervous system are these. Communicate and intervenes between the sensory inputs and motor outputs (most neurons in the brain.
of the axon form junctions with other cells and release chemicals called neurotransmitters.
move the message from the end of the sending neuron to the dendrites or cell body of the next receiving neuron. Influencer may cause psychological disorders including schizophrenia and depression
we ingest from food
, drugs and other sources can significantly affect neurotransmitters.
Mimic the effects of opium-based drugs such as morphine. Elevate mood and reduce pain. Help explain why soldiers and athletes continue to fight and play the game despite horrific injuries. Are the best-known neurotransmitter.
Central Nervous System
Consists of the brain and spinal cord
– The brain is the central computer of the nervous system, spinal cord is
the large communication
– Primarily responsible for processing and organizing information
The spinal cord
responsible for involuntary, automatic behaviors called reflexes. Allow us to pull your hand away from pain without any help from our brain.
The Peripheral Nervous System consists of all parts of the nervous system
outside the brain and spinal cord
Chief function is carry information to and from the CNS
Links the brain and spinal cord to the body’s sense receptors, muscles and
Divided into the Somatic Nervous System (Skeletal NS)and the Autonomic
Autonomic Nervous System
Responsible for involuntary tasks such as heart rate, digestion, pupil dilation and breathing. Divided into two branches, the sympathetic (stressed) and parasympathetic (calm and relaxed). Anatomy & functions of the sympathetic (arouses) & parasympathetic (relaxes) nervous systems. They essentially balance each other out. Work together to maintain a steady balanced internal state.
Does the brain size matter?
Larger animals have larger brains
This does not mean that animals with larger
brains are smarter than animals with smaller
brains. A larger brain is necessary to control larger
muscles and process more sensory
information from the skin of larger animals
Humans have the largest brain to body size
hindbrain, midbrain, forebrain
Three major parts of the brain
helps coordinate movement patterns, sleep and arousal
Three key structures and functions of the hindbrain
Medulla: life survival functions. Pons: respiration, movement, waking, sleeping, & dreaming. Cerebellum: coordination of fine muscular movement, balance, and some aspects of perception and cognition. Midbrain: collection of brain structures in the middle of the brain; coordinates movement patterns, sleep, and arousal. Reticular Formation: runs through the hindbrain, midbrain, and brainstem; screens incoming information and controls arousal.
The Forebrain and Cerebral Cortex
90% of the human brain. Expanded over our evolutionary history. Overall organization: two hemispheres connected by corpus callosum. Has a wrinkled appearance to allow larger surface area to fit into a skull. Humans have one of the most folded or convoluted brains.
collection of upper-level brain structures, including the thalamus, hypothalamus, and limbic system. Thalamus: relays sensory messages to the cerebral cortex. Hypothalamus: responsible for drives, hormones, and regulation the body’s internal environment.
The limbic system
is a sort of “primitive core” of the brain strongly associated with emotion. Interconnected group of forebrain structures involved with emotions, drives, and memory.
An almond shaped mass of gray matter in the an anterior portion of the temporal lobe. This seems to respond to severe traumas with an un-erasable fear response (“post-traumatic stress
disorder”, or PTSD) If seems to be genetically different and “wired” for a higher level of fear in some individuals, such as those with panic disorder.
makes it difficult to identify facial expressions.
is the largest part of the brain. Also called the cerebral cortex, it dominates the exterior surface of the brain. This surface layer on the left and right cerebral hemispheres; regulates most complex behavior, including sensations, motor control, and higher mental processes.
receive and coordinate messages from other lobes; responsible for motor control, speech production, and higher functions, such as thinking, personality
, emotion, and memory.
refers to the capacity of our brains to change in response to experience Neural networks in our brain constantly change. Every new experience you have is reflected in changes in your brain (Learning a new language)
Until a few years ago, it was widely believed that we are born with all the brain cells we will ever have
Although it is true that we the brain loses cells daily, it simultaneously grows new neurons to replace them (Neurogenesis)
Has raised new hopes that some types of brain damage can be repaired
Broca’s area and Broca’s Aphasia
1860s discovered by French surgeon and neuroanatomist named Pierre Paul Broca. Broca treated a series of patients who had difficulty speaking but could comprehend written or spoken language. Due to brain damage to an area on the lower left frontal lobe. Area on the left hemisphere now is referred to as Broca’s area. Plays a crucial role in speech production.
Wernicke’s Area and Aphasia
German neurologist Karl Wernicke discovered area in the left hemisphere that, when damaged, produced great difficulty understanding spoken or written communications. Patients could speak quickly and easily; however, their speech sometimes made no sense. Ex. How are you feeling? Don’t glow glover. Yes, bick, bochipickers the dallydoe mick more work mittle.
is a mental and physiological state associated with a wide variety of feelings, thought, and behavior. Anger, happiness
, embarrassment, sadness…
Phineas Gage’s mining accident
related to memory. “sea horse”. It acts a control center rather than a storage unit in and of itself. I and the cortex and possibly white-matter cells throughout the nervous system, are generally thought to be capable of holding memories
Depression and the Brain
Depression has no single cause; often, it results from a combination of things. You may have no idea why depression has struck you. Whatever its cause, depression is not just a state of mind. It is related to physical changes in the brain, and connected to an imbalance of a type of chemical that carries signals in your brain and nerves. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters.
Fear and Stress
Studying parts of the brain involved in dealing with fear and stress also helps researchers to better understand possible causes of PTSD. One such brain structure is the amygdala, known for its role in emotion, learning, and memory. The amygdala appears to be active in fear acquisition, or learning to fear an event (such as touching a hot stove), as well as in the early stages of fear extinction, or learning not to fear
The mind of a serial killer
Henry Lee Lucas, who was convicted of 11 murders, was shown to have extreme brain damage in his front lobe, probably the result of childhood
abuse, malnutrition and alcoholism
Right Brain/ Left Brain
AKA lateralization. Approximately 95% of us use our left brain for language (speaking, writing, and
understanding) Right Hemisphere appears to process information by combining parts into a meaningful whole. No one is totally left-brained or totally right-brained. Just as you have a dominant
hand, dominant eye, and even a dominant foot, you probably have a dominant side of the brain. Second, you can and must develop both sides of your brain
You are reading a novel and trying to understand the language in written form. What hemisphere are you using? What hemisphere will you be using to keep track of the overall story, appreciate its humor and emotional content, and interpret any illustrations? Are these hemispheres working alone or will they share much of their information?
Which hemisphere is used to recognize and identify whole faces? The ______brain focuses on small details You put together a puzzle. Which side of the brain are you using? A master cellist will use their _____brain to judge time and rhythm and
coordinate the order of his hand movements. At the same time, he/she will use their _____brain to recognize and organize melodies.
overt actions or reactions
covert internal activity in the mind.
Until —years ago, psychology was considered a branch of philosophy
and not a science
Why study Psychology?
Psychology helps us scientifically evaluate common beliefs and misconceptions about behavior and mental processes. For example, can you identify which of the beliefs on the following slide are true or false?
True or Fals
In general, we only use about 10% of our brain.
False- We use 100% of our brains.
Most brain activity stops during sleep.
Eyewitness testimony is often unreliable
Polygraph tests can accurately and reliably reveal whether or not a person is lying
Punishment is the most effective way to permanently change behavior
People who threaten suicide
seldom follow through with it
People with schizophrenia have multiple personalities
Similarity is one of the best predictors of long-term relationships
In an emergency, as the number of bystanders increases, your chance of getting help decreases
1 in 4 Americans adults suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year.
Mental disorders are the leading cause of disability for Americans and Canadians aged 15-44.
Disorders are often accompanied by depression and/or substance abuse.
In 2002, almost 32,000 Americans committed suicide.
Over 20,000,000 Americans suffer from mood disorders in any given year
Old fashioned Causes and Cures
Possession by demons-Prehistoric
In league with Satan
-Up to 1700
-Body was filled with four basic substances, called four humors
-From Greeks until 1800s
-Middle ages until 1800’s
OConfinement in asylums
Disorders have been attributed to
Disorders have been attributed to
(1) inhabitation by evil spirits (prehistoric – trephination)
(2) witchcraft and demonic possession (up to and including the 1600’s) – the witchcraft trials of the 1400’s-1600’s
Humanitarian reform (1800’s)
True treatment (late 1800’s): Changed with the discovery of hysteria and it’s cure and discovery that a schizophrenic-like disorder called “general paresis” was actually caused by syphilis
Even as late as the 1920’s and 1930’s, fever therapy (give people malaria) and insulin coma therapy (inject with insulin to induce coma)
Figure 17.1 from:
Kassin, S. (2001). Psychology, third edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Fields of Psychology
Sensation and perception
OWhat is the nature of the behavior?
ONaming, classifying, etc.
OWe can explain the event
OWhy does it occur?
OCan we forecast when it will occur?
OForecast behavior accurately
OAltering conditions that affect behavior
Set up the first psych lab in Leipzig, Germany, 1879
Father of Psychology
Argued that the mind could be examined both scientifically and objectively
Psychology involved into two early schools of thought: structuralism and functionalism.
Student of Wundt
Believed that experiences could be broken down into individual emotions and sensations.
Used introspection exclusively (looking inward)
and no way to settle.
William James-broadened psychology to include animal behavior, religious experience, abnormal behavior….
School of Psychology concerned with how behavior and mental abilities help people adapt to their environments
Regarded our Consciousness as ever-changing flow of images and sensations
Favored Darwin’s natural selection-the functionalists wanted to find out how the mind, perception, habits and emotions help us adapt and survive
John B. Watson developed the behavioral approach to psychology
Concentrates on observable behavior that can be directly measured and recorded.
Classical conditioning- a form of learning in which reflex responses are associated with a new stimuli
Operant conditioning-learning is strengthened each time a response is followed by a satisfying state of affairs
B.F. Skinner and the Search for “Order in Behavior”
Believed that psychology should restrict itself to studying only phenomena that could be objectively measured and verified—outwardly observable behavior and environmental events
Believed that internal thoughts, beliefs, emotions, or motives could not be used to explain behavior
Coined the term operant to describe any “active behavior that operates upon the environment to generate consequences
Invented the Skinner box
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Relationship between thinking, learning & perception
Believed that humans are motivated by primitive sexual drives, forbidden desires, and traumatic childhood memories unavailable to our conscious mind
People are not always in control of their actions
Mental life is like an iceberg
The humanistic approach emphasizes that each individual has a great freedom in directing his or her future, a large capacity for achieving personal growth, a considerable amount of intrinsic worth, and enormous potential for self-fulfillment
Human consciousness includes an awareness of oneself in the context of other people.
Human beings have choices and responsibilities.
Free will – ability to make voluntary choices
Human beings are intentional, they seek meaning, value and creativity .
Maslow’s self-actualization – developing one’s potential fully and becoming the best person possible
Explore ways in which patterns of human behavior may be beneficial to our health
Study issues such as parenting, sexual attraction and violence among different species and cultures to explain how people may be genetically pre-programmed to behave in a certain way
Investigates the internal mental processes of thought such as visual processing, memory, problem solving, or language.
Has become one of the most rapidly advancing perspectives in modern psychology
Over the last 60 years, viewpoints such as functionalism and Gestalt psychology have blended into newer broader perspectives
Some early systems, such as structuralism, have disappeared entirely
Today psychologists tend to draw insight from a variety of perspectives.
Why do psychologists and other scientists need multiple perspectives?
Multiple perspectives allow psychologists to better understand and research complex behavior and mental processes.
What might a Psychologist Research
Development: Course of human growth and development
Learning: How and why it occurs in humans and animals
Personality: Traits, motivations, and individual differences
Sensation and Perception: How we come to know the world through our five senses
Social: Human and social behavior
Cultural: How culture
affects human behavior
Cognitive: How reasoning, problem solving, and other mental processes relate to human behavior
Evolutionary: How our behavior is guided by patterns that evolved during human history
Most Psychologists today believe in the importance of empiricism
Information gained from direct observation is more reliable the information you can’t observe or that you hear third-hand.
“lets take a look”
Psychologists use the scientific method when performing experiments.
Defining a problem~ Are men naturally more aggressive then woman?
Conduct background research
Formulate a hypothesis~ “If a male is placed in a stressful situation, he will react more aggressively than a female who is placed in the same stressful situation would.”
Gathering evidence/testing hypothesis ~ surveys, observations, experiments…
Analyze results~ Statistical analysis
Report your results
A fake pill (sugar) or injection (saline)
Placebo Effect: Changes in behavior that result from expectations that a drug or other treatment will have some effect; the belief that one has taken an active drug
A formal trial to confirm/disconfirm a hypothesis
Directly vary a condition you might think affects behavior.
Create two or more groups of subjects, alike in all ways except the condition you are varying.
Record whether varying the condition has any effect on behavior.
The Science of Psychology:Ethical Guidelines
Human research participants need:
Restricted use of deception
Advocates believe nonhuman research offers significant scientific benefits. Opponents question these benefits and suggest nonhuman animals cannot give informed consent.
Psychologists must maintain high standards for both human and nonhuman animal research.
Any condition that can change and that might affect the outcome of an experiment
Independent Variable: Is a treatment or something that the researcher controls or manipulates.
Dependent Variable: Demonstrates results of the experiment. Condition is affected by independent variable.
Extraneous Variables: Conditions that a researcher wants to prevent from affecting the outcomes of the experiment (e.g., number of hours slept before the experiment).
Experimental Group: The group of subjects that gets the independent variable.
Control Group: The group of subjects that does NOT get the independent variable.
Random Assignment: Subject has an equal chance of being in either the experimental or control group.
The Clinical Method
: In-depth focus of all aspects of a single subject
Natural Clinical Tests: Natural events, such as accidents, that provide psychological data
The Survey Method
Using public polling techniques to answer psychological questions
Experiment: Does TV increase aggression? Only an experiment can determine cause and effect.
Central to the scientific method, to psychology, and to effective behavior in general
We need to examine our assumptions and challenge our gut instincts rather than solely relying on common sense and intuition.
A process of reflecting upon the meaning of statements, examining the offered evidence and reasoning, and forming judgments about the facts.