Flashcards in The Biological approach Deck (29)
How do biological psychologists study behaviour?
Through genetics and how characteristics are passed from one generation to the next through genes.
What do genes carry?
They carry instructions for particular characteristics.
What is the genotype?
The genetic code that is “written” in the DNA of an individual’s cells.
What is a phenotype?
The physical appearance that results from this inherited information.
Why do individuals differ from each other in terms of personality, intelligence, abilities and so on?
Each individual possesses a unique combination of genetic instructions.
What are the several connected systems the Nervous system is comprised of?
The central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system
What is the central nervous system?
Consists of the brain and the spinal cord. Carries messages from one part of the body to the other using neurons.
how do neurons carry messages?
Neurons transmit nerve impulses in the form of electrical signals.
What is the peripheral nervous system?
It comprises the somatic and autonomic nervous system.
What is the outer surface of the cerebrum called and what does it do?
It is called the cerebral cortex and is responsible for thought and language
What is the cerebrum divided into?
Two halves called hemisphere with each hemisphere further divided into four different parts called lobes.
What are the four lobes called?
Frontal lobe, Parietal lobe, Temporal love, Occipital lobe
What are frontal lobes involved in?
Functions such as speech, thought and learning.
What are temporal lobes involved in?
Hearing and memory.
What are parietal lobes involved in?
Sensory information such as touch, pain and temperature.
What are occipital lobes involved in?
Processes visual information
When is a neurotransmitter released?
When a nerve impulse reaches the end of one neuron
Where does the neurotransmitter travel?
From one neuron to the next across a junction called the synapse.
What are excitatory neurotransmitters?
A type of neurotransmitter that triggers nerve impulses in the receiving neuron and stimulates the brain into action.
Give an example of a excitatory neurotransmitter
Dopamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is associated with “drive” and “motivation”
What are inhibitory transmitters?
Transmitters that inhibit nerve impulses to calm the brain and balance mood
Give an example of an inhibitory neurotransmitter?
Serotonin is an inhibitory transmitter as it maintains a stable mood
Give an example of the influence of neurochemistry on behaviour?
Crokett et al, (2008) found that when serotonin levels are low people tend to display increased aggression
What are hormones?
Chemicals that are produced and secreted directly into the bloodstream by endocrine glands such as the pituitary gland.
How do hormones work?
They travel to their “target cells” and exert their influence by stimulating receptors in the surface of the inside cells. The presence of the hormone causes a physiological reaction in the cell, altering its activity.
Give an example of a hormone influencing behaviour
Carrè studied a Canadian ice hockey team over the course of a season and found evidence of a surge in levels of the hormone testosterone whenever the team played in their home stadium suggesting the hormone energised the players to defend their home territory.
How does evolution influence behaviour?
Women desire mates with resources to provide for offspring and men desire attractive women as an indication of their fertility. Physical characteristics are passed on to their offspring and become widespread in the population.
What are the strengths of the biological approach?
1. Uses environmental method, other researches can replicate research studies under the same conditions adding to the validity of the original findings.
2. Provides clear predictions such as the effect of neurotransmitters on behaviour. This has led to significant applications of biological research in the real world.