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Link between Animal Studies and Brain-behavior in Humans

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Biopsychologists, or physiological psychologists use animals to study the genetic, neural, and hormonal controls of behavior, for example, eating behavior, sleep, sexual behavior, perception, emotion, memory, and the effects of drugs.

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Advances in the behavioral sciences come from animal studies, including studies on effects of early experience on the brain and behavior, drug effects, eating disorders, and diseases of aging. Biopsychologists, or physiological psychologists use animals to study the genetic, neural, and hormonal controls of behavior, for example, eating behavior, sleep, sexual behavior, perception, emotion, memory, and the effects of drugs. Learning theorists use animals to study the learned and environmental controls of behavior, for example, stress, stimulus-response patterns, motivation, and the effects of reward and punishment. Ethologists and sociobiologists concentrate on animal behavior in nature to learn about predator-prey interactions, mating and parenting, migration, communication, aggression, and territoriality.

The reasons animal studies are so common: (1) There are fewer ethical considerations as compared to research with human subjects. Physiological psychologists and neuropsychologists, in particular, may utilize invasive procedures (such as brain surgery or hormone manipulation) that would be unethical to perform on humans; (3) homology--Animals that are closely related to humans are likely to ...

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Advances in the behavioral sciences come from animal studies, including studies on effects of early experience on the brain and behavior, drug effects, eating disorders, and diseases of aging.

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