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Biological Psychology Historical Development

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I need help getting getting started with analyzing biological psychology. I need to make sure I cover these major points below.

a. Biological psychology and examine its historical development.
b. Identify the important theorists associated with associated with biological psychology.
c. Describe the relationship between biological psychology and other fields in psychology and neuroscience.
d. Describe the major underlying assumptions of a biopsychological approach.

Provide as much information as possible. Thank you.

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Solution Preview

Let's take a closer look at information from various sources to consider for each question, which you can draw on for your final copy. I also attached two sources for consideration.

a. Biological psychology and examine its historical development.

The following information comes from www.biopsychology.com:

The basic goal of biological psychology is to explain behavior in terms of physiological processes, particularly those of the nervous system. The findings of basic research in biological psychology may be applied to improving the lives of both humans and animals.

- Behavior can be described according to different criteria ("What are the features of the behavior?")
- We compare species to learn how the brain and behavior have evolved ("How does behavior change over the life span?")
- The body and behavior develop over the life span ("How does behavior change over the life span?")
- Biological mechanisms underlie all behavior ("How does behavior change over the life span?")
- Research can be applied to human problems ("How can we use our discoveries to improve health and well-being?")

Analytic descriptions of behavior focus on the exact and detailed processes or acts that make up a behavior. Functional descriptions of behavior focus on the results or goals of a given behavior. Analytic descriptions are important for research that is concerned, for example, with the exact mechanisms of the body that produce the behavior. Functional descriptions are important in research that is concerned with determining why a particular behavior is performed.

It involves studying differences among species highlights the ways in which neural mechanisms have been shaped by evolution to solve the particular problems that each species faces. For example, some bats use hearing to hunt and navigate, but others use vision. Each method seems to be an adaptation to the kind of food eaten by the particular species. Conversely, studying similarities among species reveals the degree to which a feature is continuous, or "conserved," presumably due to a common ancestry. For instance, some sex hormones are found in all mammals, suggesting that these evolved long ago. However, these data need to be interpreted with care, because some adaptations are so useful that they have evolved independently in numerous lines of species.

The process of change during the life span is formally called ontogeny. As behaviors emerge and decline during development and old age, parallel changes in the nervous system may be observed. For example, memory in monkeys improves over several years, suggesting that the neural circuits underlying memory are slow to mature. Learning ability emerges before the capacity to form long-term memories in rodents, suggesting that learning and memory involve different neural processes.

A major goal of biological psychology is to improve the health and well-being of humans and other animals. Conversely, knowledge gained from the treatment of disorders can lead to new information that informs and aids basic research. The following examples of the application of biological psychology research to health and well-being.

1. Hormonal treatments for specific sexual disorders
2. Interventions that may speed recovery of language function after a stroke
3. The search for drugs to improve learning and memory

The most commonly used study method in biological psychology is the somatic intervention approach, in which the experimenter alters body structure. An alternative experimental approach is the behavioral intervention approach, in which behavior is the independent variable. In the correlation approach, the scientist is looking at how particular bodily measures vary with particular behaviors, while manipulating neither. This approach cannot establish causal relationships.


1. Training animals in a maze and ...

Solution Summary

Biological psychology's historical development is examined in conjunction with the three major points e.g. important theorists, the relationship between biological psychology and other fields in psychology and neuroscience and the major underlying assumptions of a biopsychological approach. Supplemented with links and articles on biological psychology for further research.