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Psychology 302: Introduction to Biopsychology

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Psychology 302: Introduction to Biopsychology

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  1. Psychology 302:Introduction to Biopsychology MTWTF 11am-12:45pm Instructor: Katrina Nicholas

  2. My training, research, & teaching experience • BA in linguistics & BS in biology with honors in neuroscience • Undergrad research assistant in cognitive science laboratory • Currently a psychology grad student studying genetics underlying linguistic behavior • Taught research methods lab sections past five fall and spring semesters Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  3. Availability • Office location: Communication 306 • Office hours: by appointment • Office phone: 626-6593 • Email: • Website: Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  4. Syllabus • Prerequisites • Required text • Course objectives & assignments • Grading & extra credit • Attendance & late work policy • Accommodations • Academic integrity • Expected classroom behavior Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  5. Daily structure • first lecture: 11am-11:50am • break: 11:50am-11:55am • second lecture: 11:55am-12:45pm Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  6. Tentative Class Schedule • Exams dates: EXAM 1 - Friday, June 9 EXAM 2 - Friday, June 16 EXAM 3 - Friday, June 23 EXAM 4 - Friday, June 30 FINAL EXAM (cumulative) - Thursday, July 6 Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  7. Tentative Class Schedule • In-class debates: Debate 1 - Wednesday, June 7 Debate 2 - Wednesday, June 14 Debate 3 - Wednesday, June 21 Debate 4 - Wednesday, June 28 Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  8. Lecture format • lectures will be based on assigned readings from textbook (exams will be based on readings, class notes, and videos) • each lecture will begin with an outline • sometimes a summary of previous lecture • questions or comments are encouraged throughout the lecture - Don’t be shy :-) Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  9. Getting to know you… • first & last name • email address • hometown • major (& minor) • class standing • academic interests • non-academic interests Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  10. What is Biopsychology? Chapter 1

  11. Outline 1. The Field of Biopsychology a. Study of biological bases of behavior b. Characterized by an eclectic approach 2. Biopsychology as a Discipline of Neuroscience a. What is Neuroscience? b. Biopsychology as a Part of Neuroscience 3. The Diversity of Biological Research a. Human and Non-human subjects b. Experiments and Non-experiments c. Pure and Applied Research Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  12. Outline 4. The Six Divisions of Biopsychology 5. How do Biopsychologists Work Together? 6. Scientific Inference: How do Biopsychologists Study the Unobservable? Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  13. The Field of Biopsychology Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  14. Study of Biological Bases of Behavior • brain and behavior are two of the most interesting subjects of scientific research • biopsychology focuses on the relation between them Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  15. Study of Biological Bases of Behavior • biopsychology began to emerge as a distinct area in psychology towards the end of the 19th century • Hebb’s The Organization of Behavior (1949) is thought to be key factor in the field’s development Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  16. Study of Biological Bases of Behavior • biopsychologists study how the brain and the rest of the nervous system determine what we perceive, feel, think, say, and do • this may prove to be the ultimate challenge for the human brain… Does our brain have the capacity to understand something as complex as itself? Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  17. Characterized by an eclectic approach • a biopsychologist uses an eclectic combination of theories and research from many different areas (psychology, biology, physiology, pharmacology, and anatomy) to better describe, understand and predict behavior Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  18. Biopsychology as a Discipline of Neuroscience Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  19. What is Neuroscience? • Until the middle of the last century, the brain was studied primarily by philosophers; since then, it has been subjected more and more to scientific study Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  20. What is Neuroscience? • neuroscience is the study of the nervous system; neuroscience includes many different approaches such as: neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, neuroendrocrinology, neuropharmacology, and neuropathology Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  21. Biopsychology as part of Neuroscience • biopsychology integrates these various approaches to the study of the nervous system Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  22. Biopsychology as part of Neuroscience • biopsychologists try to discover how the various phenomena studied by other neuroscience researchers produce psychological phenomena such as perception, learning, memory, emotion, and language Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  23. Biopsychology as part of Neuroscience • Thus, biopsychology can be viewed as a bridge between the disciplines of psychology and neuroscience Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  24. Biopsychology as part of Neuroscience • The course will examine the fundamentals of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuropharmacology • The rest of the course will focus on how these biological fundamentals are applied to the study of biopsychological phenomena Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  25. The Diversity of Biopsychological Research • biopsychologists use variety of research approaches in their studies; to understand what biopsychology is, you must understand what they do Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  26. The Diversity of Biopsychological Research • This diversity can be illustrated by discussing three dimensions along which their research varies: (1) human vs. non-human subjects (2) experimental vs. non-experimental studies (3) applied vs. pure research Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  27. Advantages of human (1) can follow instructions (2) can report subjective experiences (3) are often less expensive (4) have a human brain Advantages of non- human (1) have simpler nervous systems (2) possible to use comparative, cross-species approach (3) fewer ethical constraints Human & Non-human Subjects Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  28. Human & Non-human Subjects • The ethics of both human and animal research is carefully scrutinized by independent committees Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  29. Experiments & Non-Experiments • biopsychological research can involve experiments and non-experimental studies (quasiexperimental designs and case studies) Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  30. Experiments • method used by scientists to determine cause-and-effect relationship • when a different group of subjects is tested under each treatment condition of the experiment; this is a between-subjects design • when same group of subjects can be tested under multiple treatment conditions; this is a within-subjects design Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  31. Experiments • Independent variables are manipulated by the experimenter; these manipulations produce different treatment conditions in an experiment • Dependent variables reflect the subject’s behavior; this is what the experiment measures Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  32. Experiments • In a well-designed experiment, the experimenter can conclude that any differences in the dependent variable between the various treatment conditions were caused by the independent variable Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  33. Experiments • It is often difficult in practice to make sure that there is only one difference among conditions; other unintended differences among conditions that can influence the dependent variable are called confounded variables Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  34. Experiments • the presence of confounded variables makes experiments difficult to interpret because it is impossible to tell how much (if any) of the effect on the dependent variable was caused by the independent variable and how much (if any) was caused by the confounded variable Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  35. Non-experiments • sometimes it is impossible to conduct controlled experiments; e.g., if humans subjects are involved, it may be impossible for ethical or technical reasons to assign them to particular conditions and to administer the conditions Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  36. Non-experiments • In a quasi-experimental design researchers examine subjects in real world situations who have self-selected into the specific conditions (e.g., excessive alcohol intake); in a sense these subjects have assigned themselves to the treatment conditions Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  37. Non-experiments • The major short-coming of a quasiexperimental study is that although researchers can examine relations between the variables of interest (e.g., alcohol consumption’s relation to brain damage), a quasi study cannot control for potential confounding variables Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  38. Non-experiments • Therefore quasiexperimental studies do not allow a researcher to establish direct cause-and-effect relationships Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  39. Non-experiments • Example: researchers cannot randomly assign humans to Control and Alcohol groups, and then expose one group to 10 years of chronic alcohol exposure to see if a alcohol causes brain damage; instead they must compare the brains of alcoholics and non-alcoholics found in the real world Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  40. Non-experiments • Key Problem: because subjects in the real world do not assign themselves to groups randomly, there are many other differences among the groups that could contribute to differences in the dependent measures. (For example, brain damage may be due to poor diet, accidental head injury, other drug use, etc.) Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  41. Non-experiments • Another type of non-experimental design is called a case study • case studies are scientific studies that foucs on a single subject • the main problem with case studies is their poor generalizability, or the extent to which their results tells us something about the general population Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  42. Non-experiments • A Key Point: Quasi-experiments and case studies can both make valuable scientific contributions, particularly when they are used to complement each other and experiments (e.g., all three have contributed much to our understanding of the relation between alcohol consumption and brain damage) Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  43. Pure and Applied Research • Pure research is motivated primarily by the curiosity of the researcher; it is motivated by the desire to find out how things work; it focuses on establishing building blocks or basic concepts that may provide information salient to many problems Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  44. Pure and Applied Research • Applied research is motivated by an attempt to directly use the building blocks of basic research to answer specific questions; human and animal problems are specifically addressed Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  45. Conclusions • biopsychologists study the biology of behavior in a variety of ways; the strength of biopsychology as a science is attributable to this diversity; its diversity also makes biopsychology an exciting and challenging field to study (break) Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  46. The Six Divisions of Biopsychology Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  47. The 6 Divisions of Biopsychology • Physiological Psychology • Psychopharmacology • Neuropsychology • Psychophysiology • Cognitive Neuroscience • Comparative Psychology Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  48. Physiological Psychology • focuses on the direct manipulation of the nervous system in controlled laboratory settings (e.g., lesions, electrical stimulation, invasive recording) • thus, subjects are usually laboratory animals strong focus on pure research Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  49. Psychopharmacology • similar to physiological psychology except that the nervous system is manipulated pharmacologically • focuses on drug effects on behavior and how these changes are mediated by changes in neural activity • many psychopharmacologists favor pure research and use drugs to reveal the nature of brain-behavior interactions; many others study applied questions (e.g., drug abuse, therapeutic drugs) Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.

  50. Neuropsychology • focuses on the behavioral deficits produced in humans by brain damage, typically cortical damage • can’t be studied in humans by experimentation; deals almost exclusively with case studies and quasiexperimental studies • most applied; neuropsychological tests of brain-damaged patients facilitate diagnosis, treatment, and lifestyle counseling Pinel's Biopsychology, 5th Ed.