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Terms in this set (49)

- This essay will give a brief summary of the principles that define the biological level of analysis.
- The biological level of analysis (BLA) states that all cognitions, emotions and behaviours have a physiological basis.
- There are three underlying principles that define the BLA
1.Emotions and behaviours are products of the anatomy and physiology of the nervous and endocrine systems
2.Animal research may inform our understanding of human behaviour
3.Patterns of behaviour can be inherited; behaviour is innate because it is genetically based
- These principles are the main ideas that have driven focused research on specific areas of behaviour and physiology
- They also allow us to understanding how behaviour can be caused or influenced by biological factors
- The BLA assumes that behaviour is a result of biological/physiological factors
- Links with the principle that there are biological correlates of behaviour.
- Bidirectional relationship between other levels of analysis
- Behaviour is not only a result of biological factors alone; other factors like cognitions and the environment interact with one another, resulting in specific behaviours
- Cognition can affect biology and biology can affect cognition
- The environment can also affect physiological processes and vice versa
- Nature vs. nurture debate
- Debate between whether human behaviour is attributed to biological or environmental factors
- Psychologists have an interactionist approach and take both into account
- Reductionist approach
- At the BLA, researchers break down complex human physiology and behaviour into its smallest components to study
- Two of the three principles will be outlined in the following essay.
•To investigate the localisation of function in Phineas Gage's case of how his brain damage resulted in a change of behaviour.

•Specifically, Harlow wanted to investigate how the particular brain damage altered his behaviour.


•Phineas Gage, a 25-year-old railroad worker in the 19th century who survived the passing of an iron rod through his head/skull.

◦It entered below his left cheek and exited through the top of his skull on the frontal lobe.
•J.M Harlow nursed Gage to recovery observing his behaviour.


•Harlow observed and studied Gage, having undergone dramatic changes in personality after the injury, which he didn't show beforehand.

◦Harlow described him as having little restraint, using extremely rude language, and making grand plans for the future, which would be instantly replaced with others.


•From Harlow's study of Phineas Gage, it can be concluded that Gage's frontal lobes were indeed damaged in the left pre-frontal region, which accounted for his disinhibited behaviour.

•Harlow's study exemplifies how different parts of the brain, in this case, the frontal lobe which controls personality, relating back to the theory of localization of function, which is that specific regions of the brain are responsible for different functions.


Gender - It was gender biased as the study was limited to a man and at the time they did not know that both men and women's brains worked the same.
Methodology - there was no real methodology as the accident was unexpected and so they could not plan the study, only study Phineas Gage after his frontal lobe was damaged.
Ethics - There could be some bad ethic points, as all of Phineas Gage's accident and his behaviour afterwards was published, not protecting him and his identity.
Culture - Culture could affect it as Phineas lived in a culture where he was able to get medicine and psychiatric help.
- This essay will attempt to offer a balanced review of how and why particular research methods are used at the biological level of analysis (BLA).
- The biological level of analysis (BLA) states that all cognitions, emotions and behaviours have a physiological basis.
- Researchers need to have a method for collecting and analysing data.
- There are many different/various methods researchers and psychologists use to conduct their studies.
- Research methods are ways that researchers use and manipulate to conduct their studies.
- There are 6 main research methods used in psychology, which consists of the following:
◾Case Studies
◾Observational Studies
◾Correlational Studies
- Sometimes in research, researchers incorporate the use of 2 or more research methods of investigation to explore the same aspect, as using 2 or more may be more suitable and effective in finding out the necessary aims of the researcher - this is known as triangulation.
- It also increases credibility.
- There are 4 main types of triangulation:
- In psychological research, certain biases are present, which may affect or influence the findings of the experiment, sometimes in a positive way, but mostly in a negative light/nature.
- There are two major types of biases, which are:
◾Researcher bias - The researcher/s sees what they are looking for, in which the expectations of the researcher consciously or unconsciously affect the findings of the study.
◾Observer bias - The participant/s act differently or accordingly due to the consciousness of being observed by people (researchers), which may influence the nature of the study.
- At the BLA the main research methods used are experiments and case studies.
- These will be further analyzed in the body of the essay, looking at studies and how and why these research methods are used

•Define what an experiment is?
◦What is the purpose of an experiment?
◾Experiments are used to determine the cause and effect relationship between two variables (independent (IV) and dependent (DV) variables).
•Outline how experiments are used

◦Researchers manipulate the independent variable (IV) and measure the dependent variable (DV)
◦Attempt to control as many extraneous variables as possible to provide controlled conditions (laboratory experiments)
◦Experiments are considered a quantitative research method, however qualitative data may be collected as well
•Types of experimental settings
◦There are three different types of experiments, which include a laboratory experiment, a natural (QUASI) experiment and a field experiment.

Laboratory - laboratory setting
1.-Strict control over variables
2.-Easy to replicate
3.-High reliability and validity
4.-Permits elimination of irrelevant factors.
Because of the artificial environment, it lacks ecological validity due to the artificial environment and nature of it. When the situation is created, it is unlikely to occur in a real life situation, so one has to wonder if there is any validity in the findings. Can be effected by bias.

Field - real-life setting
- High ecological validity, because of the very natural setting - certain measures may be more representative of reality.
1.-Not all extraneous variables can be controlledpoor control as a result of placing it in a natural or real-life setting (where large amounts of variables need to be taken into account).
2.-Not easily replicable.

Natural/QUASI - IV is naturally occurring
1.-Extremely ecologically valid
2.-Used when the IV cannot be produced in a laboratory setting (e.g. financial or ethical restrictions)
1.-No control over variables as they occur naturally.
2.-Cannot be replicated, as it occurs rarely.
3.-Low reliability
4.-Researcher may have to wait for a long period of time to measure the desired behaviour when trying to replicate it or look for similar phenomenon.

•Outline why experiments are used
◦It is considered/perceived to be the most scientific research method
◦Determines cause-effect relationship between two variables (IV & DV)
- Outline experiments used in the BLA
- Sperry
-Berthold (1849)
Sperry - Hemisphere disconnection and unity in conscious awareness
[A] Investigate behavioural, psychological and neurological consequences when the left and right hemisphere of the brain is disconnected.
[P] - Subjects were patients who had deconnection surgery to stop epileptic seizure.
- Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body.
- They were given a series of tests.
- Test one
- Visual information is presented to the left or right side for 1/10th of a second.
- Eyes will not have time to readjust hence stimulus on the right will be received by the left hemisphere, vise versa.
- Test two
- Present tactile (touch) stimulus to the left or right side.
- Screen is used to cover and remove visual identification.
- Stimulus felt on the left side will be received on the right hemisphere, vise versa.

[F] - Object shown on the left side will only be recognized when its shown on the left side again, vise versa.
- Only objects shown to the right visual field can be named verbally or written down.
- Objects shown to the left visual field cannot be named.
- Subjects were shown a Dollar Sign on the left and a Question Mark on the right.
- They were asked to draw what they see with their left hand (the cannot see their left hand), subjects drew a Dollar Sign.
- When asked what they had just drawn, they would tell the experimenter "A Question Mark".
- If an object was felt by the left hand, it can only be recognized by the left hand again.

[C] - Brain function is localised.
- Speech and writing comprehension happens in the left hemisphere.
- Processing of image and visuals happen in the right hemisphere.
- There is a different visual perception and memory storage in each hemisphere.

[E] - Made use of patients who underwent hemisphere disconnection surgery as a cure for epileptic seizure, bypassed ethical guidelines of needing to physically harm the subject (even with consent).
- Natural experiment, high in ecological validity.

Why are experiments used?
Strengths of Experiment
- Can be repeated, results tend to be more reliable
- Controlled environment, removes confounding variable
- Isolation of IV and DV give a clear cause and effect relationship
- Can always be generalised to a certain extent
- Data easily measured

Weaknesses of Experiment
- Lab environment, low in ecological validity
- May break ethical guidelines
- Lower generalising potential
- [Natural experiment] No control over variables, unpredictable
- Possibility of Demand characteristics

How it reflects an experiment:
- IV: Whether or not the participant had severing of their corpus callosum
- DV: Participants performance on a test of visual cues
- Experimental Type: QUASI/ Natural as the IV has already occurred and researchers had no choice in selection of participants
Why was experiment useful:
- Allowed a cause and effect relationship to be developed and recognized
- Cause: cutting the corpus callosum
- Effect: the rain does indeed lateralize functions such as speech, and that each hemisphere has its own perceptions, memories and experiences
- Cause and effect relationship would not be able o be found using other research methods
- Like experiments, another key research method used frequently in the BLA is a case study.
-In-depth study of an individual or small group
- Because of this, case studies obtain information that may not be identifiable by using other research methods
- Case studies are considered a qualitative research method, however quantitative data may be collected as well
- They involve the use of a combination of several research methods such as interviews and observations
- The conclusions are more valid than what may be gained from any of these research methods individually
- Case studies are used:
- To obtain enriched data
- To study unusual psychological phenomena
◦Stimulates new research into an unusual phenomena
◦To study a particular variable that cannot be produced in a laboratory. For example, due to ethical or financial restrictions.
◦To obtain other information they may not be able to get from other methods.
- limitations:
◦Researchers may develop more personal relationships with participants
◾may result in subjective data or different behaviour of participants and researchers
◦Results of case studies are affected by the researcher's interpretations
◾may be subjective and influenced by the researcher's beliefs, values, and opinions
◦May cost a lot of time, effort & money due to the amount of data and time of a case study
◦Cannot be replicated
◦Lacks population validity - extent to which findings can be generalised to the whole population
◾Small participant sample
◾Especially if study investigates a unique phenomenon
•Outline case studies used in the BLA
◦Money - "David Reimer" (1974)
◦Harlow - "Phineas Gage" (1848)
Study 1: Money - "David Reimer" (1974)
•One identical twin boy had his penis burnt off by accident during circumcision
•Money advised the boy's parents to castrate him and raise him as a female.
•Money interviewed the twins once a year and used the findings to support his theory of gender neutrality - all people are born gender neutral and the environment determines gender-specific behaviour.
•At the age of 14, Brenda was told she was born a boy, and decided to turn into a boy named David.

Ethical issues of this study:
There were a set of ethical issues in this study, which include:
- Informed consent
•Money published scientific articles using this case study as evidence to support his theory.
•Neither the twins nor their parents gave informed consent to the twins being in a study.
- Withdrawal
•Lack of knowledge of the study means they were not informed of their right to withdrawal
- Debriefing
•Family was not debriefed
- Confidentiality
•In the publications, Money revealed the case and identity of the twins, which violates the family's right to confidentiality.
-Participant protection
•Money caused physical harm by castrating Bruce.
•Bruce was forced to live as a girl
•Mental harm was inflicted as Brenda experienced confusion, bullying and trauma due to gender issues.
•The mental trauma that David experienced from the study lead to the suicide of both twins
- Deception
•The family was not informed of the true nature and aims of Money's study or that the twins were in a study.
•David was deceived into believing he was a female for most of his childhood and adolescence.
Seligman - Learned Helplessness Dog Study (Depression)
[A] Prove that Learned Helplessness can lead to depression.
[P] - A dog was trapped in an enclosed area where the floor was lined with electrodes.
- The experimenter would activate the electrode once in a while.
- The dog would jump over a low wall to the other side of the enclosed area where no electrodes were on the floor.
- The experimenter raised the wall slowly until it was too high for the dog to jump over.
- Then after a few trials, the experimenter lowered the wall again.
[F] - The dog gave the high wall a few attempts.
- But after knowing that it is impossible to jump across, the dog gave up and let itself get electrocuted.
- When the walls were lowered again, the dog did not attempt to jump across.
[C] - The dog learnt that he is incapable of jumping across.
- Learn that its are helpless therefore lowering its self esteem.
[E] - Low in ecological validity, lab experiment.
- Controlled, no confounding variable.
- Animal experiment can provide insight into human behaviour.
- Unethical, participants did not have rights to withdraw.
- Induced fear and depression into participants.
Misuse/ harm of animal research - American Psychological Association outlines regulations for animal research in order to ensure that animals are not harmed. These guidelines include the limitation of animal use in experimentation unless it is unavoidable and the research may potentially provide significant benefit to the health and welfare of humans or other animals. Animal welfare is also monitored to ensure optimal protection.
•To investigate the localisation of function in Phineas Gage's case of how his brain damage resulted in a change of behaviour.
•Specifically, Harlow wanted to investigate how the particular brain damage altered his behaviour.


•Phineas Gage, a 25-year-old railroad worker in the 19th century who survived the passing of an iron rod through his head/skull.
◦It entered below his left cheek and exited through the top of his skull on the frontal lobe.
•J.M Harlow nursed Gage to recovery observing his behaviour.


•Harlow observed and studied Gage, having undergone dramatic changes in personality after the injury, which he didn't show beforehand.
◦Harlow described him as having little restraint, using extremely rude language, and making grand plans for the future, which would be instantly replaced with others.


•From Harlow's study of Phineas Gage, it can be concluded that Gage's frontal lobes were indeed damaged in the left pre-frontal region, which accounted for his disinhibited behaviour.
- affected Ventromedial region of the frontal lobes on both sides - causing a defect in rational decision making and the processing of emotion
•Harlow's study exemplifies how different parts of the brain, in this case, the frontal lobe which controls personality, relating back to the theory of localization of function, which is that specific regions of the brain are responsible for different functions.


Gender - It was gender biased as the study was limited to a man and at the time they did not know that both men and women's brains worked the same.
Methodology - there was no real methodology as the accident was unexpected and so they could not plan the study, only study Phineas Gage after his frontal lobe was damaged.
Ethics - There could be some bad ethic points, as all of Phineas Gage's accident and his behaviour afterwards was published, not protecting him and his identity.
Culture - Culture could affect it as Phineas lived in a culture where he was able to get medicine and psychiatric help.
Milner - The Case Study of HM
Important study cuz proves that there are different memory systems in the brain.
Description - HM suffered from epilepsy.
- Went through lesioning to remove temporal lobe.
- Surgeon accidentally removed parts of the Hippocampus (responsible for LTM retrieval).
- Caused anterograde and retrograde amnesia.
- Retrograde amnesia: memory loss of the past; only affected memory up to 11 years before surgery.
- Anterograde amnesia: cant form new memories
- He can remember things 12 years before the accident.
- Discovered that the cortex and hippocampus is connected
- also discovered that the hippocampus and areas around the hippocampus play a critical role in converting memories of experiences fro short term memory to long term memory.
- Since he was able to remember things before the surgery this shows that the hippocampus is temporary memory storage.
- shows that hippocampus is part of memory system and since defect in this effected only some memory, it shows that other memory systems are located else where across the brain.
- memory processing is much more complex than originally assumed and although the hippocampus is important in storage of new memories it is not the only structure involved in the process.
- Emotional memory was intact, at the mention of the death of his favorite uncle, he experienced distress.

[E] - Ecological validity: High, study of a real life case.
- Low potential ability to generalise because cases are individual.
- Ethics: Patient's name was kept confidential until he died.
- surgery done to stop seizures which worked but also damaged memory
◦This essay will explain the effects of neurotransmission on human behaviour.
◦One of the most important discoveries that have influenced psychology is the role of neurotransmission in behaviour, thought and emotion.
◦To understand the effect of neurotransmission on human behaviour, the physiology or method of neurotransmission should be understood.
◦Neurons are nerve cells - one of the building blocks of behaviour.
◦Send electrochemical messages to the brain so that people can respond to stimuli:
◾Either from external stimuli (environment)
◾From internal changes in the body
◦This transferral of messages is known as neurotransmission.
◦Neurotransmission is the method by which messages are sent through the central nervous
◦When an electrical impulse travels down the axon (body of neuron), it releases neurotransmitters which cross the gap between two neurons known as a synapse.
◦Neurotransmitters are the body's natural chemical messengers which transmit information from one neuron to another.
◦They are stored in the neurons' terminal buttons.
◦After crossing synapse, neurotransmitters fir into receptor sites on the post synaptic membrane (like a key in a lock).
◦Once the message has been passed on, they are either broken down or reabsorbed by terminal buttons known as reuptake.
•So what is the significance of neurotransmitters in the BLA?
◦Neurotransmitters have been shown to have a range of different effects on human behaviour.
◦Neurotransmission underlies behaviour as varied as mood, memory, sexual arousal and mental illness.
◦There are various types of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and acetylcholine that influence behaviour.
◦Several studies have been undertaken to demonstrate the effects of neurotransmission on human behaviour.
◦Serotonin and acetylcholine will be explained in the following essay.
◦One example of a neurotransmitter is serotonin, which is commonly associated with depression and aggression.
◦Serotonin is a body regulator it controls bodily processes such as sleep and body temperature.
◦It protects us from negative emotions such as anxiety and depression.
◦Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, employed by the nervous system in mediation of pain, sleep control, and regulation of mood.
◦Secreted into the human body by the pineal glands.
◦Low levels of serotonin due to efficient re-uptake in the pre-synaptic neuron leads to low levels of arousal and lack of positive emotion, hence symptoms of depression
- While high levels of Serotonin are associated with feelings of well being and happiness, and of being at peace with the world.
- Study by Kasamatsu and Hirai
- One example of how the neurotransmitter serotonin can affect behaviour was seen by researchers, Kasamatsu and Hirai, 1999.
•To see how sensory deprivation affects the brain
•Also to see how the serotonin affects behaviour


•Studied a group of Buddhist monks who went on a 72-hour pilgrimage to a holy mountain in Japan.
•Monks did not consume water or food; did not speak and were also exposed to cold weather.
•Researchers took a blood sample before monks ascended into the mountain and immediately after they reported having hallucinations


•After about 48 hours, monks began to have hallucinations, seeing ancient ancestors or feeling their presence by their sides.
•They found that serotonin levels had increased in the monks' brains thus the higher levels of serotonin activated the hypothalamus and frontal cortex resulting in the hallucinations.


•Researchers concluded that sensory deprivation triggered the release of serotonin, which altered the way that the monks experienced the world, a behaviour expressed by humans.

Connection of study to question
◦Thus, this study shows that the neurotransmitter serotonin affects the human behaviour of increased arousal causing hallucinations (as demonstrated by monks after a spike in serotonin), therefore affecting human behaviour in terms of arousal and emotion.
◦Another example of a neurotransmitter is acetylcholine (Ach).
◦Serotonin is associated with the brain - in how it involved in learning and memory.
◦Present in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and acetylcholine receptors are found widely throughout the body and brain.
◦Effects of Ach in the body include:
◾stimulates muscle contractions; excites nerves
◦An increase in Ach causes
◾Decreased heart rate
◾Increased production of saliva
◾High doses - convulsions and tremors
◾Deficient levels - contribute to motor dysfunction
- Study done by Martinez and Kesner
- Introduce Study (Signpost):
•One example of how the acetylcholine can affect behaviour was seen by researchers, Martinez & Kesner, 1991.
◦To determine role of neurotransmitter acetylcholine on memory, specifically memory formation.

◦Rats were trained to go through maze and get to the end where they received food.
◦After rats were able to do this, he injected:
◾1st group -scopolamine, which blocks acetylcholine receptor sites. ( no ACh)
◾2nd group - physostigmine, blocks production of cholinesterase (does 'clean-up' of - acetylcholine from synapse and returns neuron to its 'resting state'). (too much ACh)
◾3rd group - control (no injections).

◦Group 1 - Scopolamine - slower at finding way round maze and made more errors than control/physostigmine group.
◦Group 2 - Physostigmine - ran faster compared to both groups and made fewer wrong turns.

◦Acetylcholine played an important role in creating a memory of the maze.


◾Design and application
◾Use of an experimental method with a control group made it possible to establish cause- and-effect relationship between levels of acetylcholine and memory.
◾Questionable to what extent these findings can be generalized to humans. (Possible to apply research on rats to human beings)
◾Assumed that memory processes are the same for all animals.

•Connection of study to question
◦Thus, this study shows that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine affects the human behaviour of memory causing an increase in memory functions with higher amounts of Ach compared to lower levels of Ach, which decreases memory functioning.
◦A hormone which can affect human behaviour is testosterone.
◦Secreted by the testes in males
◦Testosterone is mainly known for supporting male traits as it influences aggressiveness and aggression in general.
◦In males, it is responsible for factors such as:
◾The deepening of the voice
◾Facial hair growth
◾Increasing overall body mass and size of the male's penis and testes.
◾Responsible for maintaining a male's sex drive.
◦ Although linked profoundly in males, testosterone is also found in females.
◾It plays a less important role
◾Secreted in small amounts from the ovaries
◦Stimulates the production of red blood cells.
◦Increases the incorporation of amino acids & protein synthesis in muscles, liver, & kidneys, thus stimulating their growth & metabolism.
◦Increases cell division in certain tissues.
◦Essential for reproduction & maintenance of male characteristics, organs & behaviour
- Study by Berthold
•An early indication of a study demonstrating the effects of testosterone on animal behaviour is a study conducted by Berthold (1849).
•The aim of this experiment was to test the effects of testosterone through the castration of roosters.

•Quasi Experiment
•6 healthy roosters
•Surgically castrated them (removing testicles thus stopping the production of testosterone)
•He then divided them into 3 groups of 2 roosters
◦Group 1 - control group- roosters were left in their own capons
◦Group 2 - transplanted with testicles of another rooster
◦Group 3 - reimplanted with their own testicles

•Berthold observed that the castrated roosters displayed different behaviour, where they were less masculine and less aggressive towards other roosters.
◦Such behaviours included a lack of crowing, fighting, and showed a less desire to mate.
•Those roosters that reacquired testicles behaved like normal roosters again.
•Autopsy of roosters revealed that the testicles did not re-establish nerve connections with the rest of the body.

•Berthold concluded that the testicles must have produced a biochemical that influences aggression and dominant male behaviours.

Connection of study to question
•This study relates to the function of testosterone because when roosters had testes (which secrete testosterone) they displayed dominant male behaviours and aggression.
•However, when they were removed it showed that the evolutionary and dominant "male" behaviours of the roosters (aggression) decreased, which indicates the connection that testosterone affects behaviour.
- unethical
Because he tested the effects of testosterone on animals but not humans, some people may argue that his findings cannot be generalised to humans.
◦Although this is the case, Berthold still found significant results relating to the influence of testosterone and was a good early indicator, which generated more research into this biological area into humans.
◦Adrenaline is secreted in the Adrenal glands, located above both kidneys.
◦This hormone is known for the "flight or fight" reaction and arousal.
◦Thus adrenaline is a hormone that helps an organism deal with an external threat (in the environment) in preparing the body to fight it or run away.
◦Adrenaline can increase flow of oxygen and blood to the brain (increasing activity in the heart and dilating blood vessels).
◦Some symptoms which adrenaline causes the body to do are:
◾Increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
◾Dilation of pupils in eyes.
◦Transfers key resources (such as oxygen and glucose) away from internal organs to the extremities of the body
◦Functions like digestion are less important thus slowed down being focused in helping an organism fight or run away from danger
◦Increases alertness
◦It has been suggested that adrenaline may be responsible for the creation of emotion
- Study by Schacter and Singer
•A study looking into the effects of adrenaline on humans was conducted by Schacter and Singer (1962)
•To test the two factor theory of emotion (that emotion arises from a combination of a cognition and arousal), using the hormone, adrenaline.

•Test 184 college males
•Divided into 4 groups
◦All groups were told that they were going to be given an injection of Suproxin in order to test its effect on vision and that the aim of the experiment was to test the effect of vitamin injection on visual skills.
◦Even though men were really receiving adrenaline and tested the two factor theory of emotion.
◾First three groups were given an injection of adrenaline
◾Last group was given a placebo
•4 Groups divided into one of four conditions:
- adrenaline ignorant: with adrenaline but told no side effects
- adrenaline informed: with adrenaline and told side effects
- adrenaline misinformed: with adrenaline but told wrong side effects
- control group: placedo without knowing effects
Then those 4 groups were allocated into either:
◦Condition 1 - euphoria
◾Confederate encouraged participant to play with games inside the waiting room (with office equipment)
◦Condition 2 - anger
◾Confederate completed a questionnaire at the same pace as the participant but became more and more angry as the questions became more personal
◦During this time, participants were observed for changes in emotion
◦Participants were then asked to fill out a questionnaire detailing their state of emotion

- measured by subtracting "anger level" with "happiness level"
•Euphoric states: misinformed followed by ignorant were happiest since they had no way to explain why they felt that way thus communicating and engaging more with the person in the room
- Anger states: ignorant followed by placebo angry as they had no idea why they were feeling these effects. Mistook those chemical changes as the emotion of anger thus wrongly labeling their physiological responses.

•Researchers concluded that emotion occurs by a process of cognitive labelling: the interpretation of physiological cues is combined with contextual cues to construct a person's subjective experience of emotion. When explaining this study, do not go this much in-depth as in the above. State only the most relevant things that the examiner should know.

- study really messed up
- unethical (deception, etc)
- lacked ecological validity
- only pulse measured, results gotten in the most unscientific way
- replicated and failed to get same results
- inconsistent controls
- unorganized too many variables being tested
- lacked focus and loss of main point
- inconsistent as test for misinformed not included for anger condition.
- mood wasn't measured before the experiment
- some participants data removed from study

Connection of study to question
•This study shows that adrenaline can contribute to changes in emotion, a behaviour expressed by humans.
Cortisol - a Hormone produced by the adrenal cortex in response to stress and to restore homeostasis ( the body's normal balance). Chronic stress may result in prolonged cortisol secretion and this can lead to physiological changes such as damaged immune system and impairment of learning and memory. This is because high amounts of cortisol results in atrophy if the hippocampus.
Study by Newcomer analyzes its effect on memory:
Aim: To investigate how levels of cortisol interfere with verbal declarative memory.
- a self selected sample, recruited through advertisements, of 51 normal and healthy people aged 18 - 30 was used.
- randomized, controlled, double blind experiment running for four days.
- all participants given informed consent
- three experimental conditions:
1. a high level of cortisol (160 mg tablet per day) (equivalent to cortisol levels in blood when very stressed)
2. a low level of cortisol (40 mg per day)( equivalent to cortisol levels in blood when mildly stressed)
3. a placebo (no active ingredients)
Results: The high level group performed worse on the verbal declarative memory test than the low level group. They performed below placebo levels after day 1. The low level group (mild stress) showed no memory decreased.
Evaluation: This was a controlled randomized experiment so it was possible to establish a cause-effect relationship between levels of cortisol and scores on a verbal declarative memory test. Ethical issues were observed with informed consent. The negative effect of taking high dosages of cortisol was reversible so no harm was done. All participants were gave informed consent.
◦The first effect of an environment on physiological processes that will be discussed is brain plasticity.
◦The brain's ability to rearrange its connections with its neurons; that is the changes that occur in the structure of the brain as a result of learning or experience (exposure to different environments).
◦The changes that can take place are related to the challenges of the environment and thus represent an adaptation to it.
◦Brain plasticity, or neuroplasticity, is the lifelong ability of the brain to reorganize neural pathways based on new experiences.
◦It is stimulated by the environment.
◦Plasticity occurs every time something new is learnt
◦Brain plasticity is explicitly shown after brain injury when the brain reorganizes and forms new connections with healthy neurons to compensate for the functions of the damaged area.
- An example of a study which investigates the effects of a deprived or enriched environment on neuroplasticity is an experiment conducted by Rosenzweig and Bennet (1972).
- Aim: To investigate the effects of a deprived or enriched environment on neuroplasticity, in particular, the development of neurons in the cerebral cortex.
- Method: The participants used were rats (unspecified type).
- The independent variable was the type of environment that the rats were exposed to.
- Stimulating environment contained interesting toys
- Deprived environment had no toys
- The dependent variable was the weight of the rats' brains, showing the amount of brain plasticity that occurred in the rats.
- The rats were separated and exposed to the two environments for 30-60 days before being euthanized.
- Results: Rats in the stimulating environment had a thicker cortex and heavier frontal lobe (associated with thinking, planning, and decision-making) compared to rats in the deprived environment.
- Conclusion: This may have resulted from the exposure to the toys in the stimulating environment, which helped to develop neural connections in the rat's brain.
- Evaluation:
- Limitations: Lacks ecological validity
- the findings cannot be generalized to humans
- follow up experiment showed that just 2 hours a day in an enriched environment produced he same effects in brains of rats which shows that the brain can change and adapt to new situations
- implications of study are that human brains will also be affected by environmental factors such as intellectual and social stimulation.
- research challenged that brain weight doesn't change
- unethical (animal research) but since results were significant, experiment justified

- Connection of study to question:
This study showed the effect of the environment on physiology because more enriched environments helped develop neurons in brains of the rats.
◦This essay will attempt to uncover the assumptions and interrelationships of the interaction between cognition and physiology in terms of amnesia.
◦To examine the interaction between cognition and physiology in terms of amnesia, one must first understand that:
◾Cognition is the mental process of acquiring and processing knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and the senses. Cognitive processes include perception, attention, language, memory and thinking.
◾Physiology is the internal, biological mechanisms of living organisms - the way the organism functions
◦Amnesia can be defined as the inability to learn new information or retrieve information that has already been stored in memory.
◦Amnesia is the condition in which people lose their ability to memorize/recall information.
◦There is an interaction between biological and cognitive factors in amnesia
◾Amnesia has a biological cause (e.g. brain damage) and affects cognition (e.g. memory)
◦In amnesia patients, episodic memory is affected to a greater extent than semantic memory.
◾Episodic memories are memories linked to a certain time and place.
◾Semantic memories are memories for the meaning of information.
◦Amnesia can be caused by brain damage through:
◾specific drugs - usually sedative
◾Closed head injuries
◦Regions affected in the brain:
◦Amnesia may also be a symptom of some degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease.
◦Neuroscientists distinguish between two key types of amnesia, anterograde: not able to form new memories
retrograde: not able to recall old memories
Milner & Scoville (1957) - HM
•Introduce Study - Link To Question:
◦An important/key study in explaining amnesia is the rare case of H.M, conducted by Milner and Scoville in 1957.
•H.M first fell off a bicycle at 9 years old resulting in brain damage.
•Epileptic seizures started at age 10
•Major seizures happened since age 16
-Drugs failed to control seizures
•At age 27 (1953) H.M had brain surgery to control his epilepsy and to stop seizures.
•He had a bilateral medial temporal lobectomy.
◦They removed tissue from the temporal lobe, including the hippocampus.
•H.M. was studied extensively for 40 years.
•In 1997, researchers used an MRI scan
•After the operation, HM had anterograde amnesia - he was unable to create new memories
◦Nothing could be stored in his long-term memory (LTM).
•His childhood memories were intact
•Memories immediately before the operation were lost.
•His working memory was intact.
•MRI Scan Results (1997) -
◦Brain damage was pervasive and included the hippocampus, the amygdala, and other areas close to the hippocampus.
•The hippocampus is needed for memories to be transferred to long-term memory.
•The case of HM reveals the interaction of cognition (memory) and physiology (brain damage in the hippocampus) in amnesia.
◦Brain damage in relevant areas caused memory impairment
◦This study suggests that certain brain regions are responsible for the cognitive process of memory
- supports interactions between cognition and physiology in amnesia
- indepth study
- enriched data
- studied phenomenon that could not be studied ethically in lab
- MRI scan excellent resolution
◦The first brain imaging technology, MRI scans, will be firstly investigated in its relation to the biological process of neuroplasticity.
◦This technique uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce 3D computer-generated images.
◦MRI scans involve people to remove all metal objects and clothing where they lie within an MRI machine.
◦It can distinguish among different types of soft tissue and allows researchers to see structures within the brain.
- Strengths:
excellent resolution
can be tested repeatedly
provides controlled experimental conditions
- Weaknesses:
limited to activation studies
correlation but not causation
can be inaccurate as slight movements affect clarity of image
cant be used on everyone (can cause anxiety, obese people cant fit, people with pacemakers or metallic implants)

•A study which utilizes MRI scans to investigate a physiological process is a study conducted by Milner and Scoville (1957).

•HM suffered epileptic seizures after a head injury at age 9
•Doctors performed surgery to stop seizures
•Tissue from temporal lobe, and hippocampus was removed
•HM suffered anterograde amnesia
◦He could recall information from early life but could not form new memories
•HM was studied using an MRI in 1997

•The brain scan showed that there was damage to the hippocampus, amygdala, and areas close to the hippocampus

Connection of study to question
•By using MRI scanning technology, researchers were able to investigate the effects of biological factors on behaviour and make a correlation between certain brain areas and memory and other behaviour.
•MRI scans were used to see the structures of the brain to determine the extent of brain damage
◦The structures would not be able to be clearly seen using other technologies such as EEGs or CTs.
◦The next biological factor which will be discussed with the brain imaging technology of PET Scans are brain interactions and functions.
◦PET scans require patients to be injected with a radioactive glucose tracer which shows the areas where glucose is absorbed in the active brain.
◦More glucose metabolism means more brain activity.
◦PET scans show a coloured visual display of brain activity; where radioactive tracer is absorbed
◾Red indicates areas with the most activity
◾Blue indicates areas with the least activity
Advantages -
- sensitive good resolution
- receptor mapping possible
Disadvantages -
- invasive (injection)
- expensive
- takes longer than an MRI
- limit number of injections
- cant do longitudinal studies
- some people allergic to tracer
•Another study which uses PET scans to investigate the result of brain damage on behaviour/personality is a well-known study conducted by Raine et al. (1997).
•The aim of the experiment was to discover (using PET scans) if murderers who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) show evidence of brain abnormalities.
•41 participants (39 male, 2 female) NGRI's (average age of 34.3)
•41 participants (controls), selected based on sex, age and matched to a NGRI participant
•Each participant was injected with a glucose tracer (bonds to glucose) (for PET scans)
◦Glucose tracers tracks brain activity as the brain absorbs glucose (as energy)
◦Radioactive glucose tracer emits positively charged particles called positrons, which are picked up by the scan
◦PET scans show colourful maps of brain activity; red = most active, blue = least active.
•They had to perform tasks requiring them to detect target signals for 32 minutes
•NGRIs had less activity in the pre-frontal cortex
◦Linked to self-control and emotion
•NGRIs had lower activity in the amygdala and medial temporal hippocampus
◦Lack of inhibition of violent behaviour
◦Fearlessness - Inappropriate emotional expression
◦Failure to learn consequences for violence
•Connection of study to outcome
•Raine utilised PET scan technology to investigate relationships between biological factor in criminals (NGRI's) and their behaviour.
Through Raine's study, which involved PET scans, psychologists were able to determine a link between the amygdala (biological factor) and crime (behaviour).
•Biological factor: damage to specific brain areas
•Behaviour attributed/linked to: Criminal/unlawful acts
◦Lack of inhibition of violent behaviour
◦Fearlessness - inappropriate emotional expression
◦Failure to learn consequences for violence
◦Aggressive behaviour
◦In conclusion, brain imaging technologies are very useful in determining the relationship between biological factors and behaviour
◦Useful in different situations.
◦All these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, primarily involving invasiveness and levels of radioactivity.
◦However, all of these methods contribute to investigating the relationship between biological factors and behaviour
•...a study lacking informed consent for genetic research by Dr. Money (1974).

•Money was contacted by parents of identical twin boys, one of whom (Bruce) had his penis burnt off in a circumcision accident.
•Money advised parents to castrate Bruce and turn him into a girl (Brenda).

Ethical considerations:
•Genetically, Brenda was still a boy, but she was lied to and forced to live as a girl without informed consent.
•In genetic research, there is a risk that participants may learn something about themselves they are not prepared to deal with.
◦Counselling should be offered as part of a full debriefing to genetic studies.
◦Neither Brenda nor her parents were debriefed about the case study that the twins were involved in.
•Money used this case as a study for his publication without knowledge of the parents
◦violation of informed consent
◦lack of confidentiality and privacy

3) Confidentiality of participants
•Participants should know how their privacy and confidentiality will be protected, and what will happen to any information obtained from the study.
◦As there might be consequences for any individual who finds out that they have a genetic predisposition to a disorder or behaviour, which they might consider unpleasant or harmful.
◦Additional problems include future disadvantages regarding work and applying for other things - where the knowledge of a person's genetic disorder or behaviour by other parties, such as insurance companies, who might prevent a person from receiving life insurance, or employers, who might refuse employment due to this regard.
•Confidentiality and privacy of participants can be protected by:
◦Coding information (so that only a small number of researchers have access to the information)
◦Fully anonymizing the sample (where researchers cannot link results to particular participants).
◾Anonymizing the sample can limit the scientific value of the study by preventing follow up investigation.
◾But it protects participants from insurance companies, employers, police, and others.

4) Stigmatization of individuals on basis of knowledge of genetic conditions
•If other people know about an individual's genetic predisposition to a disease, the individual can be stigmatized.
•Stigmatization is another ethical consideration as it may lead to institutionalization and differential treatment from others.
◦For example, an insurance company may deny insurance to individuals due to a genetic predisposition of a disease.
◦Or employers might refuse employment.