IB Psychology - Biological Approach


Terms in this set (...)

refers to the idea that the brain is made up of specialized modules, and that each module has a certain function
Phineas Gage
localization - the study suggests that the frontal lobe plays an important role in personality, particularly in goal setting and self-regulating behaviour
prefrontal cortex
the outermost layer of the frontal lobe and is responsible for many of the executive functions in the brain
Paul Broca
localization - the study suggests that speech articulation is controlled by the left frontal lobe
Wilder Penfield
localization - the study mapped the sensory and motor cortex known as the cortical homunculus. It is a relative representation of the various parts of the body in the sensory cortex.
Grafman et al. (1996)
localization - the study suggests that damage to the prefrontal cortex is more likely to lead to aggressive behaviours
emotional center of the brain and is part of the limbic system. It activates our stress response and our ability to experience emotions such as fear.
Feinstein et al. (2011)
localization - the case study of SM shows that the amygdala enables us to experience fear
Gazzaniga (1967)
localization - the study found that the left brain accounts for speaking, reading, writing, and math. The right brain accounts for problem-solving, reasoning, and artistic abilities.
localization criticisms
some functions may be focused in a specific module while others are widely distributed
refers to the brain's ability to adapt by forming new connections as a result of experience, learning, or following an injury. Reasons for change are both genetic and environmental.
dendritic branching
the process by which the part of one neuron establishes a connection with other neurons
neural network
sum total of all your brain's neurons, and the connections between them. The stronger the pathway becomes, the more likely this pathway will become activated in the future.
synaptic plasticity
the ability of one neuron to form new connections and break up the old ones
corticial remapping
when brain area X assumes the functions of brain area Y due to injury
Rosenzweig and Bennet (1972)
neuroplasticity - the study suggests that being in a more stimulating environment causes new connections to form in the brain, altering brain structure
Maguire et al. (2000)
neuroplasticity - London cab drivers showed an increase in the posterior of the hippocampus as a result of their day to day lives
nervous system
is a system of cells and consists of the body, dendrites, and axon
the passing of neurotransmitters
they can be pulled back into the axon that released it or it binds itself to one of the receptors on the surface of the next neuron
excitatory neurotransmitters
allows the impulse to cross the synapse and produce a stimulating effect on the brain
inhibitory neurotransmitters
stops the impulse, preventing it from crossing and produces a calming effect on the brain
act by enhancing the action of the neurotransmitter
counteract neurotransmitters
Passamonti et al. (2012)
neurotransmitters - the study showed that there was a disruption in communication between the PFC and the amygdala. This might have increased emotional levels and chances of a highly emotional reaction to a threat.
criticisms of neurotransmitters
the effect may be indirect and X may not be the only factor affecting Z
refers to chemical communication among members of the same species
pheromones and animals
are processed in a different part of the brain than ordinary smells. It is processed in the vomeronasal organ (VNO) and is connected to a special region called the accessory olfactory bulb.
pheromones and humans
don't have a functional VNO or the accessory olfactory bulb so the effect of pheromones is debatable
Savic et al.
pheromones - the study suggests that sex pheromones do exist in humans, and they may influence sexual behaviour
Lundstrom and Olsson (2005)
pheromones - the study suggests that the androstadienone found in sweat may serve the function of signaling sexual attractiveness
criticisms of human pheromones
research is inconclusive, contradictory findings, biased because of backing by commercial interests, and limitations in methodology
are released and travel thorugh the bloodstream. Also help regulate long-term ongoing processes such as growth.
endocrine glads
release hormones. Parts include adrenal gland, pineal gland, thyroid, thymus, etc.
target cells
receptors for a particular hormone
gene activation
when a hormone binds to a receptor and launches a sequence of changes
examples of hormones
adrenaline, insulin, oxytocin, testosterone, cortisol, etc.
impacts of testosterone
deepened voice, muscle development, increased competitiveness and violence
impacts of oxytocin
development of stronger bonds
Albert et al. (1986)
hormones - the study suggests that testosterone plays an important role in aggression and status seeking in rats
Dabbs et al. (1996)
hormones - the study suggests that testosterone appears to be linked to violent, criminal behaviour in humans
DNA can be found in the nucleus of each cell and is organized into tiny units called genes
the genetic structure an organism inherits from its parents
the observable characteristics of an organism resulting from the interaction between the organism's genotype and its environment
genes and behaviour
contain the instruction for the production of proteins which regulate the body's processes and the expression of the phenotypic traits such as intelligence
humans have 46 and each one contains thousands of genes and are located in the nucleus of every human cell
heritable phenotype changes that do not involve alterations in the DNA sequence. This is usually the result of environmental factors.
regulation of gene expression
mechanisms used by the body to increase or decrease the production of proteins based on the genetic code. As a result, having a gene does not automatically mean that the gene will be manifested in the phenotype.
genetic similarities
a quantitive measure of the relative contribution of genetic factors into a trait/behaviour. Methods include twin studies, family studies, and adoption studies.
Bouchard and Mcgue (1981)
genetic similarities - the study suggests that intelligence is inherited to a considerable extent
Scarr and Weinberg (1983)
genetic similarities - the study suggests that IQ can be influenced by environmental factors
molecular genetics
genetic mapping technology that can reveal every gene in a given individual and behaviour is then compared across individuals with the same gene
Meyer-Lindenberg et al. (2008)
genetics and behaviour - the study suggests that the MAOA gene increases the likelihood of being violent
Caspi et al. (2003)
genetics and behaviour - the study suggests that individuals with the 5-HTTT gene reacted to stressful life events with more depressive symptoms
criticisms of genetics
different traits are influenced by genetic inheritance to different degrees and environmental factors can influence biological factors through the regulation of gene expression
theory of evolution
states that organisms are driven to survive and reproduce and organisms of the same population are born with randomly different traits which may help in their survival
survival of the fittest
favourable characteristics which help an organism survive and reproduce
natural selection
organisms that are better adapted and pass on their genes to help strengthen the gene pool
genetic similarities between humans and animals
humans share 98% of their genes with chimps, 90% with cats, 69% with rats, and 60% with chickens
Johnston et al. (2001)
evolution - the study suggests that masculine features can influence a man's attractiveness by signifying his suitability to mate and high levels of testosterone
Buss (1989)
evolution - the study suggests that women and men seek traits which are likely to help procreate healthy offspring
criticisms of evolution
explanations for behaviour are difficult to isolate and test

Flickr Creative Commons Images

Some images used in this set are licensed under the Creative Commons through Flickr.com.
Click to see the original works with their full license.