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Biological Psychology

This section explores biological explanations in psychology, known as the biological approach. We'll look at the structure and functions of the brain, how biological approaches explain illnesses and more:

The Biological Approach

Read an outline and evaluation of the biological approach in psychology: Introduction to Biological Approach

Did you know?

BrainThe idea that we only use 10% of our brains is a myth: it originated from either an advertisement or misleading interpretation of neurological research in the late 19th or early 20th Century. We actually use our entire brains, but the myth was perpetuated by 'psychics' who claimed that we could tap in to the other functions of the brain in order to enjoy abilities such as Extra-Sensory Perception.

Key Facts:

  • The adult human brain usually weighs about 1 - 1.5 kg in an average volume of 1,600 cm³.
  • It consumes about 20% of the energy used by the body. (In infants, it consumes about 60%). This generates a lot of heat, which must be removed to prevent damage.
  • At birth, the human skull is rather soft, and it deforms somewhat during its passage through the birth canal, then recovers its shape. This allows it to expand to make room for the brain, which continues to grow, at the same rate as that of an unborn fetus, for an additional year. In all other animals, the growth rate of the brain slows significantly at birth. Source

This section explores biological explanations in psychology, known as the biological approach. We'll look at the structure and functions of the brain, how biological approaches explain illnesses and more:

The Biological Approach

Read an outline and evaluation of the biological approach in psychology: Introduction to Biological Approach

Did you know?

BrainThe idea that we only use 10% of our brains is a myth: it originated from either an advertisement or misleading interpretation of neurological research in the late 19th or early 20th Century. We actually use our entire brains, but the myth was perpetuated by 'psychics' who claimed that we could tap in to the other functions of the brain in order to enjoy abilities such as Extra-Sensory Perception.

Key Facts:

  • The adult human brain usually weighs about 1 - 1.5 kg in an average volume of 1,600 cm³.
  • It consumes about 20% of the energy used by the body. (In infants, it consumes about 60%). This generates a lot of heat, which must be removed to prevent damage.
  • At birth, the human skull is rather soft, and it deforms somewhat during its passage through the birth canal, then recovers its shape. This allows it to expand to make room for the brain, which continues to grow, at the same rate as that of an unborn fetus, for an additional year. In all other animals, the growth rate of the brain slows significantly at birth. Source


Brain Explorer Brain Explorer

Brain Explorer

Discover what each part of your brain does and how it functions with the new interactive Brain Explorer.

Brain Explorer
Evaluation of the Biological Approach Evaluation Of The Biological Approach

Evaluation of the Biological Approach

A key debate in psychological study over the past century has been whether or not neuropsychology - the study of the brain - and looking solely at the chemical compositions and reactions within it can explain animal or human behavior. Yes, It Can! It makes sense, doesn't it? Just as Chaos theory claims that we can predict all events if...

Evaluation of the Biological Approach
How Drugs Affect Us: Cells How Drugs Affect Us: Cells

How Drugs Affect Us: Cells

How do drugs that affect our mood (for example, Prozac for depression) and the way we behave work? Below we'll take a look at the basic theory behind what makes them work... The brain contains many billions of cells, which are joined together at synapes - junctions at which they communicate through one-way signals. These signals are...

How Drugs Affect Us: Cells
Headaches Headaches

Headaches

Types of headaches and treatments explained, including exploration of Ice Cream and Rebound headaches.

Headaches
ECT ECT

ECT

Electric shock treatment, or ECT, is one of the more controversial of psychological treatments, perhaps seconded only by lobotomy. Its origins, and effect in treating depression and obsessions, are quite surprising... It was at the start of the 20th century when doctors believed that epileptic seizures were effective in...

ECT
Lobotomy Lobotomy

Lobotomy

Perhaps the lobotomy (the removal of parts of the brain) is the most controvertial of treatments that have been developed over the past two centuries for mania and depression. And what is even more bizarre is the results that lobotomies have produced. Here, we'll look at the accident that sparked the revolution in psychosurgery and its...

Lobotomy
Dopamine Neurotransmitter Dopamine Neurotransmitter

Dopamine Neurotransmitter

The role of neurotransmitter dopamine in movement and cognition.

Dopamine Neurotransmitter
Serotonin Serotonin

Serotonin

Seratonin's role in anxiety and depression.

Serotonin
Biological Approach Biological Approach

Biological Approach

Introduction to the Biological Approach How it differs to other approaches Key assumptions of the approach Evaluation of the Biological Approach The biological approach in psychology is highly respected among psychologists but its reductionist, over-simplistic approach to human nature means that it does not fully explain many disorders or...

Biological Approach

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