General psychology biopsychology
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General Psychology Biopsychology. Palahang H, Ph.D. The Department of Psychiatry The University of Medical Science. Biological Psychology: Core Concepts. At the individual level, Genetic Codes play a role in the unique individual characteristics

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General Psychology Biopsychology

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General psychology biopsychology

General Psychology Biopsychology

Palahang H, Ph.D.

The Department of Psychiatry

The University of Medical Science


Biological psychology core concepts

Biological Psychology: Core Concepts

  • At the individual level, Genetic Codes play a role in the unique individual characteristics

  • Genotype—unique genetic code inherited by the individual from biological parents


Biological psychology core concepts1

Biological Psychology: Core Concepts

  • Phenotype—expression of the genotype in physical and psychological characteristics

    • Impacted by biological and environmental forces

      • Biological forces: disease, toxins, injury

      • Environmental forces: access to health care, access to stimulation from the environment


The individual chromosomes genes and inherited dna

The Individual: Chromosomes, Genes, and Inherited DNA

  • Why are some people shorter than others?

  • Why are some children born with Down’s syndrome?


The individual chromosomes genes and inherited dna1

The Individual: Chromosomes, Genes, and Inherited DNA

  • Chromosomes—

    • the structure that carries the genetic material (DNA)

    • 23 pairs— half contributed by the biological mother and half by the biological father

  • Chromosomes are made up of genes—with specific DNA codes.

    • Each gene is responsible for some characteristic of the organism


The individual chromosomes genes and inherited dna2

The Individual: Chromosomes, Genes, and Inherited DNA

  • One pair of chromosomes determines our biological sex

    • The biological mother contributes the X

    • The biological father contributes either another X or a Y chromosome.

      • XX= female (more female fetuses survive than males)

      • XY=male


The individual chromosomes genes and inherited dna3

The Individual: Chromosomes, Genes, and Inherited DNA

  • Relationship between genotype and characteristics and behaviors is complex;

    • Inheriting a genotype linked to some psychopathology does not mean individuals will experience that pathology (e.g. schizophrenia).

    • Impact of the pathology is frequently minimized by alterations in the environment (e.g. corrective lenses).


The central nervous system

The Central Nervous System


The human brain

The Human Brain


Brain structures and functions

Brain Structures and Functions

  • Brain stem

    • First to evolve

    • Life-sustaining systems: breathing, pulse rate

    • Similar to brains of reptiles

  • Cerebellum

    • Coordination of “automatic” movements (walking, dancing)

    • Processing other temporal stimuli (e.g. music)


Brain structures and functions1

Brain Structures and Functions

Limbic system

  • Emotion, memories, desires

  • Functions to help us remember highly emotional experiences

  • Contains the hypothalamus—control center for many functions

  • Cerebral cortex

    • Last to evolve

    • Linked to higher mental processes

    • Different areas or “lobes” control different functions


  • Cerebral cortex higher mental functions

    Cerebral Cortex: Higher Mental Functions


    Frontal lobe

    Frontal Lobe

    • “Executive functions”—Planning, controlling, recognize future outcomes from current actions etc.,

    • Broca’s area of the frontal lobe—production of complex language

    • Motor functions—controls voluntary muscle groups

    • Alcohol likely decreases the functioning of this part of the brain related to impulse control (Amen, 1999)


    Parietal lobe

    Parietal Lobe

    • Receives input from senses

    • Distributes sensory information to other parts of the brain

    • Supports selective attention to particular sensory information

    • With parietal lobe damage, attention may be disrupted (Vecera & Flevaris, 2004)


    Occipital lobe

    Occipital Lobe

    • Visual information—color, brightness, motion, etc.,

    • Specialized areas for human face recognition


    Temporal lobe

    Temporal Lobe

    • Left temporal lobe (Werneke’s area) language comprehension, naming, etc.

    • Auditory sense is processed


    Peripheral nervous system

    Peripheral Nervous System

    • Somatic Nervous System—links with senses and voluntary muscles

      • Sensory NervousSystem—brings information FROM the senses to the central nervous system

      • Motor NervousSystem—carries information from the central nervous system TO the muscles for action


    Peripheral nervous system1

    Peripheral Nervous System

    • Autonomic Nervous System—links internal glands and organs

      • Sympathetic Division—arouses our systems when the need arises (e.g. anxiety producing stimulus, sexual arousal)

      • Parasympathetic Division—inhibits our systems or reduces the arousal


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