The Biology of Psychology



Phrenology lead people to believe that (a) the brain influenced personality and (b) specific parts of the brain were responsible for different traits.

    The History of Phrenology on the Web

The case of Phineas Gage made more people aware of the relationship of the brain to personality.

    Phineas Gage Information Page

    The American Crowbar Case


The major systems of the brain:


Frontal lobes:

Other lobes

Right and Left hemispheres

Limbic system


Conclusions about the brain's organization

Ways to help you remember the brain's organization

Take time out for a review quiz.

Look at the history of our efforts to understand the brain

Take a look at some pictures of the brain.

Glance through this visual guide to the brain. (Move your cursor over the pictures of the brain in the middle of the page. )

Be aware that, sometimes, differences are exaggerated and oversimplified

a. Right/Left brain differences

b. Sex differences in the brain

Watch this video to understand why we study the brain (and to help you understand the difference between the left and the right brain)..

Watch this video to understand how recent advances in the brain help us understand people who have unusual characteristics.

Go through this nice tour of brain basics--and how Alzheimer's disease affects the brain.

Note: If you want to see pictures of the human brain, click here. For more technical photographs, click here .

The elements of the brain: Neurons, neurotransmitters, and synapses

Basic parts of the neuron

Cell body (soma):



The "all-or-none" law of neural firing:

Why stimuli differ in intensity



The role of the synapse

How we can interfere with neural transmission:

Drug therapy for depression

A site to help you learn the parts of the neuron


A short video that makes fun of the  medicalizing of behavior "problems"

Take time out for a quiz.

Implications of the view that we are our brains for:


Daily life

Understanding mental problems


By now, you should be able to:

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