I. Approach #1: Neurophysiology

(Neurobiology, Neuroscience, Physiological Psychology, biomedical): An approach which emphasizes that all actions, feelings, and thoughts are associated with bodily events such as the firing of nerve cells in the brain or the release of hormones.

A. View of humans: We are our brains.

Picture of brain

B. What psychology should be: the study of the brain

C. Founded by quacks, biologists, and physicians. The idea that the brain had something to do with personality took a while to catch on, but once it id, it became a popular idea.

Evidence (but certainly not proof) for the idea that the physical brain controls thought, emotion, and behavior.

D. Objections/Problems with this "physical" approach

1. Philosophical question: The mind body problem: What is the relationship between the mind/soul and the body/brain?

                Some see near death experiences as evidence for more the mind being more than the body.

                However, there are scientific explanations for out-of-body experiences supporting the view that the mind is nothing more than the brain (video)

2. Two (past) scientific problems

(Remember: Science depends on e_____________).



E. Promising new developments

F. Applications to Therapy

2. Questions/Objections to Biological Therapies

You should now be able to:

1. Explain why no single approach is sufficient to completely understand human behavior.

2. Explain the neurophysiological approach to psychology.

3. List at least three objections to the neurophysiological approach.

4. Describe at least one instance where the neurophysiological approach has been very successful.

5. Evaluate the statement: The neurophysiological approach is the most scientific approach to studying psychology.

6. Be able to explain how a neurophysiologist would diagnose a violent individual.

You should also:

  1. Get a more detailed look at how the brain and nervous system work.
  2. Look at this very nice web site that has something (neurophysiological) for everyone. It starts by explaining the very basics of neurophysiology at a level an elementary school child could understand. However, you can also, if you wish, go fairly far beyond the basics at this site. Despite the name, it's not just for kids! A good beginning point is the link for "Exploring the brain and nervous system."
  3. Know some of the differences between the left and right brain (interesting video).

  4. Review this concept map.
  5. Go through this interactive tour of the brain.
  6. Go through this cool memory and the brain tutorial from National Geographic.
  7. See this application of brain imaging techniques
  8. If you have time, you might play with this interactive brain (from open colleges).
  9. Take time out for a quiz on the neuron.
  10. Take a short quiz quiz on the brain.
  11. Watch this TED Talk to understand why we study the brain (and to help you understand the difference between the left and the right brain)
  12. Watch this TED Talk to understand how recent advances in the brain help us understand people who have unusual characteristics.
  13. Go through this nice tour of brain basics to learnhow Alzheimer's disease affects the brain.
  14. Take this short quiz.
  15. Take this very basic tour of neurons and the brain
  16. Take advantage of this site that helps you learn the parts of the neuron
  17. Be sure that you understand the basics of the neuron.
  18. Learn about some of the cool new discoveries about the brain at Brainfacts

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