Biological Learning Outcomes (BLA)

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Biological Level of Analysis: Learning Outcomes Remember that the following learning outcomes form the basis of your exam questions. (In brackets I have indicated those that are likely to be SAQs, ERQs or both) Physiology and Behaviour Using one or more examples, explain effects of neurotransmission on human behaviour. (SAQ) Explain one study related to localization of function in the …

Hormones: An Introduction

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Hormones and the Endocrine system Another key biological factor in understanding behaviour is the endocrine system.  Neurons are what make up our nervous systems; glands are what make up our endocrine system. The endocrine system, therefore, is the name given to the various glands throughout the body that regulate and release hormones. You may already be familiar with hormones from …

Serotonin and Violence

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Serotonin and Violence Levels of neurotransmitters in the brain can influence behaviour, so it’s plausible to think that in the criminal brain there may be some abnormalities in neurotransmitter levels. Numerous research studies have shown that violent criminals do in fact tend to have low levels of serotonin (e.g. Moi and Jessel, 1995; Scerbo and Raine, 1993). Studies have also …

Neurotransmission and Behaviour

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Neurotransmission and Behaviour There are a number of different neurotransmitters. Research has shown that these different neurotransmitters are associated with particular behaviours. For instance: Dopamine: love, addiction, pleasure, motivation, Serotonin: mood, sleep, arousal, impulsive and aggressive behaviour Acetylcholine: learning, memory, sleep, movement Noradrenaline: stress, alertness arousal There’s always a desire in students first learning about biological psychology to jump to …

Neurons and Neurotransmission

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Brain Function: Neurons and Neurotransmission Neurons are a type of nerve cell found throughout our nervous system, including our brain. Brain function refers to the level of activity of brain cells (neurons) in the brain. There are around 100 billion neurons in your brain and they’re all connected to each other through their dendrites. Actually, they’re not physically connected. Between …

Key Study: Brain Damage and Violence (Grafman, et al 1996)

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The Vietnam Head Injury Study (VHIS) is a longitudinal that gathers and analyzes data from Vietnam war veterans. It has contributed significantly to our understanding of the brain as it has enabled psychologists to study veterans who have damage to particular areas of the brain and compare them with other veterans who have not suffered any damage. Through making these …

Key Study: Biology and Crime (Raine, 1997)

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British Psychologist Adrian Raine is a criminologist who specializes in studies investigating biological correlates of criminal behaviour. In a study conducted in 1997, Raine used PET scans to compare the brains of two groups: a) Convicted murderers who had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) b) Non-murderers Because of its role in emotion and behaviour regulation and control, …

The Criminal Brain: Introduction

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Brain Function: An Introduction The Frontal Lobe, the Amygdala and the Prefrontal Cortex Numerous studies have shown that there are correlations found between brain function and violent behaviour. In order to fully understand these studies, it’s important to have a general understanding of some of the functions of these parts of the brain. The brain is labelled as having different …