Introduction to Localization of Brain Function

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Localization of brain function simply means that different areas of the brain (i.e. locations) are associated with different behaviours and mental processes (functions). For example, Our hippocampus plays a role in memory. The prefrontal cortex is associated with decision making, planning and controlling our impulsive behaviours. The amygdala plays a role in emotion and emotional response. These are just some …

Introduction to Neurotransmission

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Neurotransmission is the process by which neurotransmitters are fired from one neuron to another. It’s important that you can explain how varying levels of neurotransmitters in the nervous system (e.g. in the brain) can have an impact on our behaviour. Here’s a quick preview of neurotransmission: [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNaFnRKwpFk] You should be able to outline the causes of neurotransmission and the changes …

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, …