Key Study: Testosterone,the Brain and Aggression (Goetz et al, 2014)

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Background Information Many studies have shown that testosterone can influence levels of aggression. But there haven’t been many studies that show exactly how testosterone may cause aggressive behaviours. The amygdala is a part of the brain associated with emotional response and it prepares our body for fight or flight. Goetz et al hypothesized that testosterone might influence the activity (or reactivity) of the …

Hormones: An Introduction

Travis Dixon Biological Psychology, Criminology 2 Comments

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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Updated May, 2020 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. …

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: Convicted murderers who had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI), Non-murderers. Because of its role in emotion and behaviour regulation and control, Raine hypothesized …

The Criminal Brain
An introduction to the brain and criminology

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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 …

Criminology: Social Learning Theory

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Social Learning Theory Children that grow up in violent households might be more prone to violence not only because of the physiological effects of the trauma that may have altered their brain and/or cognitive development, they may have also learned to be violent from watching their parents. Stanford Psychologist Albert Bandura proposed the Social Learning in the 1960s… Key Theory: …

Criminology: Unit Overview

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Relevant Topics The follow are the relevant topics related to the learning outcomes from the IB course that this unit will aim to cover. Social Learning Theory (SCLA) Sociocultural Explanations of Violence (Human Relationships) Exposure to Violence (Human Relationships) Strategies to Reduce Violence (Human Relationships) Grade 12s can also opt to make connections to topics already covered last year: Neurotransmission Hormones …