introduction to psycholgoy1

introduction to psycholgoy1 - Introduction to Psychology...

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Introduction to Psychology Notes taken from notes from book Lectures 1 and 2- Chapter 1 of Gazzaniga and Heatherton Perspectives in psychology Psycholgoy is the scientific study of human behaviour and mental processes. Psychological science- the study of mind, brain and behaviour Mind- mental activity, such as thoughts, feelings and subjective experience Brain- an organ located inside the skull that produces mental activity Behaviour- any observable action or response Brain imaging- involves assessing changes in metabolic activity in the brain, for example noting where blood flows when people processes information. Psychology has formally been around for 100 years, and emerged out of philosophy to become a science. Recently there has been a huge rise in cognitive neuroscience which studies the neural mechanisms involved in mental processes. Psychologists use methods of science to understand how people think, feel and act. For a long time philosophers and scholars have asked questions about psychology phenomena but lacked the methods to examine these questions such as; what is consciousness? How are memories stored in the brain? In the last 20 years due to the invention of scanners such as POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY (PET) scans and MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) scans which means there has been a huge growth in our understanding of the biological and neurological basis for mental activities. The brain works through the actions of chemicals known as NEUROTRANSMITTERS, which communicate messages through nerve cells. The human genome project has meant that psychologist can now link specific genes with behaviour in order to see if behaviour is genetically determined and thus answer questions on the NATURE/NURUTRE debate. Evolutionary theory- an approach to psychological science that emphasises the inherited, adaptive value of behaviour and mental activity thro8ighout the entire history of a species. Natural selection- Darwin’s theory that those who inherit characteristics that help them adapt to their particular environment have a selective advantage over those who do not.
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Adaptations- in evolutionary theory, the physical characteristics, skills or abilities that increase the reproduction or survival and are therefore likely to be passed along to future generations. The principles of how cells operate in the brain to influence behaviour has been studies with increased effectiveness for more than a century. But it is only since the late 1980’s with the invention of MRI and PET that it has been possible to study the brain as it performs psychological activities. Localization vs. laterization of function. ‘The use of brain imaging has allowed psychological scientists to make tremendous strides in understanding mental states such as volition and attention, both of which have been central to our understanding of psychology for more than a century’ Psychology often uses an INTERDISCIPLINARY effort by collaborating with other
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introduction to psycholgoy1 - Introduction to Psychology...

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