lesson12 - 12 Synaptic Psychology Key Terms and Concepts o...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
12 Synaptic Psychology Key Terms and Concepts o Spontaneous anthropomorphism o Amygdala o fMRI o Insular cortex o Orbitofrontal cortex o Hypoactivity o Antisocial personality disorder o Ventromedial prefrontal cortex o Lateralization o Corpus callosum The details of synaptic processes can become overwhelming at times and students are sometimes tempted to give up and ask “So what’s the point? I thought this was supposed to be psychology, not biology!” Well, it is. Remember, psychology is biology. The issues that have long been of interest to psychologists—learning, memory, thought, emotions, and many others— are synaptic processes. And we have seen that the major disorders being studied and treated by clinical psychologists involve too much or too little activity at certain synapses. In short, all psychology deals with the activities of synapses. This lesson will hopefully convince you of that if you aren’t convinced already. Finding Psychology in the Brain The human brain is huge and it is expensive. It gobbles up a disproportionate share of our total oxygen and glucose budgets, it gets first dibs on fat for making myelin, and it’s perched precariously above our shoulders exposed to all manor of dangers. Evolutionary thinking would suggest that we get something in return for this extravagant organ. And we do. We get psychology. We get all kinds of sensory inputs. We get complex computational and decision- making abilities and the capacity to impress potential mates. Having come this far in Biopsychology, it may seem absurd to think otherwise, but you would be surprised at how many folks are out there that haven’t really reached the conclusion that psychology comes from the brain. Lesson 12 145
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
To begin to rectify that situation, let’s begin by finding psychology in the brain. That is, since it appears that the brain processes underlying psychology and behavior are organized hierarchically (as we saw in Lesson 4), we should be able to go into the brain and find structures or sets of structures that are responsible for complex psychological processes. There are numerous examples and I’ll go through a few to make my point. Spontaneous anthropomorphism . Being human, we talk to other humans and we use human terms to describe not only the actions of other people, but to describe inanimate entities as well. We think nothing of statements such as “The sun tried to peek out,” or “The wind blew angrily through the trees.” But these statements aren’t technically correct. The sun doesn’t try to do anything and the wind isn’t angry . Trying and anger are human qualities. When we use human terms to describe non-human entities, we are being anthropomorphic , and the fact that we do so with ease and understand others when they do so is known as spontaneous anthropomorphism . As biopsychologists, we expect that damage to certain structures of the brain may impede the process of anthropomorphism, and indeed neuropsychological cases are present
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 8

lesson12 - 12 Synaptic Psychology Key Terms and Concepts o...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online