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Unformatted text preview: 46 2 chapter chapter outline module 5 Neurons: The Basic Elements of Behavior The Structure of the Neuron How Neurons Fire Where Neurons Connect to One Another: Bridging the Gap Neurotransmitters: Multitalented Chemical Couriers module 6 The Nervous System and the Endocrine System: Communicating within the Body The Nervous System The Endocrine System: Of Chemicals and Glands module 7 The Brain Studying the Brain’s Structure and Functions: Spying on the Brain The Central Core: Our “Old Brain” The Limbic System: Beyond the Central Core The Cerebral Cortex: Our “New Brain” Neuroplasticity and the Brain The Specialization of the Hemispheres: Two Brains or One? Exploring Diversity: Human Diversity and the Brain Try It! Assessing Brain Lateralization The Split Brain: Exploring the Two Hemispheres Becoming an Informed Consumer of Psychology: Learning to Control Your Heart—and Mind—through Biofeedback Psychology on the Web The Case of . . . The Fallen Athlete Full Circle: Neuroscience and Behavior 47 It took nearly a day, but the surgery to remove half of Lacy’s brain was a success. Within a few months, Lacy was crawling and beginning to speak. Although the long-term effects of the radical operation are still unclear, it brought substantial improvement to Lacy’s life. The ability of surgeons to identify and remove damaged portions of the brain is little short of mirac- ulous. The greater miracle, though, is the brain itself. An organ roughly half the size of a loaf of bread, the brain controls our behavior through every waking and sleeping moment. Our movements, thoughts, hopes, aspirations, dreams—our very awareness that we are human—all depend on the brain and the nerves that extend throughout the body, constituting the nervous system. Because of the importance of the nervous system in controlling behavior, and because humans at their most basic level are biological beings, many researchers in psychology and other fields as diverse as computer science, zoology, and medicine have made the biological underpinnings of behavior their specialty. These experts collectively are called neuroscientists (Beatty, 2000; Posner & DiGirolamo, 2000; Gazzaniga, Ivry, & Mangun, 2002; Cartwright, 2006). Psychologists who specialize in considering the ways in which the bio- logical structures and functions of the body affect behavior are known as behavioral neuroscientists (or biopsychologists ). They seek to answer sev- eral key questions: How does the brain control the voluntary and involun- tary functioning of the body? How does the brain communicate with other parts of the body? What is the physical structure of the brain, and how does this structure affect behavior? Are psychological disorders caused by bio- logical factors, and how can such disorders be treated?...
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- Spring '10