Psych 2 - Evolution, Genetics, and Experience (20-49)...

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Evolution, Genetics, and Experience (20-49) Thinking about the Biology of Behavior: From Dichotomies to Interactions - Zeitgeist refers to the general intellectual climate of a culture. Much of the scientific knowledge that accumulated during the renaissance was at offs with church dictates. Rene Descartes argued (Cartesian dualism) that the universe is composed of physical matter which behaves according to the laws of nature and is thus a suitable object of scientific investigation; and the human mind (soul, self, or spirit) which lacks physical substance, controls behaviour, obeys no natural laws, and is thus the appropriate purview of the church. Nature- nurture issue is the debate about the relative contributions of nature (genes) and nurture (experience) to the behavioral capacities of individuals. - John B. Watson was the father of behaviorism. Ethology is the study of animal behaviour in the wild, which focuses on instinctive behaviors, those that occur in all members of a species even when there seems to have been no opportunity for them to have been learned. Since even the most complex psychological changes can be produced by damage and/or stimulation of parts of the brain and since some nonhuman species possess abilities that were once assumed to be purely psychological, there is difficulty with the strict physiological or psychological ways of thinking. - Asomatognosia is a deficiency in the awareness of parts of ones own body, usually results from damage to the right parietal lobe. (The Case of the Man Who Fell Out of Bed) Dr.Sacks patient woke t be very confused as to where his left leg was, and why there was a severed leg on the ground beside him. (The Case of the Chimps and the Mirrors) The chimps were self-aware and capable of becoming the object of their own attention; they recognized themselves in the mirror and used it for grooming purposes. - Factors such as fetal environment, nutrition, stress, and sensory stimulation all influence behavioral development. (The Case of the Thinking Student) The student realized that intelligence is the product of the interaction of genes and experience. Neurons become active long before they are fully developed, the subsequent course of their development depends greatly on their activity much of which is triggered by external experiences, and experience continuously modifies genetic expression. All behavior is the product of the interaction of the organism’s genetic endowment, which is a product of its evolution, its experience, and its perception of the current situation. Human Evolution - Charles Darwin initiated modern biology with his theory of evolution. He documented the evolution of fossil records through progressively more recent geological layers, described striking structural similarities among living species which suggest that they had evolved from common ancestors, and pointed out the major changes that had been brought about in domestic plants and animals by programs of selective breeding. Darwin argued
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Psych 2 - Evolution, Genetics, and Experience (20-49)...

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