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2 - Brain, Body, And Behavior

2 - Brain, Body, And Behavior

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Published by Joseph Eulo

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Published by: Joseph Eulo on May 23, 2009
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05/11/2014

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C h a p te r O u tlin eH o wth e B r a in G o v e m s B e h a v io r
The brain's communication systemHow neurons send their messagesThe links of the nervous systemThe cerebral cortex and how it makesus human
H o wN e u r o s c ie n tis ts S tu d yth e B r a in a n d M in d
Structural brain imagingFunctional brain imagingElectroencephalography
T h e B r a in's F u n c tio n s ,I : E x p e r ie nc in g th e W o r ld
Sensing and interpreting the environmentProcessing and transmitting sensoryinformationGenerating bodymovementsManaging coordinationand balance
T h e B r a in 's F u n c tio n s , I I:O v e r s e e in gE m o tio n sa n d S u r v ival
The wellsprings of passions andfeelingsStaying alive and physiologically in tuneThe autonomic nervous system: The brain'sbusydeputy The brain's hemispheres and the regulationof emotion
T h e B r a in 'sF u n c tio n s , I I I:M a n a g in g Th o u g h t a n d M e m ory
Thinking and planningHow memories are stored andretrieved The growing brain and the developingintellectLeft brain, right brain
Th e B r a in -B e h a v io r L in k
Transforming electricity and chemistry intomeanings and feelingsThe interplay of biological,psychological,and environmental forces
Su m m a r yT es tY ou r s e lf A nsw e r s Stu d y G u id e
Psychology in the Lab and in Life How the Brain Restores Its Functions Psychology and the Media Neuroscience in the Future Life Span Pe spedive: As the Brain Matures 
 
1.Interview two people you know well, and attemptto construct a case history for each person. Beginby asking what they think are their major person-ality characteristics-intelligent, outgoing, ath-letic, and so on. For each characteristic, such asathletic,ask abouttheir first recollections.Why do they think they developed that characteristic,and what factors or events in their past were in-fluential in contributing to it? Concentrate on ask-ing why they did the things they did, what theyfelt might have happened to them if they had orhad not done certain things, and how they feltabout themselves and other people. Then try topiece together a cohesive explanation for howthe particular characteristic developed in eachperson. Provide different interpretations of thisdevelopment from the strict-behaviorist, Ges-talt, cognitive, and humanistic perspectives, aswell as from the standpoint ofthe nature-nurture,change-continuity, and individual-context issues.2. The experimental method isthe primary approachpsychologists use to determine the causes of be-havior. In a simple experiment, participants arerandomly assigned to two groups that are treateddifferently in only one respect-the independentvariable. If their behavior then differs by groups,the difference can be attributed to the indepen-dent variable. But research is not always thisstraightforward. Sometimes the difference in be-havior can be explained by something other thanthe independent variable.Below are descriptions of a few hypotheticalexperiments and conclusions. Write a short dis-cussion of each,pointing out the inadequaciesof the experiment for drawing the stated conclu-sions. Try to suggest factors other than the onementioned that might have produced the results.Also note any ethical problems that might havearisen.a. Back in the days of "traditional" childbirth, U.S. mothers were allowed only minimal con-tact with their newborns during the first sev-eral hours after birth. Toassess whether moth-ers might be missing something important,researchers arranged for one group to havethe traditional minimal contact and anotherto have several extra hours of contact withtheir babies. Ayear later, the "extended con-tact" mothers were noticeably more emotion-ally attached to their infants than were moth-ers in the "traditional" group. The researchersconcluded that the first several hours afterbirth are a highly important period for foster-ing mother-to-child emotional attachment. b. Totest the effects of marijuana on memory,some participants were asked to smoke onemarijuanacigarette before memorizing a listof words; other participants instead wereasked to smoke one tobacco cigarette.Themarijuana group did poorly on the task com-pared to the tobacco group, and the researcherconcluded that marijuana impairs memory.c. It has been found that children who playvio-lent video and computer games are more ag-gressive in their play with other children thanare children who do not play these games.Therefore, playing violent games makes chil-dren more aggressive toward others.d. An editor of a popular U.S. men's maga-zine published the results of a readers' sur-veyindicating that by far the majority ofmen"cheat" on their spouses or partners on morethan one occasion, and the longer the two aretogether, the more likely cheating becomes.The editor concluded that men in general arebiologicallyincapable of being faithful andthat the few exceptions in the survey "provethe rule."
"I
For quizzing, activities ,exercises ,and web lins,check out the  book-specific website at www .cengage.com  / psychology .
 
Itperches on top ofyour spine, within your skull-3 pounds of pink, soft, strangelywrinkled tissue the size of a grapefruit.In weight,it makes up less than 2% o your body,yet it works so hard that it con-sumes about 20% of the oxygen that thebody uses when at rest.Nature has devised ways to protect it. Inaddition to being encased in the thick boneof your skull, it is surrounded by a fluidthat helps cushion it. Andwhen your bodyis deprived of food, it is thefirst to get itsshare of whatever nutrients are coursingthrough the blood."It" is the human brain, which has beendescribed as "the most marvelous structure inthe universe" (Miller, 1990). (See Figure 2.1.)All the human capabilities discussed in thistextbook-gathering information, learningandremembering, acting intelligently, mov-ing about, developing skills, feeling emotions, coping with stress, relating to oth-ers-as well as surviving from moment to moment are managed within the brain.Think ofall the things you did in the last 24hours. Whatever you did-sleep, dream,wake up, dress,eat, study, get angry, make love-your brain was responsible. Wefunction through a network of brain and body systems that is surely one of  the great wonders ofnature. Knowledge ofhow these systems work and exactlywhatthey accomplish is essential to an understanding of the entire field of psychology.
F IG U R E
2.1
A side view of
th e h u m a n b ra in.
T h e
b ra in
perches on top of vour spine,beneath vour skull-3 poundsof pinkish, soft, strangelvw rinkled tissue the size of a 9 rapefru it.
H OW T H E B R A IN G O V E R N S B E H A V IO R
Toappreciate the remarkable powers of the brain,it helpsto understand how lower organisms manage to function.Aone-celled animal such as a paramecium doesn't need a ner-vous system.Its entire single-celled "body" is sensitive toheat and light and capable of initiating the movements nec-essary for life. Larger and more complicated animals, how- ever, must have some kind of nervous system to coordinatetheir internal functions and movements.This system takes theform of specialized neural fibers that extend throughout the body and are capableof transmitting information back and forth.
F O C U S Q U E S T IO N S
H ow do neurons w ork and w hat do they do?W hat constitutes the central nervous system ?W hy do psychologists and other scientists placeso m uch em phasis on understanding the functionsof the brain's outer surface?

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