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"The Biological Perspective"

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"The Biological Perspective" The relationship between mind and body, and the influence of heredity on human behaviour are two main objectives of the biological approach to psychology. Before the concept of the brain being the seat of the soul was introduced, the vital organs of the human body were considered to be the heart and the liver,a point of view widely accepted amongst the inhabitant of incient Egypt. The theory of the brain being the seat of the soul was introduced by Alcmacon and later confirmed by Plato. Hippocrates emphasized that the brain was organ of intellect and controlled senses and movement, he suggested that a mental or behavioral disorder could be caused by physical dysfuntion and not possesed by evil spirits. Dualism was an assumption put forward by Descartes, it was a rather radical idea. The theory dualism implied the distinction of mind and body, and that the two of them could interact(via the pineal gland in the brain). But dualism was rejected by today's researchers in the biological approach because of another theory called Materialsm. ...read more.


Because of lack of space, the compitition for survival will increase and some of these species will not survive. But the species who die as a consequence of the compitition were not totally random, darwin found that those species more suited to their environment were more likely to survive. This resulted in the well known phrase survival of the fittest, where the organisms most suited to their environment had more chance of survival if the species falls upon hard times. A good example of a species ability to adapt concerns the the color of the Gypsy Moths in England. When the industrial revolution occurred, coal and other industrial factories spewed out massive amounts of air pollutants, so much so that even during the day the skies were as dark as night. The original color of the gypsy moths was a light gray; such a color blended in with the trees in their environment, and acted as camouflage against predators. With the change in the environment the camouflage adaptation no longer functioned because the trees were darker colored from the air pollution. ...read more.


the localization of functions which implies that each aspect of behiour is produced by a specific location in the brain was clear to the materialists. Scanning techniques(computerized imaging) is another way of studying the brain, it produces images of sections and functions of brain. There are two broad categories of brain scan-structural and functional. Structural imaging include (CAT)computerized axial tomography and magnetic resonance imaging(MRI). These produce images of sections of the brain, either on a slide or a TV monitor. CAT scans take x-ray photographs, which can be computerassembled into a single image.. MRI scanning uses a powerful magnetic field instead of x-ray which can produce a series of images. These methods help psychologists to compare the structure of brains that are functioning normally and abnormally. For visualising events that are actually happening in the brain you can use the functional imaging techniques. (PET) positron emission tomography scanning involves injecting a radioactive isotope into the blood. By measuring the radiation levels in different parts of the brain, you can determine where the most blood is flowing to and hence which parts are most active. Sadaf Lotfalian 27.09.2004 International Baccalaureate-1 Psychology ...read more.

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