• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Historical and Cultural factors that gave rise to the Biological Perspective

Extracts from this document...


* Describe and evaluate the cultural context and development of the biomedical model The biological perspective of psychology has its roots in the ancient times, and more specifically in the civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Greece. Ancient Egyptians believed that damage to a specific region of the brain would change bodily functioning. Hippocrates saw the brain as an organ of intellect that controlled the senses and movement. Galen supported that personality and temperament are closely linked to the levels of body fluids such as blood. Additionally, trepanation, the practice of removing brain parts, was frequent in various religious ceremonies in many ancient cultures. Important personalities came to significant conclusions about brain and bodily functions. Rene Descartes found that the brain is responsible for a reflex to an environmental stimulation. Gall introduced the concept of localization of functions, supporting that each brain region is responsible for different tasks. ...read more.


In addition to the influence of important personalities, studies on the brain, the psychopharmacological explosion, and genetics also gave rise to the biomedical model of psychology. Interventions in the human brain made it possible to understand not only its structure, but also its function. The first interventions to be practiced included lesion1, ablation2, direct electrical stimulation, electroshock therapy3, and lobotomy. More than 18,000 lobotomies were conducted in the United States during the 1940s. Technology was a useful aid in scrutinizing the brain. The first X-rays were founded in 1895. CAT scans, first used in 1972, provide three-dimensional pictures of the human brain and its sites. The Electroencephalogram (EEG), founded in 1929, records the electrically coordinated pulses of large numbers of neurons on the cortex's surface and subsequently reveals the brain's response to a stimulus. ...read more.


It has been found that particular neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and others, are the primary cause of serious mental disorders (e.g. Depression, schizophrenia). Subsequently, drugs have been offered by this psychological model to treat some of these disorders. The most widely used drugs are Lithium, Prozac, Phenelzine, and Imipramine for the treatment of depression, and Chlorpromazine for the treatment of schizophrenia. The development of the studies on genetics, initiated in 1866 by Gregor Mendel, provided valuable information on the functioning of chromosomes, the DNA molecule, and inheritance. In conclusion, the establishment of institutes and universities enabled scientific studies. 1 Lesion: process by which part of the brain is destroyed or its function is disrupted 2 Ablation: process by which part of the brain is removed 3 Electroshock therapy: process by which electric current is passed through the brain to induce an epileptic fit. The first one was conducted by Cerleti and Bini in 1938. ?? ?? ?? ?? PSYCHOLOGY HL ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Psychology essays

  1. Describe the role of situational and dispositional factors in explaining behaviour.

    On the contrary, the associations are almost always modest enough to allow for significant situational influences. Two most famous social psychology experiments dealing with the importance of situational factors in explaining behaviour are Milgram's studies of obedience to authority (Milgram, 1974)

  2. Examine the Concepts of Normality & Abnormality

    built on the assumption that a social convention of individual experience had in fact existed, which itself served as the preposition for social judgement. The challenge towards accepted means of diagnosing abnormality in the psychiatric discipline, from the perspective of its reliability, took on its most aggressive form in the

  1. Evaluate the role that one cultural dimension (e.g. individualism/collectivism, power distance) may have on ...

    There are also other factors that influences marriage relationship. For example, women status is also a variable in divorce rates. In countries such as United States where women receive high-level education and can work for a living, the divorce rate is often higher because women do not rely on men for survival.


    My soul is eager to return, when it is time, to that amazing heavenly place. (http://www.wirenot.net/X/Articles/2012/T/trulyblessed.shtml) . This is an example of a spontaneous projection, and there are many more situations as mentioned earlier. From research through multiple testimonies, I find it safe to say that spontaneous OBE?s can be considered your bodies, defense mechanisms to high trauma.

  1. Notes on brain scanning - PET and FMRI (Fictional Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

    flows changes Strengths and advantages -No use of no radioactive substances -It can record activity in all areas of brain -More flexible ~ shows dynamic -More precise than PET scan Disadvantages, limitations or concerns -More focuses on localization of function, thus it does not account nature part of brain processes

  2. Outline and evaluate one or more psychological exlpanations for Schizophrenia

    As the cognitive model fails to recognise any of these environmental factors, a disadvantage is that it is possibly too simplistic. The cognitive model also fails to explain some important questions associated with Sz such as, why some people recover and others do not and so this suggests that Sz is more complex than explained in the cognitive models.

  1. Psychology biological level of analysis revision

    When a neuron is activated, the action potential travels down the axon of the neuron and arrives at the axon terminals. When this occurs, chemical changes in the neuron also take place. These changes initiate the release of neurotransmitters. A neurotransmitter is a molecule that relay information to another cell.

  2. Where does Schizophrenia Lie in the Spectrum of Nature vs Nurture?

    lack of motivation in life and activities, and a loss of interest in other people?s feelings and emotions. (Symptoms of Schizophrenia). These are all qualities a healthy human being would not have. Schizophrenia Phases There are three different phases that are involved in schizophrenia, the Prodromal Phase, the active phase, and the residual phase.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work