In psychology, the central question is whether or not the cause of certain behaviors and traits is attributable to NATURE or NURTURE? Biological or Environmental factors? 

Discussion of this question will be central over the next 2 years, however before we even begin, you as the learner must understand why it even matters!!!

So.  Why does it matter? Get with a partner and discuss this!!!!!

{we’ll watch comedian Louis C.K. hilariously point out the massive power of environmental influences}

You just watched Louis C.K. point out the role of environmental influences and we just concluded discussing the way cognitive, biological and social factors combine to create the phenomena of Road Rage. 

Now, read this incredible piece by Dr. David Eagleman of Baylor University on the power of biological factors:

This piece should cause you to ask many questions, but one is likely, “Do I have free will?”  

This, along with the more broad “nature vs. nurture” debate will be our central question for the year. 

The biological LOA has the following learning outcomes:

Physiology and Behavior:

  1.  Outline principles that define the biological level of Analysis (BLOA)
  2. Explain how principles that define the biological level of analysis may be demonstrated in research
  3. Discuss how and why particular research methods are used a the biological level of analysis
  4. Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the biological level of analysis
  5. Examine one study related to localization of brain function
    1. Learning Activity addressing the above LO: Broca’s and Wernicke’s Area Quiz
  6. Explain, using examples, the effects of neurotransmission on human behavior
  7. Explain, using examples, functions of two hormones on human behavior
  8. Discuss two effects of the environment physiological processes.
  9. Examine one interaction between cognition and physiology on behavior
  10. Discuss the use of brain-imaging techniques in investigating the relationship between biological factors and behavior….below is a linked PDF that helps explain brain imaging techniques:
    1. Understanding Brain Imaging Techniques

Genetics and Behavior

  1. Discuss the extent to which genetics influence behavior
  2. Examine one evolutionary explanation of behavior
  3. Discuss ethical considerations in research into genetic influences on behavior

We’ll address all the above learning outcomes as we progress throughout the year and record our “responses” to the outcomes above on the class GOOGLE DOC below:

Read the articles below on two awesome studies pertaining to the effect of neurotransmission on behavior!! (addresses learning outcomes 2, 3, 5, 6 and half of #7 above). 

Helen Fisher’s Studies on Oxytocin and it’s release during touch and sexual intercourse as a facilitator of psychological and emotional connection: 

Study Abstract:

In Laymen’s Terms:

Great PREZI on Martinez and Kessner’s study on Achetocholine (ACH) and memory: 

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