Biopsychology is also known as “Physiological Psychology”, “Psychobiology” or “Biological Psychology”. Physiology is the study of the way living organisms function. It can encompass the way things move, chemical and bodily processes, growth, atrophy, and anything else that supports or causes physical or chemical changes to occur within the body. Therefore, it differs from anatomy, which is the study of the physical structure of the body.

A distance learning course in Biopsychology is offered on and it covers:

Types of external and internal stimuli, mind-body debate, introduction to the nervous system.
The senses
Sensory input, sensory perception, description of the major senses.
The Nervous System
Description of the neurons, the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, including the autonomic nervous system.
The Endocrine System
Effect of hormones on behaviour and physiology, association of endocrine system and nervous system, connection between external and internal stimuli.
Types of stressors, physical affects of stress, personality & stress.
Homeostasis, eating disorders, physiological responses to emotions, theories of emotion.
Degrees of consciousness, awareness & attention, altered states of consciousness.


Evolution, Genetics and Experience
What is biopsychology
The organism’s genetic endowment, experience and perception.
Behavioural genetics
The nature nurture debate
The human genome
Benefits of genetic research
Critical policy and ethical issues
Research Methods in Biopsychology
Behavioural genetics
Methods of investigating the brain: insvasive and non invasive
Localisation of function
Neuroanatomical techniques
Psychophysiological measures
Other methods
Brain Damage
Causes of brain damage
Frontal lobe damage
Damage to other areas and effects
Types of brain damage
Case study : Phineas Gage
Case study: diagnosing epilepsy
Case study -Alzeimer’s disease
Recovery from Brain Damage
Neuro plasticity
Stages of recovery: unresponsiveness, early responses, agitated and confused, higher level responses,
Case study: Parkinson’s disease
Parkinsons disease symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, stages, etc
Drug treatments for parlinson’s disease
Complimentary and supportive therapies for Parkinson’s disease
Coping with Parkinson’s disease
Drug Dependence and the Brain
Effects of illegal drugs
Other drugs: steroids, barbituates, etc
Physiological and psychological effects of drugs: illicits, stimulants
Addiction: how drugs work in the brain
Central nervous system
Models of memory: multistore model, eorking memory model, levels of processing model
Levels of processing model
Amnesia and types of amnesia
Case study: traumatic amnesia
Case study: Korsakoff’s syndrome (Alcohol amnesic syndrome)
The brain and language
Paul Broca
Carl Wernicke
Aphasia and Diphasia

This Distance learning course in Biopsychology aims to:

Understand how evolution, genetics and experience influence behaviour and individual differences.
Discuss methods of research used to understand the functioning of the nervous system and behaviour.
Explain different causes of brain damage and the resultant effects on brain functioning.
Understand neuro-plasticity from the perspective of development, learning and recovery from brain damage.
Delineate the effects of drugs on the CNS and to explain biopsychological theories of addiction and reward systems in the brain.
Describe memory structures in the brain, theories of memory storage and evidence from different types of amnesia.
Describe different models of language localisation and to evaluate evidence for these models.
Discuss how human behaviour is linked to evolution.
Explain how dominant traits are passed on to offspring by genetics.
Describe the relationship between gene expression and the genetic code.
Consider how studies of identical twins shed light on the development of differences among individuals.
Explain how CT and PET scans are used to obtain images of the brain.
Determine what invasive research methods have been employed to understand the brain and behaviour.
Consider how drugs are used to understand neurotransmitters and their effect on behaviour.
Explain how gene knockout and gene replacement techniques are used.
Outline methods of neuropsychological testing.
Determine how studying animal behaviour in the laboratory can be useful in understanding human behaviour.
List and define the most common causes of brain damage.
Explain the significance of neuron death.
Explain what happens during neural regeneration and neural degeneration.
Determine the function of slow and rapid neural reorganisation in the mammalian brain.
Determine the extent of neurotransplantation of replacement parts in the brain.
Explain the relationship between physical dependence on drugs and withdrawal syndrome.
Explore the extent to which neural mechanisms may be involved in addiction.
Determine what medial temporal lobe amnesia tell us about implicit and explicit memory.
Consider cerebral dominance through language lateralisation and left and right-handedness.
Consider evidence that suggests that the hemispheres of split-brain patients function independently.
Identify what we now know about lateralisation of function in the left and right hemispheres.
Evaluate the Wernicke-Geschwind model of cortical localisation of language.

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