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Biological Bases of Behavior


Hey - wait a minute! I can hear it now. I thought this was psychology, not biology. Well, it is psychology - psychology in 2000 as we approach the year 2001. As our technology has advanced, we are better able to study the physiological components of behavior. Thus, psychologists today have to be versed in biology and anatomy.

 In actuality, some of psychology's roots go back to the natural sciences. Besides, the longest running, most hotly debated issue in psychology is that of nature versus nurture, genes versus environment. To understand this issue, we need to understand biology.
                                                                     
One caution: while we have learned a great deal about the interplay of genetics and environment, with very few exceptions such as diseases like Huntington's Disease, GENETICS DOES NOT EQUAL DESTINY.

The two are intertwined in a complex dance and we have not sorted out the contributions to things like intelligence and personality. It is an interacting process so if you read an article that claims 50% of anything is genetic, be very skeptical.

The study of the biological components of behavior is a fascinating one. The complexities and the simplicity is fascinating. What you will do in these chapters is a quick course in neuroanatomy (the study of the brain). We will also look at the endocrine system. The nervous system and the endocrine system work together to produce the biological contributors to behavior. Neurotransmitters and hormones work together.

This section can be daunting but it is fascinating. Try to relate the elements of the chapter to your own life and behavior. Have fun as you explore the biology of psychology.