Approaches: Biopsychology revision sheet

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BIOLOGICAL APPROACH endocrine system
ASSUMPTIONS: Biological processes: = instructs glands to release hormones
genes, neurochemistry and the
the nervous system directly into bloodstream
nervous system central nervous system: Brain + glands & hormones: Hormones are
GENETIC BASIS OF BEHAVIOUR: Twin + spinal cord chemical substances that circulate in
bloodstream + only affect target
family studies peripheral nervous system: organs. Glands synthesise substances
Genotype + phenotype: Interaction Autonomic nervous system: governs e.g. hormones. Pituitary is master
between nature + nurture vital functions in body such as gland.
breathing, sexual arousal and stress
evolution + behaviour: Natural response (sympathetic and
fight or flight: Sympathetic arousal:
selection of genes based on survival parasympathetic) & somatic nervous adrenal gland to adrenaline
value and, ultimately, reproductive system: controls muscle movement +
success receives info from sensory receptors
Scientific methods: precise
techniques, such as scanning
techniques, family studies, drug trials
Real-life applications:
psychotherapeutic drugs
synaptic transmission
Casual conclusions: drugs may only synapse: Terminal buttons at synapse,
be associated with symptom presynaptic vesicles release
reduction, not causes neurotransmitter
neurotransmitters: Post-synaptic
receptor site links to dendrites of
genes adjoining neutron. Specialist
genotype: Genetic make up
Excitation or inhibition: Adrenaline
phenotype: The way genes are is excitatory, serotonin is inhibitory
expressed through physical,
behavioural and psychological
structure + function of psychotherapeutic drugs: SSRIs
characteristics neurons increase serotonin activity
neuron: Nerve cells that process +
transmit messages through electrical
The Sympathetic Nervous System: + chem signals
When the SNS is triggered, it begins the
process of preparing the body for action types: Motor: connect the CNS to
necessary to fight or flight. The SNS sends a muscles + glands, Sensory: carry
signal to the adrenal medulla, which responds messages from PNS to CNS, and
by releasing the hormone adrenaline into the Relay: connect sensory neurons to
bloodstream. motor or relay neurons.
structure: Cell body contains
nucleus, has dendrites. Axon covered
in myelin sheath divided by nodes of
Adrenaline: Ranvier.
As adrenaline circulates through the body, it
causes a number of physiological changes.
electrical transmission: Positive
The heart beats faster, pushing blood to the charge leads to action potential
muscles, heart and other vital organs and
blood pressure increases. Breathing becomes
rapid in order to take in as much oxygen as
possible. Adrenaline also triggers the release
of blood sugar (glucose) and fats, which
flood into the bloodstream, supplying energy
to parts of the body associated with fight or
The Parasympathetic Nervous System:
When the threat has passed, the parasympathetic branch
dampens down the stress response. This branch will slow
the heart down again and reduce blood pressure. Another
benefit of the parasympathetic action is that digestion begins
again after the SNS has inhibited.



Ahh this is brilliant, thank you!

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