Biological Approach


Evolutionary Influences:

  • Darwin's theory of natural selection. 
  • Only small proportion of each gen survives to reproduce. 
  • Offspring not identical to parents - each gen degree of variation, each variation heritable (can be passed on through genes).
  • Each gen different to gain strength from ancestors to survive and reproduce.
  • Characteristics give animals greater chance of survival and reproduction - adaptive
  • Natural selection - characteristic survived and passed down - adaptive and must have given animal survival advantage. 

How is altruism adaptive?

  • Inherited, adaptive trait. Saving offspring/relative enhances survival of individuals gene pool.
  • Adaptive due to understanding how to save offspring as our environment changes e.g. third world countries vs. first world countries.
  • If altruism is present and largely at play in a child's development their offspring are more likely to survive, if a child is in care and does not receive much altruistic care when young they are less likely to survive natural selection.
  • Greater chances of survival as they are cared for by their mother. 

*In the past humans may have had a fear of snakes and spiders as they may have been deadly and a potential threat, innate knowledge/phobia to avoid them to survive may be a trait that has lingered around from our ancestors. 

To understand the functions of the brain we must understand the environment in which the brain evolved. Humans evolving 2 million - 100,000 years ago. 

Enviornment of evolutionary adaptiveness (EEA). 

Humans have adapted from the enviornment our ancestors faced. 

Localisation of Brain Function:

  • 2 halves of the brain are called hemispheres.
  • There are roughly 100 billion neurons in the brain and spinal cord.

4 lobes:

  • Cerebral cortex divided into 4 regions. 
  • Frontal lobe - thinking and creativity - linked to personality. 
  • Pariateal lobe - receives sensory information - touch, temp, pain etc.
  • Temporal lobe - much of memory processing, processing auditory info.
  • Occipital lobe - visual processing, receives info direct from eyes. 
  • Cerebral cortex- area responsible for higher order cognitive functions.
  • Left hemisphere posterior portion of frontal lobe responsible for speech production - Broca's area. 
  • Posterior portion of left temporal lobe responsible for understanding language…


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