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BIOPSYCHOLOGY II - BPS204

Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Further develop your understanding of the impact of physiology and biology on human behaviour.

This course covers complex brain processing systems of memory and language as well as examining how brain damage and substances can impact upon functioning and behaviour. It is designed to complement our Biopsychology I course.  

  • Learn about the effects of substances on the brain.
  • Learn about the impact of brain damage on thinking and behaviour.

This is a useful course for people working in a variety of health care settings as well as those who just seek a greater understanding of the brain and behaviour. 

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

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Take Your Learning to New Level

In this course you'll learn about the more complex interactions between brain and behaviour and what happens when things go wrong.

Study in the comfort of your own home with support from our excellent and friendly tutors.

  • Learn more about the fascinating field of biopsychology.
  • Understand more about how our biology and physiology affects how we think.

Pre-requisite: It is best to have studied ‘Biopsychology I’ (or similar) for a better understanding as you work through this course.

Compared to our Biopsychology I course, there is greater emphasis here on the effects of brain damage and drugs on behaviour, and the higher cognitive functions of memory and language are explored in detail. 

 

COURSE STRUCTURE

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. Evolution, Genetics and Experience
    • What is biopsychology?
    • The organism's genetic endowment, experience and perception.
    • Adaptation
    • Behavioural genetics
    • The nature nurture debate
    • The human genome
    • Benefits of genetic research
    • Critical policy and ethical issues
  2. Research Methods in Biopsychology
    • Behavioural genetics
    • Methods of investigating the brain: invasive and non invasive
    • Localisation of function
    • Neuroanatomical techniques
    • Psychophysiological measures
    • Other methods
    • Lesions
  3. 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 -Alzheimer's disease
  4. Recovery from Brain Damage
    • Neuroplasticity
    • Stages of recovery: unresponsiveness, early responses, agitated and confused, higher level responses,
    • Case study: Parkinson's disease
    • Parkinson's disease symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, stages, etc
    • Drug treatments for Parkinson's disease
    • Complimentary and supportive therapies for Parkinson's disease
    • Coping with Parkinson's disease
    • Terminology
  5. Drug Dependence and the Brain
    • Drugs
    • Definitions
    • Effects of illegal drugs
    • Other drugs: steroids, barbiturates, etc
    • Physiological and psychological effects of drugs: illicit, stimulants
    • Addiction: how drugs work in the brain
    • Central nervous system
  6. Memory
    • Models of memory: multistore model, working 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)
  7. Language
    • The brain and language
    • Paul Broca
    • Carl Wernicke
    • Aphasia and Diphasia
    • Apraxia

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

 

WHAT YOU MAY DO IN THIS COURSE

  • Viewing behaviour as part genetic and part experiential.
  • 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 try and 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.
  • The extent that neural mechanisms seemingly 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.

 

Learn More about the Brain

Given its overwhelming complexity, the human brain is best understood in terms of its different areas and what they do. Of course, each brain area doesn't act merely by itself, they interact with each other. However, by understanding the different parts we can begin to put together an overall picture of brain biology and function.   

The brain and the spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS).  The brain itself may be divided into the hindbrain, midbrain and forebrain. The hindbrain and midbrain are mainly concerned with our basic life support functions such as breathing, regulation of blood pressure, and so on. The forebrain is responsible for higher brain functions such as our memory and language processes. 

The forebrain is where many complex brain processing takes place. It is the centre for memory and learning, as well as motivation and is therefore the area of the brain of most interest to psychologists. In mammals the forebrain is proportionally larger than the hindbrain and midbrain. In fish and reptiles have proportionally larger hindbrains and midbrains. Primates have very large forebrains.

This course helps you to understand the "physical" nature of the brain, and it's many parts, primarily in humans; and through this understanding, your perspective and understanding of human psychology will be both broadened and deepened significantly.

 

Given its overwhelming complexity, the human brain is best understood in terms of its different areas and what they do. Of course, each brain area doesn't act merely by itself, they interact with each other. However, by understanding the different parts we can begin to put together an overall picture of brain biology and function.   


The Structure of the Brain

The brain and the spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS).  The brain itself may be divided into the hindbrain, midbrain and forebrain. The hindbrain and midbrain are mainly concerned with our basic life support functions such as breathing, regulation of blood pressure, and so on. The forebrain is responsible for higher brain functions such as our memory and language processes.

The forebrain is where many complex brain processing takes place. It is the centre for memory and learning, as well as motivation and is therefore the area of the brain of most interest to psychologists. In mammals the forebrain is proportionally larger than the hindbrain and midbrain. In fish and reptiles have proportionally larger hindbrains and midbrains. Primates have very large forebrains.

Why Study This Course?

This course builds on studies undertaken in Biopsychology I and assumes students have some understanding of brain structures and functions. 

This course may be studied by itself or as part of a certificate or higher level course. It will be of most interest to those in the following fields:

Psychology
Psychotherapy
Teaching
Research
Biological sciences
Health sciences
Health professions

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT NEXT?

Register to Study - Go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and you can enrol now.

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Meet some of our academics

Tracey Jones (psychology)B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
Miriam ter BorgPsychologist, Youth Worker, Teacher, Author and Natural Therapist. Miriam was previously an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor, Youth Worker, Surfing College Program Coordinator, Massage Therapist, Business Owner/Manager. Miriam's qualifications include B.Sc.(Psych), DipRem.Massage, Cert Ourdoor Rec.
Lyn Quirk M.Ed.,Dip.Med.,Dip.SportsOver 35 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Gavin Cole B.Sc.,M.Psych.Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Gavin has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. He has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Gavin joined ACS in 2001.


Check out our eBooks

The Brain and BehaviourThe Brain and Behaviour ebook provides a fascinating insight into the functions of the human brain. From understanding the human brain, human anatomy & behaviour, chemistry, brain damage and memory, this ebook is an interesting read and also a great reference for students of biology, biopsychology or psychology.
Psychological ProfilingPsychological profiling is used to assess anyone from potential new staff and school children to serial killers. It helps you to determine someone’s personality, neuroses, mental health and career suitability. This book provides an excellent overview of psychological profiling techniques and pitfalls.
Psychology DictionaryThis book provides explanations for common terms used in Psychology.
How Children ThinkAnyone who has ever tried to make a child do anything (clean up their mess, desist from throwing mud, stop drawing on the walls) knows that children think differently to adults. This book attempts to provide the skills and knowledge to develop a greater understanding of children.