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Chapter 1: Biological Basis of Behavior
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- 1.10: The Psychology of Human Sexuality
- Sexuality is one of the fundamental drives behind everyone’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It defines the means of biological reproduction, describes psychological and sociological representations of self, and orients a person’s attraction to others. Further, it shapes the brain and body to be pleasure-seeking. Yet, as important as sexuality is to being human, it is often viewed as a taboo topic for personal or scientific inquiry.
- 1.11: Biochemistry of Love
- Love is deeply biological. The evolutionary principles and ancient hormonal and neural systems that support the beneficial and healing effects of loving relationships are described here.
- 1.1: The Brain
- The human brain is responsible for all behaviors, thoughts, and experiences described in this textbook. This module provides an introductory overview of the brain, including some basic neuroanatomy, and brief descriptions of the neuroscience methods used to study it.
- 1.2: The Nervous System
- The mammalian nervous system is a complex biological organ, which enables many animals including humans to function in a coordinated fashion. The original design of this system is preserved across many animals through evolution; thus, adaptive physiological and behavioral functions are similar across many animal species.
- 1.3: Neurons
- This module on the biological basis of behavior provides an overview of the basic structure of neurons and their means of communication. Having a basic knowledge of the fundamental structure and function of neurons is a necessary foundation as you move forward in the field of psychology.
- 1.4: The Brain and Nervous System
- The brain is the most complex part of the human body. It is the center of consciousness and also controls all voluntary and involuntary movement and bodily functions. It communicates with each part of the body through the nervous system, a network of channels that carry electrochemical signals.
- 1.5: Hormones and Behavior
- The goal of this module is to introduce you to the topic of hormones and behavior. This field of study is also called behavioral endocrinology, which is the scientific study of the interaction between hormones and behavior.
- 1.6: Evolutionary Theories in Psychology
- Evolution or change over time occurs through the processes of natural and sexual selection. In response to problems in our environment, we adapt both physically and psychologically to ensure our survival and reproduction.
- 1.7: The Nature-Nurture Question
- People have a deep intuition about what has been called the “nature–nurture question.” Some aspects of our behavior feel as though they originate in our genetic makeup, while others feel like the result of our upbringing or our own hard work. Genes and environments always combine to produce behavior, and the real science is in the discovery of how they combine for a given behavior.
- 1.8: Epigenetics in Psychology
- Early life experiences exert a profound and long-lasting influence on physical and mental health throughout life. In this module, we survey recent developments revealing epigenetic aspects of mental health and review some of the challenges of epigenetic approaches in psychology to help explain how nurture shapes nature.
- 1.9: Human Sexual Anatomy and Physiology
- It’s natural to be curious about anatomy and physiology. Being knowledgeable about anatomy and physiology increases our potential for pleasure, physical and psychological health, and life satisfaction. An appreciation of both the biological and psychological motivating forces behind sexual curiosity, desire, and the capacities of our brains can enhance the health of relationships.