Short essay questions

Don’t have to be long answers. Short essays

1. This question has three parts: (1) Identify two contributors to the development of biopsychology-neuroscience. (2) Describe the ideas and/or research that the person is famous for. (3) Discuss the reasons their contributions are important to the field of contemporary biopsychology.

2. One of the most exciting findings in biopsychology is that the developing brain has the capacity for a great deal of plasticity. It is known that the brains of preadolescent individuals are more plastic than those of adults. That is, they can recover from brain injury much more rapidly and completely than adults. First, describe what is meant by plasticity. Then, discuss what factors might account for the differences of more rapid recovery from brain injury in preadolescents compared to adults

3. Neurotransmitters are considered to be the “language” of the brain. They play critical role in the body and in behavior. First, discuss three different neurotransmitters in the brain, and, then discuss the behavioral importance of each of these neurotransmitters.

4. The following statement has been made by some scientists: “You, your joys, your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” Discuss this statement in terms of the mind-body problem and also, by illustrating your explanation with behaviors AND possible neural substrates that underlie these behaviors.

5. An understanding of the brain is basic to biopsychology and all of neuroscience. The following question about the brain has three parts: (1) Why do we study the brain? (2) What does the brain do. i.e., what is the function of the brain? (3) How do we study the brain?

6. Many biological psychologists hold to the position of biological reductionism (or determinism). They explain complex phenomenon in terms of simpler ones. Biological reductionism claims that the mind is entirely explained by physical properties of the brain. Give two arguments in favor of reductionism and two arguments against reductionism.

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