Biopsychology is one of the branches of psychology that helps analyze how the brain, neurotransmitters, and other biological aspects influence our behaviors, including thoughts and feelings. Biopsychology plays a unique role in Neuroscientific research because it uses the principles of biology, especially neurobiology, in studying the physiological and developmental mechanisms of the behaviors in humans and non-human animals (Barnes, & Pinel, 2018). Additionally, biopsychology plays a special role in Neuroscientific research by focusing on the level of nerves, neurotransmitters, and brain circulatory that can be used to determine normal and abnormal behavior.
The four other disciplines of neuroscience include cellular, clinical, computational, and cognitive neuroscience. Cellular neuroscience is primarily concerned with studying neurons, including their forms and psychological properties. Clinical neuroscience is, on the other hand, concerned with studying the disorders of the nervous system. Computational neuroscience makes attempts to gain insights into how brains compute. This branch uses computers and techniques from mathematic, physics other fields in studying brain function. Lastly, cognitive neuroscience involves studying the higher cognitive functions in humans.
The nature-nurture debate is one of the philosophical issues in psychology. Nature debates that we are what we are through inherited genes, while nurture believes that our behaviors and everything that makes us are influenced by external factors after conception. Some of the external factors include life experiences or learning from other individuals in our environments. The nature-nurture debate can be traced back to 1869 when Francis Galton first coined the phrase nature versus nurture (Horowitz, 2019). The nature-nurture dichotomy has been an ongoing debate that has gone through different evolutionary stages. Most of the modern debates concerning this dichotomy are primarily centered on how genes influence our human dispositions. With the current cultural changes, the popular understandings of this debate have also been altered. As a result, most of the recent headlines on the nature side reporting how newly discovered genes influence the behavior of most people (Horowitz, 2019). The current interaction view on this debate believes that nature and nurture are attached. This is attributed to the fact that specific genes cannot be stimulated without certain ecological factors and vice versa.
A conventional nervous system of a vertebrate is mainly divided into two: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS primarily constitutes the spinal cord and the brain, while the PNS has 24 cranial nerves, 62 spinal nerves, and the involuntary nervous system. The neuroanatomical directions are often described based on their positions (Zannino & Sagerström, 2015). In four-legged animals such as cats, the dorsal parts form the back surface while the ventral surface forms the belly or lower parts. Cranial, cephalic and rostral are used to refer to the head end of the body. In human beings, the neuroanatomical direction is different (Zannino & Sagerström, 2015). Since humans stand erect, the dorsal parts are the posterior while the ventral parts are posterior. The cranial parts which constitute the brain are superior, while the caudal parts are inferior.
Drugs produce agonistic effects by binding to receptors hence producing similar effects to the intended chemicals and receptors. On most occasions, agonistic drugs often stimulate the intended reaction by mimicking and activating the normal neurotransmitters (Flaten, 2009). For instance, morphine is one of the substances that was not designed for the body; however, it can be naturally found in opium poppies and can mimic the shape of most natural opioid agonists. On the other hand, drugs produce antagonistic effects by binding on the primary site or another site, preventing the receptor from producing the desired response (Flaten, 2009). For example, when naloxone is used, it helps in reversing the effects that may arise from an opioid overdose.
Barnes, S. J., & Pinel, J. P. (2018). Biopsychology. Pearson.
Flaten, M. A. (2009). Drug effects: agonistic and antagonistic processes. Scandinavian journal of psychology, 50(6), 652-659.
Horowitz, F. D. (2019). The Nature-Nurture controversy in social and historical perspective. In Psychology, Science, and Human Affairs (pp. 89-99). Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429303340-6/nature-nurture-controversy-social-historical-perspective-frances-degen-horowitz
Zannino, D. A., & Sagerström, C. G. (2015). An emerging role for prdm family genes in dorsoventral patterning of the vertebrate nervous system. Neural development, 10(1), 1-12.