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Biological Basis of Behavior

Instructor: Ms. Mehreen Ashraf


Every Behavior Begins With Biology
• Our behaviors, as well as our thoughts and feelings, are
produced by the actions of our brains, nerves, muscles, and
glands

• Let’s start our journey into the world of psychology by


considering the biological makeup of the human being,
including the most remarkable of human organs— THE
BRAIN.
Behaviors and Nervous System
• The body is controlled by an information highway
known as THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
“A collection of hundreds of billions of specialized and
interconnected cells through which messages are sent
between the brain and the rest of the body”.
Behaviors and Nervous System
• The nervous system consists
of the
• CENTRAL NERVOUS
SYSTEM (CNS), made up of
the brain and the spinal cord,
• PERIPHERAL NERVOUS
SYSTEM (PNS), the neurons
(cells) that link the CNS to our
skin, muscles, and glands.
Behaviors and Nervous System
• The nervous system is composed of more than 100 billion
cells known as NEURONS.
“A neuron is a cell in the nervous system whose function it is
to receive and transmit information”
Behaviors and Nervous System
Function of a Neuron
• Neurons carry INPUT from the senses-to the
brain, where the input is processed.
• Neurons also carry OUTPUT from the brain in
order to activate muscles and glands.
• Your brainpower arises because individual
neurons link to one another in spidery webs
Yet, a single neuron is not very smart—it takes
many just to make you blink.
Literally billions of neurons may be involved when
a singer like Lady Gaga sings a tune.
Behaviors and Nervous System
What is the connection of one neuron to another?
Neurotransmitters: The Body’s Chemical Messengers
• A neurotransmitter is a,
“Chemical that spreads signals across the synapses (gaps) between
neurons”.
• Neural signals travel via chemical transmission between the neurons.
Behaviors and Nervous System
• Functional Division of Nervous System
Behaviors and Hormones
• Our behavior is also influenced in large part by the ENDOCRINE
SYSTEM,
“The chemical regulator of the body that consists of
glands that secrete hormones”.

A primary function of the SYMPATHETIC and


PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEMS is to interact
with the Endocrine system and elicit chemicals that provide
another system for influencing our feelings and behaviors.
Behaviors and Hormones
• The endocrine system is a chemical system of communication that
relies on the action of specialized organs called endocrine glands that
are located throughout the body
• When stimulated, endocrine glands release chemicals called
hormones into the bloodstream.
• These hormones circulate through the bloodstream until they reach
other organs in the body.
• Our internal organs are equipped with special receptor sites to accept
these hormones.
Behaviors and Hormones
• The endocrine system is considerably slower than the nervous system
in relaying messages because it relies on blood circulating through the
veins and arteries of the cardiovascular system to transport hormones
throughout the body.
• The stimulation created by hormones, however, tends to last longer
than the stimulation caused by electrochemical actions at the synapse.
• Some of the bodily processes that are heavily influenced by hormonal
activity include SEXUAL ACTIVITY, EATING, SLEEPING,
GENERAL PHYSIOLOGICAL AROUSAL,AND GROWTH.
Behaviors and Hormones
• A gland in the
endocrine system
is made up of
groups of cells
that function to
secrete
hormones.
Behaviors and Hormones
• The pituitary gland, is responsible for regulating hormone release in
all the other endocrine glands.
• When the endocrine system is called into action, the hypothalamus
sends a signal to the pituitary gland.
• The pituitary gland then releases hormones that travel through the
bloodstream to the other endocrine glands, stimulating them to release
the hormones they produce into the bloodstream.