Material Type:
Rice University
Provider Set:
OpenStax College
  • Action Potential
  • Adrenal Gland
  • Agonist
  • All-or-none
  • Allele
  • Amygdala
  • Anabolic Steroid
  • Antagonist
  • Auditory Cortex
  • Autonomic Nervous System
  • Axon
  • Behavioral Genetics
  • Biological Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Brain
  • Brain Imaging
  • Brain Scan
  • Broca's Area
  • CT Scan
  • Central Nervous System
  • Cerebellum
  • Chromosome
  • Computerized Tomography
  • Corpus Callosum
  • DNA
  • Darwin
  • Dendrite
  • Deoxyribonucleic Acid
  • Dominant Allele
  • Eeg
  • Electroencephalography
  • Endocrine System
  • Epigenetics
  • Evolution
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • FMRI
  • Fight or Flight
  • Forebrain
  • Fraternal Twin
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Gene
  • Genetic Environmental Correlation
  • Genetics
  • Genotype
  • Glia
  • Glial Cell
  • Gonad
  • Gyri
  • Hemisphere
  • Heterozygous
  • Hindbrain
  • Hippocampus
  • Homeostasis
  • Homozygous
  • Hormone
  • Hypothalamus
  • Identical Twin
  • Limbic System
  • Longitudinal Fissure
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Medulla
  • Membrane Potential
  • Midbrain
  • Molaison
  • Motor Cortex
  • Mri
  • Mutation
  • Myelin Sheath
  • Natural Selection
  • Nature vs. Nurture
  • Nervous System
  • Neuron
  • Neurotransmitter
  • Occipital Lobe
  • PET Scan
  • Pancreas
  • Parietal Lobe
  • Peripheral Nervous System
  • Phenotype
  • Phineas Gage
  • Pituitary Gland
  • Polygenic
  • Pons
  • Positron Emission Tomography
  • Prefrontal Cortex
  • Psychobiology
  • Psychotropic
  • Range of Reaction
  • Receptor
  • Recessive Allele
  • Resting Potential
  • Reticular Formation
  • Reuptake
  • Schiavo
  • Semipermeable Membrane
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Sodium-potassium Pump
  • Soma
  • Somatic Nervous System
  • Somatosensory Cortex
  • Spinal Cord
  • Substantia Nigra
  • Sulci
  • Sympathetic Nervous System
  • Synapse
  • Synaptic Vesicle
  • Temporal Lobe
  • Terminal Button
  • Thalamus
  • Threshold of Excitation
  • Thyroid Gland
  • Trait
  • Ventral Tegmental Area
  • Wernicke's Area
    Creative Commons Attribution


    Three brain-imaging scans are shown.
    Different brain imaging techniques provide scientists with insight into different aspects of how the human brain functions. Left to right, PET scan (positron emission tomography), CT scan (computed tomography), and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) are three types of scans. (credit “left”: modification of work by Health and Human Services Department, National Institutes of Health; credit “center": modification of work by "Aceofhearts1968"/Wikimedia Commons; credit “right”: modification of work by Kim J, Matthews NL, Park S.)

    Have you ever taken a device apart to find out how it works? Many of us have done so, whether to attempt a repair or simply to satisfy our curiosity. A device’s internal workings are often distinct from its user interface on the outside. For example, we don’t think about microchips and circuits when we turn up the volume on a mobile phone; instead, we think about getting the volume just right. Similarly, the inner workings of the human body are often distinct from the external expression of those workings. It is the job of psychologists to find the connection between these—for example, to figure out how the firings of millions of neurons become a thought.

    This chapter strives to explain the biological mechanisms that underlie behavior. These physiological and anatomical foundations are the basis for many areas of psychology. In this chapter, you will learn how genetics influence both physiological and psychological traits. You will become familiar with the structure and function of the nervous system. And, finally, you will learn how the nervous system interacts with the endocrine system.


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