Section: Essays
There are five essay questions (50 points). Note that essays may have more than one part requiring two-three answers per essay. Each essay question will be worth 10 points. Use answer sheet document to enter answers

51. The brain is made up of approximately 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, each with many thousands of interconnections. There is communication both within these neurons and from one neuron to the next.

First, describe these different forms of communication that explain how information is transmitted both (a) within the neuron and (b) between neurons. Then, discuss reasons and give examples why neuron communication is important to biopsychology.

52. Historically, a significant controversy in the field of biopsychology was the question of how our behavior is a result of nature (biology, genetics, inheritance) or a result of nurture (the environment we grow up in). Today, this is an obsolete position and it is believed by most that there is an interaction among genetics and environment (or experience). The more accurate position is that “Behavior is a function of genetics, experience and current perception.”

Discuss this statement, citing relevant experimental evidence, in the context of at least two of the following behaviors: visual perception, birdsong communication, learning, intelligence, aggression, obesity, personality, mental disorder (i.e., schizophrenia or depression or anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

53. 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 and the different kinds of plasticity that are possible. Then, discuss what factors might account for the differences of more rapid recovery from brain injury in preadolescents compared to adults

54. Describe two of types of biological/brain evidence (neurodevelopmental, genetic, neurotransmitter, imaging) for (a) schizophrenia and (b) depression. Describe evidence for different biological treatments that are useful for (a) schizophrenia and (b) depression. Your discussion for treatments might deal with how treatments target specific clinical symptoms and their brain action.

55. Identify three contributors to the development of biopsychology. Describe the ideas and/or research that the person is famous for. Discuss the reasons that their contributions are important to the field of contemporary biopsychology.

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