Faces of Biopsych

We all have different shades when it comes to our personality. And most of us are used to wearing masks for the world to see, for various reasons which are subjective to our experiences in life. And these shades of our personality help us adapt to different situations and deal with different kinds of people; because let’s face it, without these different shades, we would not be able to interact with people who are so different from us. Every time our boss would say something to us, we would lash out; we would be confined to spending time with one person because we would not be able to adapt to different people and situations. So these different shades of our personality, help us live in this world which is so diverse and colorful.

Humans are complex creatures with different colors and attitudes, and Biopsychology is similar in that regards because there are a few shades it carries. And these faces of Biopsychology focus on different areas but come together to form one entity which is known as Biopsychology, just like how different shades of an individual come together to form a human.

The branches of Biopsychology focus on different fields but at the same time, they are similar as they look at the brain and behavior through different lenses but at the end of the day they are looking at the same thing.

Branches of Biopsychology

Physiological Psychology is the first one on the list and I do not know why it’s the first on the list, as I like all the branches equally. However, this branch of Biopsychology focuses on the neural mechanisms of the brain. Direct manipulation of the brain is what this branch prefers; now if you are interested in this, then you might be interested in cracking people’s heads open and examining the brain. I find this branch highly interesting, but feel free to blame it on my morbid personality.

The second branch is one of my favorites. I know I said I like all the branches equally, but I don’t know why I’m drawn to this particular branch of Psychopharmacology. And over here comes the role of drugs. Now drugs are something which we all love these days but these drugs affect the neural activity of the brain. And though Psychologists do not prescribe medication, it is important for them to know what drugs are responsible for what things.

Neuropsychology is another branch of Biopsychology which is another branch which attracts me, well everything about the brain attracts me. But the branch of neuropsychology looks at how damage to the brain affects a person’s behavior. Now this is something fairly obvious to see, as any damage to the brain, be it from a car accident or falling off the stairs, can result in a change of behavior. Social media is filled with posts that talk about how a certain damage to the brain ended up making the person act a certain way. And even when I act a little strange, my friends wonder whether I hit my head somewhere.

Cognitive Neuroscience takes into the account the cognition, the mental processes that take place in our mind. And it combines those enigmatic processes with the neural activity, the biology, that is happening in the brain. This branch looks into how the changes in the brain affects processes such as attention and memory, which is pretty interesting because the brain is not a big organ, yet it makes us who we are.

The fifth branch of Biopsychology is known as Comparative Psychology. Now this is something new and I’d never really heard about it. But this branch looks into evolution and how it adapts to a behavior, taking into account the environmental circumstances and it compares this information with all the other aspects. Which is interesting, as I think that this branch looks at different aspects and sees how change is occurring.

And last but not least is Psychophysiology. This branch looks into the relationship between the physiological and psychological processes, and this is where the role of brain scans come into play. The scans such as MRI, PET and CT Scans all reveal the physiology, but through them one can understand the reason for a person’s behavior.

These were the branches of Biopsychology and one can see that this is a very diverse field with plenty of things for anyone who is the least bit interested in this field of Psychology. And now, I am confused which branch I would like to explore more.

Food for Thought

Combining the previous blog post with this one, there is one thing to question:

  1. Where do we see aspects of Biopsychology in different branches of Biopsych?

References

Lecture 2: Branches of Psychology [Class Notes]

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